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Join us for a week of gastronomy and hiking in Western Crete. Naturally divided in the middle by the White Mountains, Western Crete is made up of two separate worlds, the North and the South. During the week you will get to experience both parts, learn to cook local and ancient recipes in the North and hike famous trails in the South.  The holiday includes cookery workshops, artisan food and gastronomy experiences in the North and guided walks to enjoy the remote and exciting South Crete, in the Sfakia region. You will get a chance to explore  the White Mountains, visit caves and observe the local wildlife. Follow parts of the European trail E4 and benefit from the unique legacy that the area provides.

Highlights include

  • Visits to artisan food producers
  • Sampling events with wine and good company
  • Cooking workshops
  • Hikes to caves, settlements and beaches
  • Walk through the gorge of Aradena
  • Boat trips to coastal settlements
  • On request we can arrange a boat trip to spend two days at Gavdos island ….the southernmost corner of Europe!

Hike, swim, cook and relax in Sfakia

Head through the While Mountains and you’ll reach the area of Sfakia in south western Crete. A handful of small coastal and mountainous villages  connected with winding roads. There is no coastal road as the cliffs are literally overhanging the sea and the Sfakia area remains peacefully isolated. You can reach the coastal settlements and magical beaches either through short boat rides or by hiking from one place to the next. Find out more about walking in the Sfakia area. The pace of our hikes can be physically demanding or relatively relaxed. Discuss with us beforehand and we’ll make it work for you!

Greek gastronomy

The holiday includes two hands-on cookery sessions based on Cretan cuisine, with traditional and age old recipes that go back to the Minoan times. You will get to know the cretan gastronomy at it’s best, taste ancient flavours and discover methods of food production that originate in ancient Greece.

Additionally, since most meals are included, on a daily basis,  will have the chance to try the authentic versions of several greek and Cretan dishes. All your meals have been specially selected and organized by us so that you can experience the real flavors of Greece with award wining produce. You will get introduced to the gastronomic heritage that holds the secrets to longevity.

Accommodation

While still in the north part of Western Crete you will get to stay in traditional cottages or luxury villas depending on your choice of accommodation. Both options represent top of the range choices.  Please get in touch with us to choose your accommodation depending on your group size. In the south our accommodation is located at the village of Agios Ioannis, right at the foothills of the White Mountains. Agios Ioannis is one of the smaller villages in Sfakia with only 15 inhabitants well hidden in the forest at an altitude of 800m. It is an ideal place for those who love nature and hiking.  You’ll stay in a comfortable new-build guest house with individual small houses, in a unique location in the forest.

Tour day by day

Day 1| Arrival in Chania

Pick up from the airport – or the city center of Chania. Transfer to your accommodation in Apokoronas, an area full of olive groves in the North coast of Crete. Small reception with drinks and meze and info on the schedule of the week. Free evening to explore the village and the nearby walks.

Meals: Snack |

Day 2| Bees Honey bees – Olive oil Soap

Cycle or walk to the local apiary. Learn about the local flora combinations and the types of honey produced in the area. We will sample honey and buy supplies for our cooking workshop (protective equipment will be provided). Option for car transfer is available. Al fresco lunch at the local “kafeneio” (café) or at the beekeepers garden with wine and raki, herbal tea and honey sweets. Olive oil soap workshop, learn to make your own handmade soap using olive oil.

Optional – Greek pie workshop. Evening free to spend as you like.

Meals: Breakfast | Lunch | Cycling or walking: 40 min| Difficulty: easy

Day 3| Cooking Workshop at the Olive Farm

Free morning to spend as you like.  Visit the Olive Farm at the village of Litsarda. Pick vegetables and join a cooking workshop. Enjoy your dinner under the olive trees.

Meals: Breakfast | Dinner| Cycling or walking: 40 min| Difficulty: easy

Day 4| Departing for South Crete

Depart for the region of Sfakia in South Crete. Enjoy the drive through the White Mountains and into Chora Sfakion. Visit the village and enjoy lunch or a coffee. Our base: Agios Ioannis a tiny village of literally 15 inhabitants hidden in the forest will be our base for the next 5 days. Dinner at the guesthouse.

Meals: Breakfast | Dinner|  

Day 5| The gorge of Aradena

Get a lift to Aradena bridge and start the hike through the gorge with a downhill trail. Those who do not wish to hike through the gorge may take a lift down to the village of Livaniana. You will for sure remember the drive to the village. From then on you can follow an easy trail ( for about 30 min) to Marmara beach where you will meet the rest of the team as soon as they reach the end of the gorge. Swim, take a rest and visit the local Taverna. Head back to Livaniana  and get a lift back to the village of Agios Ioannis Dinner at our guesthouse with local cheese and wine tastings.

Meals: Breakfast | | Dinner | Walking: 3hr hike through the gorge and 40 min each way from Livaniana to Marmara beach | Difficulty: moderate but can be adjusted to easy

Day 6|  The trail to the village of Loutro, sail to Agia Roumeli

Lift to Livaniana – follow a different trail to Lykos beach and on to the village of Loutro – an isolated village that can only be reached by boat or on foot. Then we will sail the southern coast of Crete to Agia Roumeli, the coastal entrance to the longest gorge of Crete. Swim, explore the entrance to the gorge, get something to eat or buy some honey! Take the boat back to Loutro, hike to the village of Livaniana and get a lift back to Agios Ioannis Depending on our arrival time we will have a freshly cooked dinner either on the beach of Lykos or back in our guest house.

Meals: Breakfast | Dinner | Walking: 3hr hike through the gorge and 40 min each way from Livaniana to Loutro | Difficulty: easy

Day 7| Mountain Hike

During the last day we will follow a trail to a cave up in the White Mountains. All the way through a dense forest we will reach a plateu and admire the views of the Libyan Sea before we reach the cave. Cooking workshop and dinner with a traditional BBQ.

Meals: Breakfast | Light lunch | Dinner | Walking: 1 hour each way | Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Day 8 | Departure

Breakfast and Departure for the airport or the city center of Chania depending on further travelling arrangements.

Meals: Breakfast |

Artisan food in the North, Hiking in the South

  • Region: Sfakia, South Crete
  • Destination: Crete
  • Duration: 8 days / 7 nights
  • Activities: cooking, hiking, swimming, visiting local food producers
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Price per person: Get in touch and we will give you a quote depending on your preferences and exact requirements. Children receive up to a 30% discount.
  • Optional single supplement: from € 300

Holiday dates

  • 2017 |10 May – 17 May (S1)
  • 2017 |19 Oct – 26 Oct (S2)

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Accommodation Photos

Included
  • Accommodation in a traditional guest house
  • Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner most days
  • Carefully selected top quality traditional meals
  • All transfers to and from excursions
  • All workshops and activities fees
  • Cheese, wine and honey tasting sessions
  • Visits to artisan producers and any entrance fees
On Request
  • Single rooms
  • Meals for specific allergies
  • Bicycles and bike equipment
  • Car rental although we encourage biking
  • Private driver
  • Specific dietary needs at your accommodation
  • Extension of visit in Crete
  • A visit to the island of Gavdos and arrangements there
Itinerary Disclaimer

From time to time our itineraries may be amended, either for operational reasons or in response to feedback from customers. Please ensure you have read the latest Trip Notes before booking or travelling on your tour. Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route.

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