Chania Regional Unit
Outdoor Activities

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Our most recommended Chania Regional Unit Outdoor Activities

Samaria Gorge Trek: Full-Day Excursion from Rethymno

1. Samaria Gorge Trek: Full-Day Excursion from Rethymno

Samaria Gorge, the longest and likely the best-known gorge in Europe, lies 4,000 feet above sea level. Your full-day (12-hour) excursion to Samaria Gorge begins with a pick-up in Rethymno and a drive to Omalos, in the heart of the White Mountains, where you can enjoy breakfast before you start the hike. The trek will take you over rocks and stones, through a forest of thousand-year-old trees and along a river and by fresh-water springs. Along the way, you’ll have spectacular views of Crete’s most beautiful mountain range and you are likely to see mountain goats roaming in the wild. You will be accompanied by a professional mountain escort who speaks English, German and Greek.  Your escort will be there to explain all the necessary information about your hike and provide you the tickets for the entrance and ferry boat. Entrance fee : 5€ (children up to the age of 15 years old are free of charge). Ferry fee : 11€ ( Sougia ferry). These fees have to be paid to the guide upon arrival. After your breakfast you enter the Samaria Gorge. Walk at your own pace as your guide will be at the end of the group to help out if you need them. At the end of the trek you’ll visit the village of Agia Roumeli, where you’ll find a number of taverns, bars and shops. Enjoy some free time to take a swim or have some lunch. A meeting point will be arranged so you can collect your ferry tickets from your guide. Late in the afternoon you’ll board a boat that will take you from Agia Roumeli to Sfakia, where the bus will be waiting to transfer you back to the starting point.

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Chania: Boat Trip with Guided Snorkeling & Stand-Up Paddling

2. Chania: Boat Trip with Guided Snorkeling & Stand-Up Paddling

Discover what lies below the surface of the water on an amazing 3-hour boat trip off the northwest coast of Crete. Benefit from pick-up at your hotel in Chania, and then journey by air-conditioned minivan to the resort town of Almyrida. Avail of the services of experienced instructors who will give you a short theory lesson on arrival. Then, sail to secluded beaches that can only be reached by boat and swim with your provided snorkeling equipment. Learn the names of all the fish with the help of a book as the crew takes photos and videos of your experience to send by email as a souvenir. Relax and enjoy the good company in the warm sun, and get fantastic views of the coastline.

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From Chania: Full-Day Samaria Gorge Trek Excursion

3. From Chania: Full-Day Samaria Gorge Trek Excursion

Samaria Gorge, the longest gorge in Europe, is located 4,000 feet above sea level. Enjoy a trek in the gorge on a 12-hour excursion that begins with a pick-up in Chania and a drive to Omalos, in the White Mountains. Trek over rocks and stones, through a forest of thousand-year-old trees, along a river and by freshwater springs. Take in spectacular views of Crete’s most beautiful mountain range and see mountain goats roaming in the wild. At the end of the trek, visit the village of Agia Roumeli that boasts numerous taverns and shops. Late in the afternoon, board a boat for the trip from Agia Roumeli to Sfakia, where a bus will be waiting to transfer you back to the starting point.

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The Samariá Gorge Hike from Chania or Rethymno

4. The Samariá Gorge Hike from Chania or Rethymno

Samariá Gorge is the longest gorge in Europe. An area of stunning natural beauty, it is rich with many flowers and herbs and the crystal-clear spring waters that flow from the mountains. Following an early morning pick-up (between 05:30 and 06:30) from the nearest point to your accommodation in Rethymno or Chania, travel through the mountains passing the plateau of Omalos. You will arrive at some wooden stairs at the start of Samariá Gorge. You can opt to start the walk straight away or get some breakfast at the taverna before you begin. Hike for approximately 6-7 hours and experience the magnificent landscape on a 16-kilometer walk. Once you have finished the hike, there will be ample time for a swim and lunch at a taverna in Agia Roumeli. Indicative Timetable: 5:20 AM ‐ 6:10 AM: Pickup 7:30 AM: First stop at Omalos Plateau 8:00 AM: Begin the Xyloskalo hike 2:00 PM: End the hike at Agia Roumeli Village Please note that this timetable depends on how fast you walk and how much free time you take to eat.

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Heraklion & Mallia: Bus Road Trip to Samaria Gorge

5. Heraklion & Mallia: Bus Road Trip to Samaria Gorge

Your full-day excursion to Samaria Gorge begins with pickup in Heraklion and a drive to Omalos, in the heart of the White Mountains, where you can enjoy breakfast before you begin your hike. The trek will take you over rocks and stones, through a forest of thousand-year-old trees and along a river by fresh-water springs. Along the way, you’ll have spectacular views of Crete’s most beautiful mountain range, and you are also likely to see mountain goats roaming in the wild. You will be accompanied by a professional mountain escort who speaks English, German and Greek. Your escort will be there to explain all the necessary information about your hike and provide you with the tickets for the entrance and ferry. After your breakfast you will enter the Samaria Gorge, where you can walk at your own pace as your guide waits at the end of the group to help you out if you need them. At the end of the trek you’ll visit the village of Agia Roumeli, where you’ll find a number of taverns, bars, and shops. You can enjoy some free time to take a swim or have some lunch. Late in the afternoon you’ll board a boat that will take you from Agia Roumeli to Sfakia, where your bus will be waiting to transfer you back to the starting point.

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From Rethymno/Chania: Imbros Gorge Hike

6. From Rethymno/Chania: Imbros Gorge Hike

Discover the Imbros Gorge, which runs parallel to the more famous Samaria Gorge. Although the Imbros Gorge is smaller, many people prefer to cross here because it offers a very different hiking experience than the Samaria Gorge. Of the 11 kilometers, 8.5 kilometers are suitable for hiking. Discover the exquisite beauty of nature in this narrow passage and learn about the stunning rock formations.  According to legend, the name Imbros was given to the village, and subsequently the gorge, because two Greek brothers chose to live here after they were banished from Imbros Island when it was connected to Turkey. For many years, the Imbros Gorge served as part of the trail that connected the city of Chania to the Hora Sfakion village. It is notable that during World War II, after the Battle of Crete was lost by Greece and her allies, many thousands of British soldiers passed through the Imbros Gorge towards South Crete in order to get to Egypt.  After the hike, take a swim in the stunning refreshing Libyan sea. Eat lunch with the locals in the taverns. 

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Samaria Gorge: Day Trip from Agia Pelagia, Heraklion & Malia

7. Samaria Gorge: Day Trip from Agia Pelagia, Heraklion & Malia

Enjoy breakfast at Rethymno, the first stop on this 17-hour Samaria Gorge excursion. Begin your trek at Xiloskalo, where you'll enter the vast, 18-kilometer canyon. Hike along a path that follows the route of the ancient Taras River. Admire the caves that formed a natural shelter for the Cretans in war times and now are home to wild goats. See the abandoned village of Samaria before reaching the Iron Gates, 3 kilometers before the end of the gorge. Rest and enjoy lunch (at your own expense) at the small fishing village of Agia Roumeli. Cool off with a refreshing swim in the Libyan Sea before boarding the ship that takes you back to the village of Sfakia.

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Chania: Stand-Up Paddleboard & Snorkeling Small Group Tour

8. Chania: Stand-Up Paddleboard & Snorkeling Small Group Tour

Experience what it feels like to walk on water with a stand-up paddleboard adventure in Chania! Benefit from the area's calm, crystal clear waters that create the perfect environment for stand-up paddleboarding. Get an introductory lesson on basic paddling techniques and learn how to stand up, turn and stop. Explore the hidden caves of the coastline, and get some time to swim and snorkel in the beautiful sea. Masks and snorkels will be provided, and your adventure will be recorded by action cameras as a unique souvenir. All footage will be sent to you as a keepsake memory of your experience. Benefit from the expert guidance of certified instructors who will make everybody feel confident and ready to go within the first few minutes! The program is specially designed for all levels of paddlers, from first timers to professionals.   

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From Kissamos Port: Balos and Gramvousa Private RIB Cruise

9. From Kissamos Port: Balos and Gramvousa Private RIB Cruise

Book a private rigid inflatable boat (RIB) vessel and an experienced skipper to explore the western parts of Crete with your family or friends. Departing from Kissamos Port, board your boat and ride the waves to the famous Balos Lagoon and to the historic Gamvousa Island. The skipper will take you on an adventurous or relaxed ride (according to your preferences) and provide drinks and snacks on the way.   At your first stop, Balos, you’ll anchor and explore the area’s white sand beaches and vivid turquoise waters for 1.5 hours. You’ll then head to Gramvousa, an island with a medieval fortress at the top of the hill. There, you can sunbathe, snorkel, and swim for another 1.5 hours before returning to Kissamos.

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From Souda Port of Chania: Private Sailing Cruise with Meal

10. From Souda Port of Chania: Private Sailing Cruise with Meal

At 9:30 AM sail east out of the bay past the Souda Fortress on a small uninhabited island. If the winds are favorable stop to take a dip or some photos at the pebbled beach of the scenic white chapel of Agiannis. Follow the coast on the wind and marvel at views of the Ottoman fort high up on the hills and the fort of the Idjedin prison just below it. Continue past the seaside villages of Kalyves and Almyrida, around the Isle of Karga before reaching the lighthouse on the peninsula of Drapano. Again, if the gods of the winds are with you the boat will anchor in a tiny, secret cove for another quick swim. The wind will dictate if the boat sails northeast to a very small cove with beautiful sandy waters or otherwise northwest around another small island to a beautiful lagoon. Either way, the White Mountains (Lefka Ori) will be in view, serving as the backdrop to the cruise. After dropping anchor, enjoy a swim or snorkel and play in crystal clear turquoise waters while a freshly cooked Cretan/Spartan lunch is prepared with Greek specialties such as local pasta, sautéed vegetables, fresh salad, mama’s olives, goat cheese and fresh bread with wine and beer to wash it down and a dessert of fresh yogurt and sweet fruit.  Following a relaxing meal sail back to the port as the sun starts to set, arriving back by around 5:30 PM. Even if you’ve never sailed before have a go at taking control of the boat with expert supervision for a roughly 30 nautical mile trip.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Chania Regional Unit

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What people are saying about Chania Regional Unit

Very well organised day out, but be warned, it’s a very long day! We left our hotel at 6am and didn’t return until 8pm. The trail is doable in good runners but much more enjoyable and comfortable in hiking boots. I would recommend bringing a sandwich and some snacks like nuts and bananas. Our bus stopped off at a cafe on the way to the trail head which sold sandwiches and snacks as well as coffee and orange juice. Tomas was very helpful and gave some great guidance on rest stops and suggested times which kept us on track. We are experienced hikers so we didn’t see Tomas again until we collected our ferry tickets in Agria Soumeli. We set off at around 7:45am and reached the beach at Agria Soumeli at 1:30pm. I would strongly recommend bringing a towel and togs as it was one of the best sea dips I’ve ever had! We did the hike at the end of October but I don’t know if I could have done it in July!

I visited the Samaria Gorge about a month ago and it turned out to be the highlight of my trip. The views were breathtaking, nothing like i have ever seen before. The route itself is totally doable and not as hard as it is written on the description. Also, shoutout to the very sweet Elena, who organised/guided us wonderfully through this trip :)

What a fab day! All very well organised, we saw some wonderful sea life whilst on the tour, the scenery was beautiful and all felt very seamless! Our guides were wonderful and everything was set up, ready to go! Really impressed, we had a lovely day!

It was a very nice trip. Also demanding. The use of walking sticks can be recommended. The boat trip in the Libyan Sea back to the bus was also fine. A long and good day.

It was a very good organization :-). Pick-up as well as the return journey by ferry worked everything TipTop.