Jonathan's Autumn Walks

7 nights starting from
£1299

       

  • A fantastic month to visit Crete, the crowds have disappeared and the weather is usually lovely, ideal for walking, and the sea still warm for swimming

  • Wonderful walks that encompass a scope of the fantastic scenery western Crete offers

  • The guide – Jonathan offers a very different view of Crete that comes from his passion and joy of the island as well as his ability to converse with the locals

  • Heated outdoor pool

This holiday is based outside the wonderful Venetian harbour town of Chania in Western Crete. This fantastic location provides the freedom to enjoy the town between walks as well as being well placed for access to a variety of walks in the wonderfully scenic and lush region of Western Crete. During the week we will follow a variety of footpaths that will offer an insight into the natural beauty and rich diversity of the Chania region. During our walks we will encounter traditional villages, mountain plateaus, ancient sites, historic monasteries, deserted beaches, narrow gorges, dramatic views and, at the same time, you will be introduced to a ‘timeless’ and authentic Crete by your guide, Jonathan Peat, who has been walking the Cretan hills for the last 20 or more years.

Level of walking
Although we wouldn't class this as a difficult level of walking its good to be aware that walking in Crete can be quite rough underfoot at times, especially on the south coast where the land is much more rocky and dry, and also when encountering gorges, which can be quite uneven underfoot in places and might involve some gentle scrambling. Most of the walks are on dirt roads but we occasionally encounter ancient paths that have become worn with age and weather. Walking on average is around 4 hours per day covering a distance of a minimum of 9kms and a maximum of 12kms with a maximum of 500 meters ascent or descent. Along the way we will enjoy plenty of breaks for coffee, lunch, chats, photos and, perhaps, the occasional swim!

Your Guide
Your guide is Jonathan Peat. Jonathan has been guiding walks in Greece for more than 20 years. He is of British/Greek descent and speaks both languages fluently. He spent many years living in Greece but has now settled in France with his French wife, Myriam but returns to Greece every year. His passion for the country is fully represented in his guiding when he aims to introduce the visitor to the islands unspoilt and beautiful nature and a very authentic side of Greek life. 

 

Available Departures

From

27 - October - 2020 £ 1299.00 Travel Info Book Now

Provisional Timings

London Gatwick

Departing: 27th October 2020 at 08:55

Returning: 03rd November 2020 at 14:05

ITINERARY


2018 Itinerary

Day 1: 
Fly from London Gatwick to Chania. On arrival transfer by coach to Chania and check-in to the Christina Hotel. This afternoon there will be a short guided walk of Chania to introduce you to its historic maze of streets and alleyways. Dinner tonight will be a welcome meal at a local taverna in Chania.

Day 2: The Holy Peninsula Walk.
We transfer to the Akrotiri peninsula, located just above Chania town, and enjoy a circular walk around the Monastery of Gouverneto (dating from the 15th century) and the cave of St John the Hermit, visiting several secret chapels, small caves and hidden gorges along the way. We will enjoy a picnic lunch en route and find time to visit another monastery in the area, Agia Triada that dates back to the 16th century. In the afternoon there will be the opportunity to swim at the beach of Stavros, in the shadow of ‘Zorba’s’ mountain (where some of the movie ‘Zorba the Greek’ was filmed) before transferring back to Chania in the late afternoon.

Day 3: Karanou – the valley of the orange groves.
Our walk today beings in the lush orange growing region of western Crete. We transfer by bus to the rural village of Skines and begin a walk that follows alongside olive and orange groves before heading into a rich wooded and spectacularly beautiful gorge that we follow all the way to Karanos a pretty village hidden amidst a beautiful rural landscape. We will enjoy lunch in a simple local taverna in the village and, if we still have the energy, we shall continue on foot to the hill village of Orthouni before transferring back to our hotel.

Day 4: Traditional villages walk.
We transfer from our hotel to the tiny 17th century settlement of Milia, hidden in the hills in far western Crete. We will linger for a coffee at the settlement, which has been transformed into an eco-friendly complex of simple accommodation based on the premise of ‘back to basics’. It has a glorious and peaceful location boasting a rugged beauty of plane and chestnut trees. From Milia we walk down to the tiny settlement of Sirikari where we enjoy lunch before continuing through the gorge of Sirikari to the ancient settlement of Polyrenia. We have the opportunity to visit the remains of a Dorian and Roman town before transferring back to our hotel in the late afternoon.

Day 5: A day out in Sfakia.
We transfer by bus following a particularly scenic route that takes us into the heart of the White Mountain range of Western Crete (locally known as the Lefka Ori) before dropping to the south coast where we find a dramatic winding road that takes us uphill, with splendid views down to the coast, to the agricultural plateau and village of Anopoli. We will walk in the area, in and around the village, and walk to the edge of the Aradena Gorge, and for those who wish, there will be the opportunity to walk down one side of the gorge, following a spectacular path that zigzags down one side and up the other, that leads across the gorge to the abandoned village of Aradena. Alternatively you can just walk across the old Bailey bridge above the gorge to the village.

Day 6: Free time to relax and explore Chania at your leisure. The town has some excellent museums and a regular market and a colourful farmers market that can also be visited on this day.

Day 7: Stylos to Samonas.
Todays walk takes us into the heart of the very beautiful and fertile Apokoronos region, an area filled with timeless villages, olive and orange groves, agriculture and lovely views. We will follow a gentle trail to the pretty village of Stylos and then climb slowly upwards until we reach the tiny village of Samonas where, if we are lucky, Jonathan will spy someone he knows and we will be invited in for a raki! Our walk finishes with a tasty lunch in a local village taverna.

Day 8: Transfer by coach to Heraklion airport for your return flight to London Gatwick.

NB: Exact order of excursions may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion.

Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 15 passengers.

Please note that walking boots are essential and clients should be in good health. Guided walks are rated as easy to medium, covering between 6 and 12 kilometres a day. 

INCLUDED

  • Return flights from London Gatwick to Chania and Heraklion to London Gatwick
  • Seven nights' bed and breakfast at the Christina Hotel Apartments, Chania
  • Welcome dinner
  • Five lunches 
  • Transfers and full touring itinerary as detailed 
  • Tour manager/guide throughout 

NOT INCLUDED

  • Single room supplement
  • Holiday insurance 
  • Meals other than those stated 
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls 
  • Porterage and gratuities.

HOTELS


Christina Hotel Apartments, Chania 

Situated just outside the Venetian harbour town of Chania, the Christina Hotel is next to a sandy beach and close to some of the best fish tavernas in town. The rooms are ‘apartment’ style so include simple self-catering facilities and balconies. The hotel has an outdoor heated pool. Bedrooms are comfortable with shower, telephone, TV, safe, air-conditioning, hairdryer, fridge and tea and coffee making facilities.

Christina Hotel Apartments Website

Administation
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Overall Impression

As you can see from the above ratings we loved it. The fabulous weather was a real bonus. Thanks to all for arranging our extra days and to Jane for organizing the car. Jonathan was superb - as always.

Review by Bryant who travelled 02-November-2019


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A really great week with Jonathan providing excellent leadership, enjoyable walks and lots of insights into the history of Crete.

Review by Howe who travelled 02-November-2019


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The weather was perfect, the walking was quite challenging but fortunately the griffon vultures confined themselves to wheeling in the sky above. Our guide was exceptional as always - efficient and inspirational, but caring. Fellow walkers were fun, easy going and mutually supportive!

Review by McNulty who travelled 02-November-2019


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Disappointed we had to change planes in Athens when there was a direct Gatwick to Herakleion flight. More information about the walks in the brochure would be helpful. We thought the walks were more difficult than "moderate". Our driver, Manousos, was excellent.

Review by Lehane who travelled 02-November-2019


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Review by Anonymous who travelled 03-November-2018


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Review by Anonymous who travelled 03-November-2018


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Jonathon was brilliant. He made the holiday what it was...fantastic!!! Minor niggle: the buzz from the fridge in the room kept us awake at night.

Review by Murray who travelled 03-November-2018


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An excellent introduction to the delights and challenges of walking in western Crete led most ably by Jonathan Peat.

Review by Anonymous who travelled 03-November-2018


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A wonderful holiday, enhanced by Jonathan's superb local knowledge and relaxed style. The walks were outstanding and we were rewarded with lovely lunches of local food in small family run tavernas

Review by Fairbanks who travelled 04-November-2017


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Once again an excellent holiday enriched by Jonathan's knowledge and expertise. He mananges to get us to places and experiences it would be impossible on one's own.

Review by Barnet who travelled 04-November-2017


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Extremely good holiday, the walks were well judged, varied and beautiful. Tour guide was excellent: knowledgeable, amiable, caring and careful, with an eye for the different abilities of the group. On one day there was a problem with catering at lunch, which he dealt with very efficiently.

Review by Bebbington who travelled 04-November-2017


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The walks were excellent as usual with Jonathan. His itinerary was so varied and he is so good at taking account of everyone's abilities and interests. Fantastic!

Review by Brown who travelled 04-November-2017


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The holiday was a memorable experience; Jonathan Peat was an excellent guide. We hope that we shall be able to do one of his tours in future. We would both like to thank Jane and Jonathan for all the help we were given after my wife was bitten by a feral dog in Chania.

Review by Mr David Cook who travelled 05-November-2016


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Another brilliant holiday. The walks were varied, the company was good, the food delicious and the accommodation excellent. The whole experience has given us a boost before winter sets in. Thank you Jonathan and Travel Editions.

Review by Mrs Linda Weir who travelled 05-November-2016


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I have travelled to Crete several times, but this time I feel as though I was actually part of the landscape. Jonathan's love of Crete opened my eyes, ears, nose and taste buds. Quite an inspirational leader.

Review by Mrs Hazel Ryder who travelled 07-November-2015


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Jonathan guided us with gentle attention up the mountainous slopes and rewarded us with fantastic views, picnics and lunches in village tavernas. A holiday to remember and I am looking foreard to others in Crete.

Review by Mrs Joan Griffiths who travelled 07-November-2015


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Another excellent holiday with Jonathan Peat as our leader ... he is very knowledgeable, caring and considerate. This was our third tour with Jonathan as our leader and he never fails to give less than 100 per cent to make sure everyone is happy and comfortable with the walking. The hotel Porto Veneziano was an ideal choice, being very comfortable and convenient for sightseeing around Chania. All-in- all a very successful walking tour... so, a big thank you to all involved. Maureen and Trevor Shaw

Review by Mrs Maureen Shaw who travelled 07-November-2015


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