Crete is the largest and most populated island in Greece. It is also Greece’s southernmost island, so enjoys almost year round warm weather, especially on the south coast. Dominated by mountain ranges that stretch from west to east, including the famous White Mountains, Crete also has plateaux, valleys, gorges and hidden coves to explore. The combination of these dramatic landscapes, the climate and the friendliness of the people make Crete a great place for a hiking holiday.
Historically the island was covered with paths joining towns and villages, but since the introduction of roads many are only used by shepherds and hikers. The island’s most famous walks are along the magnificent Samaria Gorge and to the summit of Mount Gingilos (2080 m), however there are many other enjoyable walks waiting to be discovered.
Crete also has a rich history. Part of the Minoan Civilization (approximately 2700 – 1420 BC) then under the Myceneans, Crete has also come under Roman, Byzantine, Arabic, Venetian and Ottoman rule. It then briefly held ‘state’ status before joining the Kingdom of Greece in 1913. Relics of this complex past lie scattered across the island as well as in the architecture of the towns. Crete also plays a unique part in ancient Greek mythology, and has its own distinctive music, dance and poetry.
Crete is a wonderful walking destination. With its dramatic landscapes, natural beauty, great climate and rich culture there is much to explore. There is also a warm welcome in the local tavernas en route.