Crete & Santorini on your own

Crete Greece: (ZZ-GRC-Hike04S)
URL: http://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/outdoor_hike_greece_Crete_Santorini_sg.aspx

Introduction
Crete Greece
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. 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. Relax in the charming village of Loutro by refreshing yourselves in the azure blue waters of Marmara beach before return to 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.

Accomodation

Please note: In case of overbooking of the below mentioned Hotels on the requested dates, similar ones on the same area will be used.
The hotels that we normally use are as follows:

Chania – Arkadi Hotel
Arkadi Hotel is only 200 meters away from the walls of the old town and the Venetian harbor of Chania. It offers Cretan hospitality, air-conditioned and 64 soundproof rooms (single, double/twin and triple). The guest rooms are spacious, sunny, and fitted with classical furniture. Each has private bathrooms, and a balcony, most of which overlook the city of Chania and its historic harbor.
Wifi is available in public areas and is free of charge.
There is the possibility to do laundry for a small fee.

Sougia –Aretousa Studios & Rooms (option 1)
Aretousa is located near the entrance of the village 200 m from the beach of Sougia. It has 10 spacious studios & rooms for 2-3 people. The rooms are available with twin beds, or a double bed and a single bed and all have ensuite bathrooms.All of the rooms have fully equipped kitchen, air conditioning, private balcony, bathroom, satellite TV, safe deposit box and free Wireless Internet.
The staff is known for their kind manner and is always willing to help you and ensure you have a pleasant stay.

Sougia –Santa Irene Hotel (option 2)
The hotel consists of 15 comfortable studios and apartments (double/twin and triple rooms). Both types of rooms have kitchenette with all the necessary cooking facilities, fridge, kettle, telephone, A/C, hair dryer, satellite TV, safe box and bathroom with hot and cold water. Free Wi-Fi internet access in all areas is provided. Room cleaning is provided daily.
Santa Irene has been completely renewed in 2016 with new furniture, in order to create a comfortable, pleasant and homelike atmosphere. Our hotel which is built in traditional style has also a sea-side cafe where you can have breakfast or light meals.

Loutro – Blue House 
BlueHouse is renovated over the old family home of the Androulakakis family which existed before 1834 in Loutro. The rented rooms have been operating since 1980 and then. All 15 rooms have a fridge, kettle, A/C, hair dryer, TV and a safe box. All room types (double, triple and quadruple) also offer a private bathroom.
Wifi is available and is free of charge.

Heraklion – Marin Dream Hotel
The completely renovated hotel is ready to accommodate all visitors and guests. The Marin Dream Hotel in Heraklion City is only steps away from the cruise lines and the vibrant city center of Heraklion. The magnificent view of the harbor and the famous fortress of Koule will impress you. The simple line of the rooms, the tasteful decoration and the well looked after wooden floors give a warm and friendly feeling.
All 44 rooms (single, double and triple) have their private bathroom, free Internet access, Individual A/C, Satellite TV with music channels, Mini Bar, Radio Channel and an Electronic Safe Box.
In addition, guests have the opportunity to enjoy the comforts of the room like balcony, direct dial-phone, fully sound-proofing doors as well as a marbled bathroom, second phone (in bath), shower cabin, hair dryer and extra guest amenities.

Santorini – Costa Marina guesthouse (option 1)
Costa Marina Villa is a guesthouse located 250 meters (5-10 minutes walking distance) from the central square of Fira, the capital of Santorini. Great emphasis has been placed on the traditional island architecture & furnishings while at the same time, all modern facilities ensure a comfortable stay.
Costa Marina offers 20 standard rooms (single, double/twin, triple and quadruple). Fifteen of them have a balcony or patio with view to our garden and the rest have inner garden-view windows. The rooms allinclude free WiFi internet access, private bathroom, hairdryer, air-conditioning, TV, fridge and an electric kettle.

Santorini – New Haroula Hotel (option 2)
Centrally located in Fira, just yards from the main square and the Caldera side, the traditionally built New Haroula features an outdoor pool and a poolside bar surrounded by a garden with bougainvilleas.
The 45 air-conditioned rooms at New Haroula are equipped with a fridge, satellite TV and free WiFi. Each room (double/twin and triple) includes a private bathroom with hairdryer and free toiletries. All units have a balcony and most overlook the gardens and pool.
The property has a traditionally decorated lounge area with a bar, while guests can also relax in the flowered garden and enjoy a coffee, a drink or a local spirit from the pool bar.

Riding

Activity Level: Grade A/B. The hikes offer easy treks with a maximum of 6 hours walk (Samaria gorge). No previous experience is needed.

Itinerary

Sample itinerary - Subject to changes

Transport:
You travel either by taxi or by our own rented air-conditioned mini-bus, which leaves you to walk and continues, with your baggage, to the next place where you will stay for the night.

Day 1: Arrive in Chania
Arrive in Chania. Explore the old “Venetian stile” city of Chania with its picturesque harbor. Overnight in Chania

Day 2: Walk through Agia Irini gorge
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the entrance of Agia Irini gorge, for your first hike. Ag.Irini gorge provides a nice and quiet path next to a stream, full of pines and chestnut trees. 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
Distance: 7.5 km / approx. 4 hours

Day 3: Walk to the ancient town of Lissos
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
Distance: 7 km / approx. 3 hours

Day 4: Walk through Samaria gorge
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 taking the ferry to the charming village of Loutro. Overnight in Loutro
Distance: 16 km / approx. 6 hours

Day 5: Relaxing day – Optional hikes
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 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: Transfer to Heraklion – Visit Knossos Palace and the Archaeological Museum
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: Boat to Santorini
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 can visit the prehistoric settlement of Akrotiri which was destroyed in the Theran eruption about 1627 BCE and buried in volcanic ash, which preserved the remains of fine Frescoes and many objects and artworks. The settlement has been suggested as a possible inspiration for Plato's story of Atlantis. Overnight in Santorini

Day 8: Walk from Fira to Ia
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 your 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
Distance: 10.5 km / approx. 3-4 hours

Day 9: Explore the volcano and the hot springs
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. (20 min walk) Overnight in Santorini

Day 10: End of Services
This is the end of our trip. You may explore the city of Fira.

Please bear in mind that the itinerary can be altered for numerous reasons beyond our control (e.g. harsh weather, trail conditions) to ensure the safety and the well being of the travelers.


Rates and Dates for Crete & Santorini on your own

Rates include:

All accommodation with breakfasts (9 nights in double rooms), boat ticket to Santorini, land transport throughout the trip in Crete, English hiking description, maps and information, baggage transport, personal accident insurance, VAT.

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionEUR ~US$
    A
    201910 day trip (high)€1280$1535
    • Single supplement€290$350
      Group discount (4-8 pax)(€30)($35)
  • B
    201910 day trip (low)€1180$1415
    • Single supplement€255$305
      Group discount (4-8 pax)(€20)($25)
  • C
    201910 day trip (mid) -- please inquire€1290$0
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 1.2

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy


Season Seasons  Min / MaxReserve
B 2019 05/01 - 06/30 10d / 9n 10 day trip (low) 2 /8 Reserve
C 2019 07/01 - 08/31 10d / 9n 10 day trip (mid) -- please ... 2 /8 Reserve
A 2019 09/01 - 09/30 10d / 9n 10 day trip (high) 2 /8 Reserve
B 2019 10/01 - 10/31 10d / 9n 10 day trip (low) 2 /8 Reserve

Dates Note: Available from May to October with 2+ participants.

Rates do not include:

Air tickets to Crete and from Santorini, lunches and dinners, transfers to Santorini airport, entrance fees in Samaria National park, entrance fees in Agia Irini gorge, transport throughout the trip in Santorini island, boat ticket to Loutro, boat ticket to Nea Kameni (day 9), alcoholic beverages and soft drinks, personal expenses, overnight stay tax (to be paid at hotels), entrance fees in Museums, and other sites of interest that are not included in the itinerary (i.e. monasteries, caves, etc)

Other Info
Meeting: Chania
Airport: Chania
Transfer: Chania Hotel

Climate:
                                            Santorini area


Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

57

57

60

65

72

80

84

84

79

72

65

59

Average Low Temperature (°F)

49

49

51

55

61

69

73

73

69

63

57

52

Average High Temperature (°C)

14

14

15

18

22

27

29

29

26

22

18

15

Average Low Temperature (°C)

10

10

11

13

16

20

23

23

20

17

14

11

Source: NOAA


Seasons
Greece enjoys mild winters and very hot, dry summers cooled by seasonal breezes known as 'meltemia'. Winter is the wettest season and rain is unlikely between June and August.

Santorini is part of the Cyclades Island group, where the climate lends itself to hot, dry weather in summer and mild winters. Temperatures in July and August range from 86ºF (30ºC) during the day to 72ºF (22ºC) at night. Rainfall is almost non-existent in summer but showers can be expected between October and April.

What To Bring:
Daypack (approx.20-35lt), trekking shoes, sport shoes, water proof jacket, water bottle, hat, sun cream, sun glasses, swimming suit, casual clothing.