All tours on this holiday have now departed. Future departure dates will be confirmed in due course.
The Venetian harbour town of Rethymnon – picturesque and historic
Plakias – an attractive seaside resort that is backed by beautiful rolling hills
Colourful wild flowers – which should be in abundance at this time of year
Your guide – Jonathan Peat, who will gladly pass on his immense local knowledge
I think Jonathan would describe Crete as his second home! He has spent many years here and knows not only its beautiful nature well, but he also has a great understanding of the local people who are such a big part of a visit to this island. During this tour he will introduce you to the ‘wilder’ side of Cretan life and at the same time ensure you get to experience an ‘authentic’ side of island life. The contrast of the two centres for this tour ensure a diverse selection of walks and, as always, a wonderful range of scenery.
Level of walking
Average of 4 hours walking a day with a distance covered of between 6 and 9 kms each day.
Your guide is Jonathan Peat who 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 region's unspoilt beautiful nature and a very authentic side of Greek life.
Day 1: Fly from London Gatwick to Heraklion.
On arrival transfer to Rethymnon and check-in to the Ideon Hotel, Rethymnon for a four-night stay.
Day 2: The Amari Valley.
This beautiful valley is a wonderfully picturesque region that stays lush all year round due to the abundance of springs that feed the valley. It is an area rich in seasonal produce, which is how most of the inhabitants still make their living, and is filled with picturesque villages, stunning views and exceptionally clean air. Our walk will take us from the village of Meronas to the tiny village of Thronos, visiting two beautiful Byzantine churches along the way, and, at the end, experience the renowned Cretan hospitality at our lunch time taverna.
Day 3: Ancient Eleftherna to the pottery village of Margarites.
Another beautiful region of ‘hinterland’ Rethymnon. Our walk begins at Ancient Eleftherna, where we have the opportunity to see a little of the necropolis of Eleftherna, which dates back to 670 BC, before beginning our walk, which will take us on pretty, rural paths to the pottery village of Margarites. We will have the opportunity to visit one of the potters and learn why the area has been associated with pottery for centuries. After lunch in the village we will visit the historic monastery of Arkadi.
Day 4: The Peak Sanctuary of Vrisinas.
This walk takes place in the highest mountain range on the island, the Ida Mountains, whose highest peak, Mount Psiloritis, reaches 2456 metres. We won’t of course be going that high! We transfer to the village of Oros and walk towards Vrisinas. On reaching our destination we will find a Minoan peak sanctuary, which dates to around 2000 BC and will, as so often happens in high places in Crete, also find a small chapel. This walk assures us of some amazing views including, if the day is clear, another magnificent range of mountains, Lefka Ori, situated in the west of the Island.
Day 5: Plakias and the Finikas forest.
We will transfer from Rethymnon to Plakias in the morning, and, enjoy a leisurely walk which will take us down to the end of the Preveli Gorge, famous for its banks lined with numerous palm trees. It is an impressive site seeing the number of them that follow the river all the way to the sea. After completing our walk, we will visit Preveli Monastery that has an interesting connection with WW2.
Day 6: Plakias to Lefkogia.
A leisurely coastal walk that should take no more than three to four hours from start to finish. However, we plan to enjoy some of the lovely beaches we will find along the way so will make sure there is time to stop and swim as we go. The afternoon will be at leisure.
Day 7: ‘Ill met by Moonlight’ Rodakino circular walk. Rodakino was the place from where a kidnapped German General, General Kriepe, was whisked away to Egypt during WW2, this daring feat was retold in the 1957 movie Ill met by Moonlight starring Dirk Bogarde.
On our arrival at Rodakino we will explore the area around the village and enjoy a walk in the hills above Rodakino, and learn more about the events that took place here during WW2.
Day 8: Transfer to Heraklion Airport for the return flight to London Gatwick
NB: The itinerary may vary according to local conditions and guide's discretion.
Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 15 passengers.
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