The best way to explore Crete is to walk beyond the places reached by car, follow ancient paths, discover the exquisite scents of herbs in the canyons, climb on the tops of the highest mountains and enjoy the view of the deep blue Cretan and Libyan Sea on the horizon.
The E4 European Long Distance Path encompasses a large network of trails with special cultural, naturalistic and historical value. It is marked by the European Ramblers Association and crosses the island, from Kissamos to Zakros. Hikers have the opportunity to explore a wide range of landscapes of great diversity. Apart from the E4, there are plenty of options of majestic mapped routes.
Many travel agencies offer packages for trekking on the island and there are many hiking and mountaineering clubs. Important mountain races are also organized, such as the Psiloritis Race and the Marathon of Samaria.
A large part of the trails runs through areas which have been declared protected. The most famous of these is the National Reserve of the White Mountains (Lefka Ori), one of the seven reserves of Greece, which is home to Samaria Gorge. Other protected areas of outstanding natural beauty, such as areas labeled as Natura 2000, are the entire ranges of Dikti, Ida (Psiloritis), Kedros, Asterousia, Youchtas and Thripti, the peninsulas Gramvousa, Rodopos and Sidero, all the islands that surround the island and special sites like Lafonissi, Georgioupolis, Cape Lithino, the rocky coastline west of Rethymnon, etc.
The lovers of geo-tourism can discover new places, especially after the declaration of Psiloritis Range and Sitia mountains as Protected Geoparks.
TipNINE MOUNTAINEERING AND TREKKING CLUBS OPERATE IN CRETE, INDICATING THE LOVE OF LOCALS FOR CRETAN NATURE.