Hiking the E4 trail on Crete

Hiking the E4 trail on Crete: Samaria gorge – Agia Roumeli – Boat – Sougia – Agia Irini gorge – Sougia – Lissos gorge – ancient city of Lissos – Paleochora – with extra hiking options at various locations on Crete, for example the Topolia gorge or Potamida Crete. Of course you can also have a relaxing day at the beach or explore the area. Besides the 4-day E4 walking trail, you can book an extra week at Zorbas Island in combination with hikes chosen from our extensive hiking menu.

Last update: 25.11.20: Hiking the E4 trail on Crete – Samaria gorge Greece – Sougia Crete – Agia Irini gorge Crete – Lissos gorge and ancient city of Lissos – Paleochora Crete Greece – follow the E4 walking path in Greece

An E4 hike on Crete of 4 days, including 3 overnight stays at various locations. The distance is about 48-55 kilometres. We will be dropped at the entrance of the Samaria gorge and go back via Paleochora. The last day you can also walk the Topolia gorge and visit Potamida (geological miracle on Crete).

Boats between Agia Roumeli and Sougia: When during an E4 walk a hiker due to circumstances is unable to continue hiking, we can order a taxi boat at many locations. Most of the locations on the way can only be reached on foot or by boat.

E4 hiking days on Crete: An overview of the E4 hikes from day to day with all the options on the way.

Hiking the E4 trail on Crete – Walking through the Samaria gorge on the first day

First hiking day E4 on Crete: Omalos – Samaria – Agia Roumeli – Sougia (about 18-20 kilometres): We start our hiking tour at Omalos Plateau, close to the Samaria gorge. We are nice and early at the Samaria gorge, so we can hike in peace through the gorge. The tour operators arrive a little bit later at the Samaria gorge. Samaria is one of the most beautiful gorges of Europe and also it is the deepest gorge to walk through. After a day hiking through the Samaria Gorge, we take the boat from Agia Roumeli to Sougia. We sail to Sougia to spend the night there. For dinner Sougia has nice taverns at the little boulevard.

Agia Roumeli: This is the final destination of the famous Samaria gorge. Most of the tourists take the boat from Agia Roumeli after finishing the Samaria gorge. In Agia Roumeli you can also have a look at the archaeological site. At the eastside of the river is the archaeological site “Tarra”. Tarra used to be centuries ago a village with its own currency. The coins had on one side a picture of a bee and on the other side a picture of a wild goat. You can still see interesting excavations from Tarra in the archaeological museum of Chania. Up from Agia Roumeli are two old Turkish fortresses, of which the first one is easy to visit. At the end of the Samaria gorge you see the old temple of Apollo Tharraeus.

The Samaria Gorge: The Samaria gorge is the most famous gorge of Crete. Every year many tourists walk through the Samaria gorge. The Samaria gorge is a National Park and only accessible from May till October. In winter the Samaria gorge has running water and is therefore not accessible for walkers. It is an impressive gorge with high cliffs on both sides of the gorge. The gorge hike starts at the Plateau of Omalos. The gorge is has a length of 18 kilometres in total and finishes in Agia Roumeli. You could stay here overnight or take the boat back to Paleochora.

Overnight stay in Sougia day 1 and 2: We spend 2 nights in Sougia, because the second day we will walk through the Agia Irini gorge. We stay overnight in nice small accommodations in Sougia, with at the boulevard several lovely restaurants. After arriving in Sougia you can enjoy a moment of relaxing on the beach or go for swimming and snorkelling. The next day we wake up early for our hike through the Agia Irini gorge.

Hiking the E4 trail on Crete – Agia Irini gorge on day two

Second hiking day Agia Irini gorge (about 14-17 kilometres): We eat breakfast on the way, because we leave early to the Agia Irini gorge. Coffee we bring along in our backpack! The Agia Irini gorge has an easier start compared to the Samaria gorge, you actually cannot compare the two. We start at the top of the Agia Irini gorge and walk back to Sougia. The Agia Irini gorge has stunning views and is breathtakingly beautiful. Along the riverbed we walk back to Sougia. In Sougia you will have time in the afternoon to go for swimming and snorkelling! We eat dinner in the evening in Sougia.

Agia Irini gorge on Crete: The Agia Irini gorge goes from the little village Agia Irini back to Sougia. It is a versatile gorge with gorgeous high rocks, pine trees, a riverbed with stones and impressive views. The Agia Irini gorge starts on an easy going path between large plane trees, cypresses and many flowers and herbs. The path goes gradually downwards in between high cliffs to the end of the gorge. On the way there are many resting places to enjoy the overwhelming nature. It is a very versatile gorge that through the riverbed brings you back to Sougia.

Information Agia Irini gorge on Crete: Total ascent 168 metres, total descent 732 metres. Max Pos. 1.7%, Max Neg. -20.8%.

Hiking the E4 trail on Crete – Hiking via Lissos gorge to Paleochora

Third hiking day Sougia – Lissos gorge and ancient city of Lissos – Paleochora (about 16-18 kilometres): After breakfast in Sougia we start walking to the little harbour of the Lissos gorge. A beautiful gorge with nice rock walks in different colours. After the gorge we walk up to the plateau, where we soon have a view to the ancient city of Lissos. The path must be more than 2.000 years old; the traces of the past are still visible. In Lissos we prepare ourselves a small lunch. Lissos is only accessible on foot or by boat. Below you find a little bit more archaeological information about Lissos.

After a good visit to the archaeological site of Lissos we continue our tour to Paleochora. First we will have to climb quite a bit. On the other side of the mountain we can see Paleochora in the far distance, but we still have to hike a few hours along the beautiful South coast of Crete. You see great stone formations on the left in the sea and to your right mountains and rocks. It is a great walking path to Paleochora. We stay overnight in Paleochora. Paleochora has many taverns and restaurants to go to for dinner.

Information Lissos – Paleochora E4 route: The walking path from Lissos goes immediately upwards. Here you have to be careful because of loose stones.

The average walking time is 6-8 hours and the hike is 16-18 kilometres. Total ascent 479 metres, total descent 478 metres, max pos. 18%, max neg. -23.0%.

Lissos: The archaeological site of Lissos: Lissos used to be an important city on Crete between the 4th century BC until the 7th and 9th century AC. Lissos was abandoned by its inhabitants after a heavy earthquake. When you come walking from the Lissos gorge, you get a good picture of how Lissos must have looked like centuries ago. There are still stone houses from the Roman era, where you can even walk around. These little stone houses are still intact. On the way to the beach are some archaeological sites, like a Roman cemetery and columns from Roman times. You can also visit the ancient temple of Asklipios, where people in earlier years used to come in large numbers because of the healing properties of the water. In the temple of Lissos they managed to preserve the mosaic floor. The Greek goddess Diktina was worshiped here.

Sougia walking: The area of Sougia is an ideal starting point for different walks. Around Sougia you can do many walking roundtrips. The Lissos gorge is also possible as a walking roundtrip.

Paleochora, Crete: A nice village in West Crete, with a great variety of accommodations. The village is situated on a small peninsula with on both sides the sea. The Westside of the village has the most beautiful sandy beaches. The village is a perfect base for many hikes. We give you an overview of the hikes that can be done in the area of Paleochora. In Paleochora you can buy boat tickets you need for some hikes on the E4, where you always walk back to Paleochora. Don’t be fooled by the distances! In the evening in Paleochora cars are not allowed to drive through, so it is lovely to stroll around here. Have also a look at the beautiful little church in the centre of Paleochora. You can even visit the fortress of Paleochora, which is located up from the village. This Venetian fortress is just up from the church in Paleochora and from there the views are amazing.

Hiking the E4 trail on Crete – Topolia gorge and Potamida

Fourth hiking day Paleochora – Topolia gorge Crete – visit to Potamida: After having breakfast in Paleochora we go to the Topolia gorge. The gorge of Topolia is a beautiful hike and we can even continue walking to Potamida. Potamida is a geological miracle: amazing sandstone creatures in wonderful conical shapes. After visiting Potamida we go back to the accommodation.

The Topolia gorge is a very green gorge, where the Tiflos River flows through. In the gorge you can see many flowers, herbs, plants and wild olive trees. The cliffs have a height of about 300 metres. Through the gorge we continue to Potamida. In Potamida we visit the geological miracle Kolomitha. In the middle of the nature you see impressive formations of sandstone in wonderful conical shapes. These sandstone formations are close to the houses of the village and the river Tiflos. Through the fields it is easy to climb onto the formations, it seems like you are standing on the moon!

E4 walking path on Crete information: Various options for multi-day hikes on Crete. Here you find more information.

01 Hiking the E4 path on Crete: Sfakia (Hora Sfakion) – Glyka Nera – Loutro – Phoenix – Aradena – Marmara – Agios Pavlos – Agia Roumeli – Imbros

03 Hiking of the E4 trail on Crete Sfakia – Samaria – Paleochora (Hora Sfakion) – Loutro – Phoenix – Aradena gorge – Marmara – Agia Roumeli – Samaria – Boat – Sougia – Lissos – Paleochora.

Multi walking days on Crete: When you are staying at our accommodation for 2 weeks, you can come hiking with us for a week. But even if you stay only for a week, you can still do some hikes with us and have also relaxing time. Have a look at our menu with all the possible walking tours!

Hiking menu Crete: A page with an overview of all the possible hikes for a day on Crete.

Accommodation on Crete for hikers: A page with an overview for walking holidays to Crete. Excursion information of Crete with accommodation for walkers on Crete.

Hiking the E4 trail on Crete