South Crete and the E4 European Path
A fantastic way to explore the island of Crete is by walking and hiking on the E4 European Path – Crete features 91 hiking routes, for a total length of 560 km, traversing diverse landscapes and rare ecosystems.
For those who are like me into hiking, trekking, biking, and walking and are up for a challenge then maybe the E4 European Long Distance Path, or at least part of it, will be right for you. If you want to hike the whole E4 trail it will take you about 3 – 4 weeks.
The E4 starts in Spain at its southernmost point runs through France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece (and Crete) and ends in Cyprus. The total length of the E4 is 10.450 km. The European paths are created by the European Ramblers Association (ERA). In Greece the E4 path is looked after by the Hellenic Federation of Mountaineering and Climbing ( www.eooa.gr).
On Crete the E4 trail covers the White Mountains (Lefki Ori), Mount Psiloritis (Mount Ida) and the Mount Dikti. The E4 Path is 320 km long. Although I have not yet walked the whole distance of the E4 Path in Crete, I have completed quite a few sections of it.
Many of the hikes on Psiloritis lead partly over the E4, such as the part from Kamares to the Kamare cave and on to the Nida plain and also the walk through the Rouvas forest with its gorge.
You can follow my hikes and walks or, of course explore the area on your own.
Guided mountain tours
If you’re not so sure about the mountains, why not book a guided tour. In this way, you will learn a lot about the fauna and flora, culture, and history of Crete during the hike. It is often more fun in groups and new hiking friendships may develop from it.
I can highly recommend Lydia & Natascha / Wanderausfluege (http://wanderausfluege.gr) who are running a small travel agency specializing in regional hiking excursions in southern Crete, the rugged mountain world of Psiloritis, in the coastal regions of the Asterousia mountain range.
They are fantastic guides and they have tours for families too.
The E4 path in the region around the Psiloritis and the Amari area has 12 sections, which are very different in length and difficulty:
Spili -Gerakari 18.5 km 8 hrs
Gerakari – Fourfouras 15 km 5 hrs
Fourfouras – Prinos 10 km 4 hrs
Prinos – Nida Plateau 20 km 6 hrs
Armeni – Arkadi 29 km 10 hrs
Arkadi – Garazo 32 km 11 hrs
Garazo – Anogia 16 km 5 hrs
Anogia – Nida Plateau 22 km 6 hrs
Nida plateau – Zaros (through Kamares) 25 km 7 hrs
Nida plateau – Zaros (through Rouvas Canyon) 19 km 5.5 hrs
Zaros – Ano Asites 21.5 km 9.5 hrs