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Classic & Undiscovered Crete

Crete Guided Walking Holiday

Greece - Crete - Samaria Gorge - AdobeStock_62146189.jpeg
Duration: 7 nights
Type: European Centre Based
Walking Grade: 2 & 3
from £1,049pp £974pp without flights FLIGHTS AVAILABLE

Crete is the largest island in Greece; the west of the island is the perfect location for a walking holiday with a classic Mediterranean feel. The island has an immensely varied landscape from sun-kissed beaches and dramatic gorges to rolling olive-tree covered hills and the snow-capped White Mountains. Walks on the island include following winding trails through olive groves and along the stunning coast to look out at the azure blue sea. There’s the option to feel truly dwarfed by the enormity of the impressive Samaria Gorge or to enjoy an easier option in the Imbros Gorge. One of the delights of walking in Greece is stopping at a shady taverna or two for refreshments; settle down for a glass or two of home-made lemonade and perhaps a platter of freshly made mezze.

Holiday Highlights

  • Complete the dramatic Samaria Gorge walk, 16km long and full of spectacular scenery in the middle of Samaria National Park
  • Beautiful foothills, stunning coastline and Minoan heritage will captivate walkers 
  • Enjoy our luxurious former olive press hotel nestled in a peaceful hamlet near Kolimbari
  • Join in with Cretan Dancers during an evening demonstration
  • Visit the Venetian city of Chania on your free day

What’s included

  • A full programme of guided walks with 2 options every walking day
  • All transport to and from the walks
  • The services of experienced HF Holidays' leaders
  • "With flight" holidays include return flights from the UK and hotel transfers
  • 7 nights accommodation in en-suite rooms
  • Half board - continental breakfast and evening meal

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDF’s for each holiday, please click the button below to find the right trip notes for your departure date.

On our Guided Walking holidays, we believe that choice is key. Our walks descriptions will help you choose according to your interests and fitness. The walks are grouped together with care by local experts to give the best experience. While every effort will be made to adhere to the described itinerary, we may occasionally vary the sequence shown here or substitute an alternative route to suit local conditions or for other operational reasons, potentially at short notice.

Welcome to Hotel Spilia Village. Unpack and settle in.

Today both groups will visit Rodopos village with its narrow streets, stone houses and beautiful churches.

Option 1 - Rodopos

Distance: 6 miles (10km)

Total ascent: 300 feet (90m)

In summary: A short journey to a splendid viewpoint and then our walk starts via olive groves to Rodopos village. Quiet tracks take us back to Kolimbari and a chance to visit the monastery or beach before a taxi ride back to the hotel.

Highlight: The Gonias Monastery and museum, one of the best preserved monasteries on Crete.

Option 2 - Rodopos Peninsula

Distance: 8 miles (13km)

Total ascent: 1,400 feet (420m)

In summary: A short journey to the lovely village of Rodopos where we will make our way along old goat paths and quiet dirt tracks through this rocky spine of Rodopos Peninsula to our hotel.

Highlight: Mountain goat spotting, spy them scrambling over the rough, rocky terrain.

Our coach follows the coast road west from Kolimbari towards Kissamos and then drives inland to the rural interior of the island.

Option 1 - Sirikari Gorge & Polyrinia

Distance: 4 miles (6½km) 

Total ascent: 300 feet (90m)

Total descent: 1,200 feet (360m) 

In summary: Our walk descends steeply into the deep gorge of Sirikari. At the bottom we pass abandoned dwellings on a rocky path that goes beneath high cliffs, home to eagles and vultures. At the end of the gorge we ascend to the ancient village of Polyrinia where there is time to explore before meeting our coach.

Highlight: Sitting amongst the flowers on the terrace of the unique little teashop in Polyrinia and eating a freshly-baked cake – yum!

Option 2 - Sirikari Gorge, Polyrinia & Kissamou

Distance: 8 miles (13km)

Total ascent: 500 feet (150m) 

Total descent: 2,000 feet (600m)

In summary: We follow the route of the easier group as far as Polyrinia. From here we continue along a wide open ridge with great views to reach the coast at the town of Kissamos.

Highlight: Stunning views of the turquoise Gulf of Kissamos and beyond to the Aegean Sea. When you reach it, take the chance to dip in a toe, or more, with a swim.

Today we offer a choice of the famous Samaria Gorge or the very attractive but shorter Imbros Gorge.

Option 1 - The Imbros Gorge

Distance: 4½ miles (7km)

Total ascent: no ascent

Total descent: 2,000 feet (600m) 

In summary: We drive to the little village of Imbros, high in the White Mountains. From here we head down the lovely, narrow Imbros Gorge which is usually very peaceful. Leaving the gorge we are met by our coach to make the short journey into the quaint little town of Chorio Sfakion, the capital of the region. As well as cafés and restaurants there is a pretty town beach and an opportunity to take the ferry to the remarkable resort of Loutro.

Highlight: Relax with a boat ride to the delightful resort of Loutro, a pretty blue and white village only accessible by boat.

Option 2 - The Samaria Gorge

Distance: 10 miles (16km)

Total ascent: 100 feet (30m) 

Total descent: 4,000 feet (1,200m)

In summary: An early start takes us to the top of the Samaria Gorge, high up in the White Mountains with dramatic scenery. This stunning gorge is 10 miles long and descends from the Omalos Plateau to the sea at Aghia Roumeli. We follow a good but rough trail with rest stations, water and basic toilet facilities. We should arrive at the bottom with time to enjoy a drink or a swim in the Libyan Sea before taking the afternoon ferry to Chorio Sfakion. 

In April and late October or at times of poor weather the Samaria gorge is closed. In this situation alternative walks will be substituted.

Highlight: The most famous part of the gorge is the stretch known as ‘the Gates’, where the sides close in to a narrow passage and soar up to a height of 980ft (300m). 

Each week there is a free day when no guided walks are offered. This is an ideal opportunity to relax around the hotel, walk independently or visit local places of interest. The more popular options for your free day include:

Chania: Many guests take the opportunity to visit the delightful Venetian city of Chania. The old town is a maze of narrow streets lined with shops, bars and restaurants. The centrepiece of the city is the main harbour, from where there are regular boat trips available. The cafés that line the harbour side are attractive places to have lunch and watch the world go by. Other interesting sights include the Venetian defences and the indoor market – a hive of bustle and activity with lots of local produce.

Spilia Village: For a relaxing day you may prefer to spend time around the hotel and pool or perhaps a stroll in the olive groves or to ancient local churches.

The mosque at Chania port, Crete, Greece

Both walks visit the mountain village of Milia. This ancient village was abandoned in 1948 and then rebuilt using the traditional materials of timber and stone in the 1990s. As much of the original village as possible was preserved or recreated and the nearby gorge was reforested. It is now used as a mountain retreat and enjoys wonderful views of the surrounding forested slopes. 

Option 1 - Milia & Topolia

Distance: 7 miles (11km) 

Total ascent: 1,200 feet (360m)

In summary: We ascend steadily to Milia accompanied by great views. Here we may have the opportunity to enjoy lunch in a taverna before taking quiet tracks and lanes to Topolia.

Highlight: Stop at the taverna in Milia for refreshing home-made lemonade, or perhaps lunch, and soak up the magnificent view.

Option 2 - High Country around Milia

Distance: 9 miles (14½km) 

Total ascent: 2,200 feet (660m) 

In summary: We too start the day with a steady ascent to a pretty viewpoint above Milia. After a short refreshment we will continue to ascend through beautiful wild country to a wonderful plateau for lunch before making our way on good paths and quiet roads to Topolia to join the easier group.  

Highlight: Enjoy the feeling of serenity as you explore this wild and beautiful area of Crete.

Enjoy dramatic mountain views and a traditional taverna lunch.

Option 1 - Snowy Mountain Villages

Distance: 6 miles (9½km)

Total ascent: 500 feet (150m) 

Total descent: 1,200 feet (360m) 

In summary: From the historic village of Theriso we walk up to Zourva using a valley path or a quiet road with dramatic views of mountain villages in the distance. There will be an opportunity for a typical Greek meze-style lunch in Amelia’s tavern before turning down into a wooded valley and walking through orange trees into Meskla and a shady taverna.

Highlight: Visit historic Theriso.

Option 2 - White Mountain Approaches

Distance: 7 miles (11km)

Total ascent: 800 feet (240m) 

Total descent: 1,500 feet (450m)

In summary: From Theriso we follow shepherd’s tracks further up into the White Mountains. We will need to take care on a short rocky descent that takes us around the head of the valley before walking briskly to Zourva where we join the easier group for lunch and the walk down to Meskla including a pretty little gorge.

Highlight: Both walks can linger over a typical Greek meze-style lunch with a view in the acclaimed Amelia’s tavern – a great way to celebrate the holiday.

We hope to see you again soon.

Crete Itinerary Map

Spilia Village - Crete

Spilia Village is a luxury 4-star hotel situated in a peaceful location, nestled into the landscape surrounded by citrus orchards and olive groves and just 3km inland from the village of Kolimbari. This family-owned hotel has been lovingly restored in a traditional way using local stone and wood. The main building of the hotel was formerly a factory and then an olive oil processing plant. Today the original millstones of the plant are on display in reception. There is an outdoor pool and indoor pool, steam bath, sauna and gym and free Wi-Fi throughout.  NB Please note that unfortunately that the wellness area will remain closed for 2022. 


Spilia Village has 30 comfortable en-suite rooms. All have free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, direct dial phones, two channel radio, satellite TV, mini bar, safe deposit box, laundry service, and hairdryer.

In common with most European hotels, tea and coffee making facilities are not available in the bedrooms; however hot drinks can be purchased from the bar/café. Twin rooms comprise one double bed and a day bed/sofa bed. 


Spilia Village has two swimming pools: an indoor and and outdoor pool in a garden setting.

There is a pool bar, open during the daytime.

The hotel has its own gym, sauna and hammam.

Internet access and Wi-Fi are free of charge.

Food & Drink

Our holidays at Spilia Village are on a Half Board basis and include breakfast and evening meal.


A self-service buffet is available each morning including a wide range of options.

Lunch (payable locally)

Ingredients for your picnic lunch can be bought from the local shops. On some walks it will be possible to eat in a local tavern; your leaders will advise. The hotel can also provide a packed lunch which can be added to your bill.

Evening meal

Dinner is served in the traditional Taverna "Halara" (a structure dating from the Venetian period). The Taverna serves local style cuisine with ingredients sourced from local farms and villages. Jugs of tap water, tea and coffee are served with the evening meal.


The hotel has a well-stocked bar serving beer, wine and spirits.

Your Evenings

The friendly atmosphere of our Guided Walking holidays continues into the evening.

We’ll enjoy a leisurely meal and then you may also like to join your leader for an evening stroll, listen to local musicians, relax with a book in a quiet lounge or linger after dinner with a drink purchased from Reception.

One evening there is an opportunity to learn about local olive oil and honey and its products.

Spilia Village - _MIL4761.jpg

Getting to Spilia Village - Crete

Find out more about this location including travel details and room types.

More Information

Essential Information

Passport Requirements

You may need to renew your British passport if you’re travelling from 1 January 2021.

On the day you travel, you’ll need your passport to both:

  • have at least 6 months left
  • be less than 10 years old (even if it has 6 months or more left)

Use the government website to see if your passport is valid for this holiday

EHIC cards

The UK government has officially launched the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), which will replace the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). UK residents can now apply for one of the GHIC cards, which will gradually replace the EHIC cards as they reach their expiry dates. Every family member travelling requires a GHIC. You can make an application for yourself and on behalf of your partner and any dependent children under the age of 16. Both cards will offer equivalent protection for emergency and medically necessary healthcare needs when in the EU on a temporary stay, which includes holiday, study and business travel. Necessary healthcare includes things like

• emergency treatment and visits to A&E
• treatment for long-term or pre-existing medical conditions
• routine medical care for pre-existing conditions that need monitoring
• oxygen and kidney dialysis

The public only need to apply for their free GHIC cards when their current EHIC expires. The process is likely to take two weeks. For more information visit

The GHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance. We advise all holidaymakers to also invest in travel insurance that covers healthcare, so they are covered for other issues that may arise, as well as cancellations and lost luggage.

Essential Equipment

To enjoy walking/hiking comfortably and safely, footwear, clothing and equipment needs to be suitable for the conditions. Safety and comfort are our priorities, so our advice is to come prepared for all eventualities.

  • Footwear with a good grip on the sole (e.g.Vibram sole) is the key to avoiding accidents.
  • Walking/hiking boots providing ankle support and good grip are recommended (ideally worn in), and specialist walking socks to avoid blisters.
  • Several layers of clothing, which can be added or removed, are better than a single layer (include spares).
  • Fabrics (lightweight and fast drying) designed for the outdoors are recommended.
  • Waterproof jacket and waterproof over trousers.
  • Warm hat and gloves. 
  • Denim jeans and capes are not suitable on any walks.
  • Rucksack with a waterproof liner.
  • Thermos flask for hot drink.
  • Water bottle (at least 2 litre).
  • Spare high-energy food such as a chocolate bar.
  • Small torch.
  • First aid kit – your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication or blister kits (such as Compeed).
  • Sun hat and sunglasses
  • Sun cream.

Optional Equipment

  • Walking poles are useful, particularly for descents.
  • Insect repellent.
  • Camera.
  • Gaiters.

Guest Reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Prices are subject to change.
Prices based on two people sharing. Supplements may apply.
Non-member fee: £30 per person.

These departure dates can be booked with flights or as land only holiday options. All packages that include flights are ATOL protected. Advertised flight prices are based on UK flights departing from London. Regional departures and/or connections to London, if available, can be requested. Cabin upgrades may also be available on request.

Date (Start - End) Nights Itinerary Price Status Trip Notes Book
14 May - 21 May 2022
7 Itinerary £1,319 Unavailable to Book Unavailable Trip Notes
21 May - 28 May 2022
7 Itinerary £1,319 Unavailable to Book Unavailable Trip Notes
10 Sep - 17 Sep 2022
7 Itinerary £1,319 Trip Notes Book Now
17 Sep - 24 Sep 2022
7 Itinerary £1,319 £1,244 Save £75 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
24 Sep - 01 Oct 2022
7 Itinerary £1,319 Trip Notes Book Now
Date (Start - End) Nights Itinerary Price Status Trip Notes Book
14 May - 21 May 2022
7 Itinerary £1,049 Unavailable to Book Unavailable Trip Notes
21 May - 28 May 2022
7 Itinerary £1,049 Unavailable to Book Unavailable Trip Notes
10 Sep - 17 Sep 2022
7 Itinerary £1,049 Trip Notes Book Now
17 Sep - 24 Sep 2022
7 Itinerary £1,049 £974 Save £75 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
24 Sep - 01 Oct 2022
7 Itinerary £1,049 Trip Notes Book Now

Important Information

  • Single room: From £231 (complete holiday)
  • With flight holidays: Flights from London Heathrow to Chania included
  • Regional connecting flights available on request from £139pp
  • Our airport taxi service operates at this resort – price per taxi: £60 one way.
  • Independent travellers can join our transfer from Chania Airport: £15.50pp one way
7 nights
European Centre Based
Walking Grade:

7 nights from £1,049pp £974pp
without flights

Europe: Save up to £140 pp

...or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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