Posts tagged Crete
Early Spring Hiking & Camping Solo in Southern Europe: Your Complete Packing List

Is hiking in one of the countries of southern Europe on your mind? Early Spring is a fantastic time to do it! Escape the colds and snow of northern Europe and hit the Portuguese, Spanish or Cretan trails in February or March! The weather can be tricky though - with this packing list you will be prepared and safe :)

Whenever it gets uncomfortably cold around, I try to make my escape into the warmer regions of Europe. Over the past years, I’ve solo hiked (and camped) in southern Spain (Catalonia), on the Greek island of Crete, and in southern Portugal (Algarve). Instead of complaining about dreadful freezing air or melting snowpocalypse, I could enjoy an early spring not that far away from home.

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Female & Solo Hiking on Crete: Days 17 & 18 | Archanes - Myrtia - Kasteli

Ahead of me were the two last days of solo hiking through Crete. After well over 200 km, I was tired but still in love with the Cretan nature. This section of E-4 trail takes one through the rural areas of central Crete, crossing olive groves, vineyards, small villages, and occasional small town. The trail became much less wild and much more paved. 

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Female & Solo on Crete: Days 15-16 | Ano Asites - Profiti Ilias - Archanes

I started the day in a very comfortable bed at the Iraklio Hotel. After a proper shower and delicious breakfast (they even had gluten-free bread!), I moved towards the bus station (on the other side of the town) to catch a bus to Ano Asites.

When I got there, I was told I was on the wrong bus station. See, there are two of them in Iraklio – the “A” for long-distance buses and the “B” for local ones. I had to get a city bus to reach the other bus station… which was just steps from my hotel. Oh, well. I was glad I made it to the bus – at the last minute!

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Female & Solo Hiking on Crete: Days 9-12 Agia Roumeli - Chora Sfakion - Rodakino - Plakias

After a very nice rest day in Agia Roumeli, I was ready to move on along the E4 trail. The forecast didn’t sound good - I was getting ready for a rainy hiking. The hotel’s owner said it would be raining only in the mountains – and he was right!

At first, the trail took me to Agios Pavlos along the coast. This Byzantine chapel was a stunning shape against the raw view. Throughout my Cretan hiking, I loved seeing the tiny chapels, dotting the landscape in most surprising places.

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Female & Solo Hiking on Crete: Days 7 & 8 Sougia - Domata - Agia Roumeli

This part of my Cretan hiking was described by the very helpful site Destination Crete as „One of Crete's most tiring and difficult routes”. Their description of the hike from Paleochora to Sougia was dead on with “the most beautiful hike on Crete” so I was really nervous about that part.

On the map it does not look all that bad. There are no high mountains, you go along the coast and there is a bit of up and down. Well, nothing unusual for a hiking trail, right? And yet…

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Female & Solo Hiking on Crete: Day 6 & 7 Paleochora - Lissos - Sougia

The trek from Paleochora to Lissos was one of many on my long-term hiking trip but it is also the perfect destination for a lovely day hike. If you have the time, I highly recommend wild camping in Lissos and going back (or on) the next day – either by walking to Sougia or catching the boat/ferry (if you happen to be there in the season).

I truly believe this was the most beautiful hike I've done on Crete. 

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Goats of Crete: the Furry Companions of My Solo Hike

I spent some three weeks on Crete this winter. I am pretty sure I'd seen a few times more goats and sheep than humans.  There were many days that the only companions I had were goats - no humans anywhere. I absolutely loved it.

When I came back home and went through my photos I've realized I had so many pics of goats and sheep, I just had to make a post dedicated just those adorable creatures. The fabulous landscape was the perfect background for our lovely models. 

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Female & Solo Hiking on Crete. Days 3-5: Kampos - Elafonisi - Paleochora

Whenever I have to make up my mind, I spend way too much time agonizing over my options and possible consequences of each decision. But this time there was no problem.

The night before I got picked up in Kefali by the wonderful owner of a rental in Kampos. If I went by the E-4 trail, I would have to retract the exact route from the day before. Some 12 km over a paved road, mostly uphill to Kefali and then an extra 10 km to get to Moni Chrissoskalitissis. After a second-long consideration, I came to a conclusion of a big “NOPE”.

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Female & Solo Hiking on Crete. Days 1&2: Kissamos - Sirikari Gorge - Kefali

The first two days of my Cretan adventure were filled with history, sunshine, Nature, olive groves, goats, some bushwhacking… and a lot of road walking. But let’s start from the beginning, shall we?

When I was planning my hiking trip to Crete, my main plan was to follow the E-4 trail. It’s one of the long European trails that span for hundreds of miles across Europe.

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