Mountains, caves, gorges, beaches, sea, forests, lakes: Crete has everything!
The gods were generous when this island was created indeed…for its size, Crete encompasses an extraordinary variety of landscapes, perfectly combines sea and mountains, and provides endless opportunities for sports and other outdoor activities. Plus, the weather is pleasant year-round and there are many things to see and do in every season. So, since you are here don’t spend another minute sitting on the comfortable chairs of your house or hotel… get out and squeeze this island to the last drop!
Ski in Crete? Yes, you heard right…!
If you come to Crete with your skiing equipment you will probably receive some puzzled looks. If somebody tells you that there is no ski stations here, inform them that the White Mountains (Lefka Ori) in Chania extend in an area 30km long and 25km wide, they have 25 summits, some over 2,000m and some just 38m, covered with snow until the last days of May. And it’s not just that. There are four mountain shelters that make these wild mountains more accessible and hospitable. There is also Psiloritis in Rethymnon, equally imposing and wild, while the trilogy of Cretan mountains completes with the mountains of Lassithi.
Hiking and canyoning
The three main mountain chains of Crete offer hundreds of trekking trails for all seasons. The European E4 path crosses Crete from its side to side and takes you to isolated exotic beaches where you can camp at nights. Crete also has many gorges for canyoning, many of which have running waters throughout the year. The southern parts of Heraklion and Lassithi prefectures have two of the best gorges in the country: the gorge of Ha and the gorge of Arvi.
Climbing, with ropes or without…
Don’t rush to leave the mountains because we haven’t mentioned the rocks and ravines yet…here too the architect of Crete was quite inspired! Starting from Chania, you will find breathtaking climbing routes almost in the city, while there are several organized climbing trails in different parts of the prefecture. If you are looking for something more extreme, you can test your skills in the vertical slope of mount Gigilos, 1km long.
Climbing trails for the brave are also found in the prefecture of Rethymnon, where there is also an organized and well-secured climbing area in Plakias. Heraklion also has its fair share, with the dramatic climbing trails of Agiofaraggo that attract many fans of the sport every year and year round. Plus, the beautiful beach at the gorge exit makes Agiofaraggo one of the best destinations for climbing vacation! And in case you despise climbing with ropes and you find it too complicated, you will soon realize that in Crete there are numerous rocks to climb and jump into refreshing waters!
Discover caves and chasms…
Are you a dark and mysterious person? We have something for you too! Crete is the queen of caves and chasms. Only in the region of Psiloritis there are over 50 chasms of great importance, while White Mountains (Lefka Ori) host the giants of chasms: the 1.208m deep chasm of Gorgouthakas and next to it the 1.110 deep chasm of Liontari. Apart from these vertical descents to the earth there are endless easily accessible caves that you can visit on your own.
Cycle through the island
If you are tired of mountains, holes and rocks, we have something more relaxing to propose to you. How about a pleasant bicycle ride through the calming Cretan nature? The prefecture of Chania, due to its morphology and the valley around the city, offers the ideal conditions for cycling. Easy and beautiful routes through abundant nature and streets without much traffic await you. Of Course, if you want a challenge, you can choose more difficult uphill routes. It is not a coincidence that in 2012 a world championship bicycle tour will cross the prefecture of Chania.
Are you still sitting on your chair?