Excursion must-know for Crete

When you buy an excursion be sure you get the right information from the seller.

A lot of sellers won’t give you all the information. Here are some examples of what they may forget to tell you:

  • extra fees, for example : entrance fees, travel taxes, a meal that is not included, a boat trip fee, etc.
  • that the duration of the pick up (before the excursion starts) can take one hour or more.
  • that the guide will not speak only your language in the bus, but also 2 or 3 other languages.
  • the duration of the excursion. (the giving of a false return time is very common)
  • that you can’t pay everywhere with a credit card.
  • that cash money will be gathered in the bus by the guide.
  • if you will be the first or last ones on the pick up list.
  • If your hotel is at the end of the list you may ask if they can arrange 2 seats together. (unless you don’t mind sitting apart during the whole trip.

Here is already some more information about beach excursions on Crete. 

Have with you of course your bathing suit (we have only very few nudist beaches and no organised excursion will take you there 😉) and instead of taking a towel (takes a lot of space in your bag and is quit heavy) take a large scarf to lay on, they dry fast and or very light. You will also need a pair of surf shoes because at nearly all the beaches here there are rocks in the water. Most of the beaches have sunbeds and umbrellas, but then if you don’t want to be all the time with a lot of people around you buy yourself an umbrella (they’re not expensive) so you can find yourself a quit spot on the beach. The waters in Crete are very clear so take a diving mask with you!

If you want to go for a walk in the mountains then this is what you will need.

First of all take enough water with you as also some nuts and raisons, these are light to take with you and a perfect energy source. Make sure you wear walking shoes ( no brand new onces please) and use walking sticks if you have (they will help you stepping down from rocks and stones). Protect yourself against the sun (not only your head but your whole body) by covering yourself and you should also protect yourself against the heat, so take a small towel with you that you can make wet from time to time and put it in your neck, not on your head! If you go into the mountains without a guide (something I do not recommend) take a compass with you or download one on your phone and inform some people of the hike you’re going to do.

So before you book an excursion be sure to ask about these points or try to look them up on the internet. This is easy to do for entrance fees and for distances, so you can figure out by yourself the extra money you will need, and the return time of the excursion you want to do.

And the most easy way is to send me an email to livecretealive@outlook.com with your questions about excursions organised in Crete. I will answer you accurate and within a day.

But first of all enjoy your stay in Crete!!!!!!

The mules in the Samaria gorge

A lot of people who come to Crete want to walk the famous Samaria gorge, but not everybody has the strength to walk 16km over rocks and stones and pebbles, starting at a hight of 1200 meter and walking down untill sea level.

That is why we have these mules here, they are empty today so it was a day without accidents or people that gave up.

Mules are a crossing of a horse and a donkey, they are very strong animals and they are trained on bringing people up or down the gorge.

Hiking in the Samaria gorge

When you say to your friends that you go on holidays in Crete they will probably tell you that you should go walk the Samaria gorge!  And I agree, but here is what you should know before you book your excursion to the gorge.

The entrance of the Samaria gorge is on a hight of 1200 meter, the exit is at sea level and  the gorge is 16km long.

It is a mountain walk which means that you will walk all the time over rocks and stones and pebbles, in the video below you can see a small part of the path that you will walk.

Because of this stone path you will have to look all the time where you put your feet and that means that you will have to stand still from time to time to look around you and admire the beautiful nature.  Every time you look up you will have a totaly different view.

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  • Now before you enter the gorge make sure to take the following with you :a small bottle that you can refill in the gorge at the rest areas or from the stream.
    sun protection, a hat or cap and sunglasses.
    good walking shoes and walking poles can help a lot during the descent.
    something to eat, best fruit or a light vitamin meal.
    a backpack

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The gorge has only one exit and that one is after 16km so you can not stop walking after 3 or 5 or more km, you have to go all the way.  Unless you decide to walk back up after a few km.  But in case you are injured and you can not walk any more then maybe the doctor or the wardens will decide to put you on a mule, like these

 

Now don’t you think that there is always a doctor in the gorge, mostly during the months July and August there is a doctor and that’s it, but don’t worry, the wardens and the guides are very experienced and will be able to help you with any small issue you have. Don’t expect though that they can help people with serieus health problems, they should not even walk the gorge.

Children can walk the gorge and they are mostly faster than the parents, so make sure they stick with you so you don’t have to run up and down the path to find them.

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The map below shows you the path in the gorge with its rest areas.  You can make a screen shot of it and have it with you in the gorge.  You can also print it but don’t waste paper if not necessairy.

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The first large rest area has the name Agios Nikolaos, you can sit there at one of its tables and eat some off the food you brought with you to eat in the gorge.  Look below how this rest area looks like when you enter it.

When you reach this area you have made the steepest part of the gorge.  At the next part the path goes up and down untill you reach after 3 km the Samaria village.  The next video shows you the entrance of the village

It is in the Samaria village on the 7th km that you can see some Kri kri goats, this kind of goat is endemic and protected so you should not feed them, otherwise they won’t know how to search for food in winter when the gorge is closed.

 

 

In the samaria village there is a guest book in which you can write down your impression about the gorge, the walk, the stunning views etc.  In the evening, when the wardens are all alone in the village, they like to read what visitors wrote in the book, so this is your chance to make their day!

It is here in the samaria village that you will find the doctor and/or the wardens and guides.

After your rest in the samaria village, you cross the bridge again and you follow the path to the left, after aproximatly 500m you will start walking deep down in the gorge, on the bottom of the gorge.  Here to me the views are realy stunning

 

 

When you want to walk the gorge in one day and catch the boat in Agia Roumeli then make sure you are on time because the last boat to Chora Sfakion leaves at 17.45 and the last one to Sougia at 17.30.  You can buy tickets for both trips at Agia Roumeli.  http://www.anendyk.gr