Experience the real Crete with a walk through one of its most picturesque cities. Chania is a kaleidoscope of different elements: ancient ruins, strong local culture and traditions, and delectable cuisine.
- Head to the western region of Sfakia, home to the stunning White Mountains, spectacular gorges, and panoramic views.
- Visit a family-owned cheese and yogurt factory for a local breakfast.
- Follow in the steps of ANZAC soldiers and hike through Imbros Gorge.
- Learn why Crete is considered to be the flora crossroads of the Mediterranean.
- Participate in a hands-on cooking class and enjoy a lunch of traditional Cretan dishes.
- Indulge in local Cretan wines at a unique local cellar and winery.
- Private Tour Starting price per person
Explore Sfakia During This Adventure Tour
Head to Sfakia on the far west side of the island, where towering mountains, deep gorges, tales of adventure, and local cuisine await. You get it all on this full-day Crete tour that combines everything you could want from a great Greek day: hiking, cooking, wine-tasting, cheese-sampling, storytelling, and more to make up one epic, authentic adventure!
Local impact — How you help the local community by joining this tour:
- By visiting villages far from mass tourism and collaborating with the locals, your tour supports these small communities financially.
- On this tour, you visit 100% local, family-owned businesses, meet a local cheesemonger and a local botanist, and sample their products that originate from the Cretan countryside.
- As part of your tour, you visit a local family in their home where you participate in a hands-on cooking class and learn about local products and traditional cooking techniques.
Inclusions: Local English-speaking guide, transportation, cheese and yogurt samples, two-course meal (meat and veggie options), sweets, fruit, four different wine tastings, fresh orange juice for the children
Exclusions: Additional food and drinks, souvenirs or personal shopping, tips/gratuities for your driver and guide
- Duration: 11 hours
- Meeting point: Chania Central bus Station, Kydonias & Partheniou Kelaidi, GR-73100 Chania, Crete. Your guide will be standing next to the ticket booth, holding a Crete Urban Adventures sign.
- Find the exact meeting point with what3words: ///ballroom.leaps.because
- Starting time: 8.00 am
- Ending point: Chania Municipal Market. Alternatively, we can drop off any tour participants whose hotels are along the route from Vrisses Village back to the Chania Municipal Market.
On this Chania tour, we’ll leave behind the city and its Venetian charm as we venture into a completely different landscape, going deep into the unique region of Sfakia.
The White Mountains will be our stomping ground for a whole day of activities for the whole family, including a cheese and yoghurt tasting, a hike through a gorge, a hands-on cooking experience, a visit to a one-of-a-kind ‘herbal sanctuary,’ and a wine-tasting to finish off the day.
Sfakia is a region of southern Crete and took its name from the larger village located there, Chora Sfakion. The entire region is characterised by rugged mountainous beauty combined in a unique way with the sea. From the White Mountains, large green canyons descend to the Libyan Sea, giving the impression to anyone who looks from above that God tore the mountains in half! Aside from their astonishing beauty, these gorges also have a million tales to tell you. Among those stories from its turbulent but heroic past are the many times when brave rebel Sfakians, fighting for freedom, had to hide in these canyons.
Sfakia includes part of the White Mountains range, or Madara, including the highest peak of Pachnes. It also includes Samaria Gorge, the largest gorge in Europe and one of the most popular sights in Crete. As well, it is home to Imbros Gorge, which is the second-most popular gorge on the island and the one we will hike.
Our first stop of the day on this Crete tour will be at a family-owned, small-scale cheese factory, where you’ll get an introduction to and tasting of Cretan cheese and yoghurt. You’ll learn all about the traditional local production from this expert cheesemonger and have the opportunity to sample what locals consider the best yoghurt on the island!
After this light breakfast, we’ll move on to Askifou Plateau, a natural valley surrounded by the White Mountains. From an altitude of 730 metres, we’ll start our hike of the Imbros gorge. The gorge is about 8 kilometres, and the average walking time is about two and a half hours. Don’t worry though, it’s an easy walk for the whole family, with many stops for photos and learning about the flora and fauna that we’ll encounter along the way.
Imbros is a spectacular gorge with several very narrow passages — and if you are Australian, New Zealander, or British, walking through the gorge is almost a pilgrimage, as many ANZACs who fought with the allied troops in Crete walked through this gorge in May 1941 to escape the island and sail to Egypt. Your guide will have many thrilling stories to share with you.
Your Crete adventure will continue as we visit Kallikratis, a village off the typical tourist path that has an intriguing history. It has never lived under permanent foreign rule, as its residents have a long tradition fighting for freedom and are well-known for their bravery. The area also boasts gorges, ravines, plateaus, and small abandoned villages.
Next up, it’s time to experience local culture through gastronomy and a hands-on workshop! Among the flavours and aromas of local food and good wine, we’ll unveil the secrets of Cretan cuisine as you enjoy a traditional meal.
After lunch, we’ll head to a ‘herbal sanctuary.’ Known for their therapeutic qualities from ancient times but also for the special taste they give to local dishes, Cretan herbs will fascinate you with their abundance (over 1,800 plant species) and qualities. In a little café, we’ll meet the owners who distill Cretan herbs the traditional way and offer high-quality herbal products in their shop. And yes, we are going to try some of their concoctions!
The end of the day will find us with a glass of wine in hand as we visit one of the best wineries on Crete. Here, we’ll get to taste four different wine varieties in a cellar that is in itself a setting for a ritualistic experience. A fitting finale in Crete’s far west!
Dress standard: Please wear comfortable walking shoes, and dress appropriately for hiking and the weather.
Your trip: For your Urban Adventure, you will be in a small group of a maximum of 12 people.
Confirmation of booking: If you have your voucher, your booking is confirmed. We’ll see you at the start point. Get in touch if you have any concerns or require more information via the email address or phone number (business hours only) on your voucher.
Additional information: For last-minute bookings, please call us directly at 6986780970.
Child policy: This is a child-friendly tour. Children between the ages of 6 and 11 inclusively are permitted on this tour at the rate listed above. Please select ‘child’ when booking. Children under the age of 6 are permitted to join this tour free of charge. Please inform us at the time of booking if you’ll be bringing a child under the age of 6. You can do so in the special request box on the checkout page.
Mr. Kevin S. from USA travelled on 05 Sep 2018:
Rebecca and Michael were great!!!!!