Discover two of the most famous Mediterranean Islands
This 10-day trip starts from Crete, Greece's largest island with mythical mountains, deep gorges and a unique history dating back to the 4000 year old Minoan civilization, to continue to the jewel of Cyclades islands, the spectacular Santorini, with its whitewashed cubist-shaped houses, the dramatic volcano and the breathtaking views of what once originated the legend of Atlantis.
Starting from Chania with its picturesque Venetian port, you will explore the southwest coast of Crete.
Depart for the village of Agia Irini and enjoy a picnic lunch in its quite gorge before emerging at the crystal clear waters of Mediterranean Sea. Follow ancient paths to reach the second Roman city in Crete, visiting the temple of God Asklipios and exploring the ruins from Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine period.
Europe's longest gorge, the awesome Samaria gorge, offers one of the most rewarding walks through a spectacular botanic garden with plants, birds and animals that exist only here.
Relax in the charming village of Loutro by refreshing yourselves in the azure blue waters of Marmara beach before return back to "civilization" in Crete's capital - Heraklion, to visit the magnificent archaeological area of Knossos with its famous Minoan city and palace dating from 1450 BC.
The "grand finale" of this unforgettable holiday is the spectacular island of Santorini.
Walk through small-whitewashed houses on the narrow winding alleys, to discover the Fira, Imerovigli and the famous for its sunset village of Ia.
Trek on the comfortable path on the edge of Caldera's ochre cliff, enjoy the spectacular view of the islands Nea Kameni, Palea Kameni and Thirasia, swim in the hot springs and explore the still active volcano of Nea kameni!
Crete and Santorini Self-Guided Walking Tour - Itinerary
Highlights include: Samaria gorge (longest in Europe) Agia Irini gorge and Aradena gorge, the ancient city Lissos (Ruins from Hellenistic, Roman Byzantine period), crystal-clear beaches to swim, coastal walks, picturesque fishing villages and the spectacular island of Santorini, the jewel of Cyclades, with its volcano and the small- whitewashed houses.
DAY 1: Arrive in Chania. Explore the old "Venetian style" city of Chania with its picturesque harbor. (Overnight in Chania)
DAY 2 (4-5hrs walk): After breakfast you depart to the village of Agia Irini in Chania area and you walk through Agia Irini gorge to Sougia. This gorge provides a nice and quiet path next to a stream. Sougia is a beautiful village on the southern coast of Crete where you will have the opportunity to enjoy a swim in the crystal-clear waters of Mediterranean Sea. (Overnight in Sougia)
DAY 3 (3hrs walk): Cultural walk through the beautiful gorge of Selinou, thick with brilliant pink oleanders and carob trees, to the ancient city of Lissos. Lissos was an important center of hydrotherapy in ancient years, which flourished in the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine era. Here you will visit a well-preserved temple with mosaic floor dedicated to the God of medicine Asklipios and you will have much to admire by making a small loop around the city. Refresh yourselves in the cove and return to Sougia. (Overnight in Sougia)
DAY 4 (6 hrs walk): You will be transferred to Omalos plateau, the starting point of Samaria gorge. Samaria is the largest gorge in Europe and one of the most beautiful that nature can provide. The walk is on a good path in shady pine forest and beside a melodic stream. You reach the small village of Agia Roumeli, where you can relax and enjoy a swim before take the ferry to the charming village of Loutro. (Overnight in Loutro)
DAY 5: Relaxing day to spending it either in Loutro or in the crystal waters of "Marmara" beach. For the people that wish to walk, an optional guided walk is available. Either they will follow the ancient path until Anopolis village, a historic area from where the revolution against the Turks began in 1866, and return back to Loutro (2½ hrs walk) or they can extend the hike to cross Aradena gorge (very beautiful and slightly more difficult than the previous gorges). In the way back to Loutro they can swim in the crystal waters of "Marmara" beach. (Overnight in Loutro)
DAY 6: 15 minutes boat-ride will take you from Loutro to Hora Sfakion from where will be transferred to Heraklion. In the afternoon will visit Knossos, the magnificent archaeological area holding remains of a Minoan city that thrived 3500 years ago and the famous palace dated 1700-1450 B.C. (Overnight in Heraklion)
DAY 7: Today you will ride the ferry all the way to Santorini island. Santorini, the most beautiful of the Greek islands, with its stark, white, cubist-shaped houses perch atop ochre cliffs, with endless stretches of beach with sand or shingle and its dramatic volcano surrounded by the Aegean Sea, compose the jewel of Cyclades. In the afternoon you will have the chance to participate in an optional hike to ancient Thira and to the monastery of Profitis Ilias, the highest point of the island. (Overnight in Santorini)
DAY 8 (3-4 hrs walk): Starting from Fira, the capital of the island, will initially walk through the small-whitewashed houses on the narrow winding alleys, to Imerovigli. You will continue on a path till Ia having on our left-hand side the breathtaking view of the islands of Nea Kameni (with the volcano in the middle) the island of Palea Kameni and the island of Thirasia. (Overnight in Santorini)
DAY 9 (20 min walk): Today will embark on a sailing boat to go to the island of Nea Kameni. Explore the volcano of Nea Kameni and enjoy the breathtaking views of what once originated the legend of Atlantis. Our boat trip will continue to Palea Kameni, where we will swim at the hot springs and visit the island of Thirasia. (Overnight in Santorini)
DAY 10: This is the end of the trip. You may explore the city of Fira.
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