A guided walk

There are plenty of well-known routes that you can find in guidebooks so it is quite easy to find some enjoyable walks or hikes in Crete.

Although I am quite happy walking on my own or with a friend, I do like going on a guided walk as well. Some days ago I could join as a participant in a walking program and I must say that I enjoyed it very much.

So I definitely recommend you to book some guided walks in Crete for the following reasons:

  • When you walk with a guide, you will discover the unknown Crete and some off-the-beaten tracks that you never would have found on your own.
  • A guide can answer all sorts of questions about Crete and makes sure you will see the most interesting trails of Crete.
  • You will see much more than you would on your own as a guide has certainly an excellent knowledge of the area.
  • You do not need to wonder if the trail you are walking is the right one. You will not get lost and waste time by finding the right trail
  • Should an accident happen, it is safer to be in a group.
  • Last but not least: it is so much more fun to walk in a small group, there are different people to talk to and you can share experiences

What more can I say? Enjoy your walks!

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Agios Apostoloi

 

Just 4 km west of Chania there is the area of Agios Apostoloi, well-known for its beautiful sandy beaches. Many locals swim here all year round. Apart from the beaches, there are many possibilities for outdoor activities like mountain biking, jogging, beach volleyball and of course, walking.

An easy walk, which is suitable for families with children as well, starts and the end of the Chrissi Akti beach. A short climb will take you up through a beautiful trail. On the top you can see the city of Chania on your right. Follow the coastline towards the west. There are many trails to choose from and when you walk with your children, let them choose the trails. It is an adventure for them and you can not get lost here anyway. The area is relatively small and all trails will lead you back to the beach road.

 

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It is very nice to walk the trail along the coastline, there is always a pleasant breeze. On a warm day there is plenty of shaded trails to choose from since more inland there are lots of pine trees. All trails will take you eventually to the lovely bay of Agios Apostoloi. For sure it is time for a swim or have a refreshing drink at one of the canteens on the beach before you head back to the starting point.

 

 

Alkionides Days and Kefalas, Apokoronas on Crete

Only 5 km from Vamos, you will find the lovely village of Kefalas. It is located at a height of approximately 350 meters and therefore the highest village of the area Apokoronas. That might be the reason why the Cretans named the village Kefalas, which means “head”. If you take a stroll through the village with its narrow alleys, you can still see the strong impact that the Venetians had on this village: many wells, Venetian walls and buildings still exist. The church of the Holy Cross also dates back to the Venetian times.

Kefalas has several other beautiful churches, like the church of Agios Georgios with its stunning views to the White Mountains of Crete. From this church you can take a track downhill and walk through the amazing countryside towards the nearby village of Paleloni, another name that can be translated. Paleloni means “old threshing circle”. It comes from two Greek words: “palio” = old and “aloni” = threshing circle. In this area, a few “koumos” can be seen too. A “koumos” is an old stone-structure that was used as a place where the shepherds could take shelter during wintertime.

In January, on a sunny day, you can already smell the earliest flowers in blossom. I always feel happy when I see those colorful flowers, the blue sky and the magnificent White Mountains.

Why are there so many sunny days in January? It is wintertime but it sometimes feels like springtime. I have to think of the Greek mythology telling us about the “Alkionides” or Halcyon days. The myth says that Alcyone, daughter of the god of the wind, Aeolus, did not marry the son of a god, but the son of the earthly king Ceyx. The man drowned during a storm and Alcyone felt so much grief that she threw herself from the rocks and drowned as well. The gods showed compassion and transformed the love couple into kingfishers. The god Aeolus ensured that in January warm and sunny days were given to the kingfisher so they could lay their eggs on the rocks.

I love stories like this. It makes me enjoy my walks in the sun even more!Image

Walking from Vamos to Douliana

November is a lovely month in Crete. The tourist season has ended, the weather is still great and ideal for walkers. I found a nice walk in the book “Discover Vamos on Foot” (http://www.discoveronfoot.com/), 3,5 hours from Vamos to the village of Douliana. Vamos is a very pretty village in the area of Apokoronas, West Crete with a lot of history. Just wander around the old streets, you will find beautifully restored Venetian Houses. Also, it is an ideal base for walkers. The walk starts in the square of the village and takes you through a beautiful landscape to the traditional village of Douliana. The track is easy and after passing the church of Agios Antonios (loved the sign “Rock Church”, it is actually a small church build in a cave) the road goes uphill to the village Douliana. Douliana has a second name “Xiliandros” which means “village of a thousand men”. Well, I did not spot any, but I really enjoyed this walk!Image