Hotel & Bike + Hiking The Pearls of Southern Crete

Hotel & Bike + Hiking The Pearls of Southern Crete

(7 Days/6 Nights, approx. 115 km )


The south coast of Crete is a place of exceptional beauty and varied landscape. Untouched nature, incredible landscapes, archaeological highlights, crystal clear blue sea and sandy beaches wait to be explored.  The best way to discover the scenic jewels of this unique region is by boat, bike, and foot.

Experience the mountainous world of the Island of Minos by bike or E-bike, hike through the world famous Samaria Gorge and enjoy a boat trip to the Elafonisi National Park. An additional unforgettable boat ride will take you from Sougia to Paleochora. Here you have both great opportunities for bathing and vibrant sunsets to look forward to.

And what would Greece be without its delicious, local cuisine accompanied by traditional drinks, music and a Greek dance? After all, Crete is the birthplace of the well-known Syrtaki! Your cozy accommodation in Paleochora will top off this multifaceted journey, and you can enjoy being pampered by the warm Greek hospitality!

This itinerary has been updated for 2021. The itinerary, prices and services should remain unchanged. All tour dates for 2021 are now online and available to book.

Map

Highlights of the tour
Culture: Experience a traditional Greek evening with local cousin and traditional dance
Nature: A vist to the natural paradise, Elafonisi, a protected habitat for the Caretta Caretta turtle
Activity: A hike into the renowned Samaria Canyon is an experience and a challenge at the same time
Culinary: Try the local Cretan dishes, such as squid with fennel and olives
Souvenir: Olives, Olive oil and honey are all local products and delicious gifts

Itinerary

1st Day (Sat) Paleochora (Arrival)

Arrival at Chania whether by plane or car is to be organized individually. However, a transfer from Chania airport or the ferry port to Paleochora can be arranged for you on request (at your expense). Check in at the Rea Hotel is possible from 3pm. If you arrive in the afternoon enjoy free time by taking a walk through Paleochora, having a swim or simply sunbathing at the nearby beach. In the evening there will be a lavish barbeque where you will have the opportunity to get to know your fellow travelers. Afterwards your tour guide will give an overview of the week to come and all planned activities.

2nd Day (Sun) Anydroi Gorge (aprx. 15 mi./25 km by bike & 4 mi./6.5 km by foot)

After breakfast an organized transfer vehicle will take us to the starting point of our first bike tour. From here we will cycle to the village of Azogyres where we will visit the the 99 Holy Fathers Monastery and hear the story of St. John the hermit and the Holy Fathers. After this our hike of approximately one hour will begin. On the way there will be plenty of opportunities to enjoy beautiful panoramic views. When we reach the village of Anydroi we will be able to try delicious Cretan dishes for lunch. Afterwards we will continue our hike through the Anydroi Gorge until we reach a secluded sand beach. Here the blue seas will lure us in for a swim before heading back to the hotel either by bike or transfer bus. In the evening our tour guide will invite us to join a guided tour through Paleochora before we end our evening with dinner at a local tavern.

3rd Day (Mon) Ancient Lissos (aprx. 20 mi./33 km by bike & 2.8 mi/4.5 km by foot)

Today’s tour is a wonderful combination of biking, hiking and boating. An incredible nature experience awaits us on this cycling tour through the mountains of Paleochora. We begin our tour from the beautiful mountain village of Azogyres and, along the way, we visit a 13th century byzantine church. For lunch we will take a break at a great mountain tavern, which serves traditional Cretan cuisine including a very tasty specialty; a homemade chestnut stew. A relaxed departure will then be followed by a transfer to the starting point of our afternoon hike. The walk will take us through beautiful landscapes, predominantly following the well-known E-4 track to the ancient city of Lissos, where the sanctuary of the god of healing, Asklepios, is best preserved. Following our visit to this archaeological site we will aboard a chartered boat and be taken to a cave. Here we will have the opportunity to take a dip in the shimmering waters before returning to the port of Paleochora. This eventful day will be rounded off with a great BBQ dinner.

4th Day (Tue) Samaria Gorge (aprx. 10 mi./16 km by foot)

A trip to Crete without visiting the famous Samaria Gorge is practically unimaginable. A walk through this Gorge allows for an unbelievable nature experience as well as giving us a physical challenge. There are approximately 1,200 meters of elevation along the hike and the walk itself lasts around 6.5 hours. In the morning we will take a transfer bus to the starting point of the day’s hike at the top end of the Samaria Gorge. On the way we will have a picnic in the canyon to restore our energy levels. The village of Agia Roumeli lies at the lower end of the Samaria Gorge where we will enjoy a late lunch in a typical tavern. There will also be time for a swim before boarding the exclusive charter boat which will take us back Paleochora. In the evening, dinner is to be arranged individually.

5th Day (Wed) Sougia (aprx. 9 mi./15 km by bike & boat excursion)

Today we can look forward to a very relaxed program after the efforts of the previous day. The program includes a transfer to the mountain top village of Papadiana, followed by a downhill bike tour to Sougia. Here we will have plenty of time to swim. After a delicious lunch you return by boat to Paleochora. Here we can relax for a while before experiencing a true Greek evening with Cretan delicacies and traditional dancing. Don’t forget: Syrtaki was first danced on the island of Crete!

6th Day (Thu) Voytas – Paleochora – boat trip to Elafonisi (aprx. 10.5 mi./17 km by bike)

Another day full of adventure! After a late breakfast, a transfer shuttle will take us to Voytas where we will first visit a small church from the 13th century. This church is incredibly well preserved and even the frescos, picturing the torments of hell, are still visible. From there we will bike through picturesque landscapes with a relaxed midday break before heading back towards Paleochora. Here we will take a privately chartered boat to visit the natural paradise of Elafonisi – a dreamy place in the middle of the Mediterranean. The exotic, white sand beaches and the turquoise waters found on both sides of the peninsular are reminiscent of the Caribbean. The island is strewn with dunes, water lilies and junipers. Various rare species, such as the endangered caretta caretta turtles are able to live here; their nests being under protection. On our boat trip back to Paleochora we will take a break at a hidden beach for a swim and BBQ.

7th Day (Fri) Paleochora (Departure)

After breakfast, it is time to check out from the hotel and return home or extend the holiday on Crete. Transfers to Chania airport or ferry port can be arranged on request.

Rental bikes

Hybrid Bikes

Those choosing to rent an hybrid bike will receive a reliable, low maintenance, aluminum frame bike in the suitable size. Our hybrid bikes are equipped with 28 inch hollow chamber rims with puncture-proof touring tires, high-quality derailleur gears and break systems, a carrier and a sturdy bike stand, touring saddle as well as mudguards and a pannier rack. All components are selected based on our twenty years of experience in bike tourism, insuring that they fulfill the necessary criteria to provide the rider with an uncompromised cycle experience.

These high-quality hybrid bikes are rented for 40 euro per week. Unfortunately there is no possibility to reserve one particular bike-brand in advance.

E-Bikes

Clients who wish to be supported by a tail-wind and seek to hire an e-bike will receive a high-quality pedalec, powered mainly by a Bosch motor capable of covering long distances, and characterized by their light weight and great components. Alternative drive systems may also be used. Standard components of our e-bikes in varying frame sizes include, 28 inch hollow chamber rims with puncture-proof touring tires, high-quality derailleur gears and break systems, a carrier and a sturdy bike stand, touring saddle as well as mudguards and a pannier rack. With our e-bikes you will conquer the hills with a smile, they are a true declaration of independence for all who wish to cycle and seek the support of a little push.

These high-quality hybrid bikes are rented for 120 euro per week. Unfortunately there is no possibility to reserve one particular bike-brand in advance.

Journey

Arrival in Crete by Plane (Chania Airport)

This tour starts and ends in Paleochora on Crete. Arrival by plane is the fastest, cheapest and most comfortable way to travel here. The nearest airport is Chania Airport (CHQ), approx. 75km away from Paleochora.

To investigate and book a suitable flight you can for example use the website www.opodo.com.


Arrival in Crete by Ferry (Chania Harbor)

It is also possible to travel to Crete with the ferry from Athens or other Greek Islands. The closest ferry harbor is in Chania, approx. 75km away from Paleochora. All domestic ferry timetables can be found at www.greekferries.gr

Transfers between the airport and ferry port in Chania to Paleochora

Fee-based collective transfers (only available on embarkation/disembarkation days):
– Between Chania airport or Chania ferry port and your hotel in Paleochora: 50 euro/person and way

Customized transfers are possible, availability and prices on request.

Transfer reservations

For the organization of all airport transfers please indicate your exact flight details:

– arrival & departure date
– flight route
– airline
– flight number
– estimated arrival or departure time

If there are belated changes of your flight times you are kindly requested to inform our office immediately.

For transfer reservations please contact our office team:

Ph: +49-(0)7531-36186-0
Email: info@islandhopping.com

Prices & Accomplishments

Base tour price per person (in a double double room with shower/toilet)

Season A
– 1,290 euro

Season B
– 1.390 euro

Included services

– 7 day hotel, bike and hiking tour
– 6 nights in a double room with shower and toilet at the Rea Hotel in Paleochora
– 6 x breakfast, 5 x lunch, 4 x dinner (as in description)
– Bottled mineral water and soft drinks during activities described
– Guided cycling tours and hikes as in program
– Maps with an overview of bike tours
– Escort vehicle on all bike tours
– All minibus transfers during the trip (as in description)
– Private boat charter on 4 days
– Greek evening with dinner, live music and dancing
– Entrance for group visits to museums and archaeological sites
– English speaking tour guide

 

Additional optional services (on request)

– Single room surcharge: 200 euro/week
– Rental bike: hybrid bike 40 euro/week; E-bike (subject to availability): 120 euro/week
– Bike insurance against damage of theft: hybrid bike 10 euro/week;
  E-bike 20 euro/week (not insured: gross negligent damage)
– Shared pick up/drop off transfers (only available on the day of official arrival or departure):
   between airport or ferry port Chania and Paleochora: 50 euro/person/route
– Individual transfers
– Additional nights on Crete

Not included in the basic tour price

– Travel to Crete
– Meals other than those included in the description above
– All alcoholic beverages
– Entrance for individually visited sights
– Beach towel (if required) – please bring your own
– Tips for tour guides and staff
– Entrance fee for sights not included in the tour price
– Beach towel for ashore use (if needed)
– Tips for tour guides and crew

Things to note

Language

This tour is offered exclusively in English.

Itinerary changes

We reserve the right to make changes to the route in the case of changing wind and weather conditions as well as for reasons of organizational necessity.

Accommodation: Rea Hotel (all rooms come with private shower and toilet)

The Rea Hotel is located centrally in Paleochora, just 150 m from Halikia Beach, with a garden where you can enjoy a homemade breakfast every morning. Free WiFi is available in shared areas. All the rooms in the Rea Hotel are equipped with air conditioning, TV, furnished balcony, fridge, coffee machine and kettle. Each room has its own bathroom with shower, toilet and hairdryer. At any time, guests are welcome to relax in the shady garden with a coffee or drink from the bar. The city centre of Paleochora with its restaurants and shops lies just 50m from the hotel and the Paleochora harbour and Panchia Ammos Beach are only 200 m and 250 m away respectively. The distance to the Chania International Airport is 75km.

Catering

Catering includes 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 4 dinners. The ample breakfast is served every day in the hotel. Lunch is included on all days with activities and is served either in traditional Cretan restaurants with local dishes or as a barbeque on route. Two dinner during the week are taken independently and can be had in any of the beautiful taverns in Paleochora where traditional cuisine can be tasted and enjoyed. Your tour guide will be happy to give you recommendations for restaurants for these days if requested.

Requirements of the tour (level 2)

Cycling tours: The cycling routes require a good fitness level from the participants. The routes have a length of 10 – 20 miles/17 – 33 km through hilly or mountainous areas. There are however no time constraints. The bike route includes elevation of 1,000 – 2,300 feet/300 – 700 m and though there are some longer climbs you are, of course, allowed to push your bike if desired. Most of the roads we ride along are asphalted and quiet. Your tour guide will inform you in detail about the requirements needed for the individual tours.

It is obligatory to wear a safety helmet on all cycling tours and we recommend that you bring your own (well fitting) helmet. However, should this not be possible, a limited number of rental helmets are available (on request). Should you decided at any point that you do not want to take part in one of the tours, you are free to take a half or a full day off to swim or use the time as you wish.

Hiking: The hiking tours require a high level of fitness from participants. The routes have a length of 3 – 10 miles/4.5 – 16 km and lead through mountainous areas. However, there are no time constraints. The hikes will mostly lead through gorges or along well-developed trails. Your tour guide will tell you each day what the requirements are for the planned tours. We strongly recommend that you bring good hiking boots. Flip-flops or similar shoes are not suitable for the hikes offered. Should you prefer to skip the hike and spend a half or a full day swimming or enjoying another activity you are most welcome to do so.

 

Equipment - What you should bring with you

– Cycling clothing including helmet
– Hiking boots
– Swimsuit and beach towel
– Sunscreen
– Hat
– Small backback for hiking tours

Internet during the trip

Round the clock internet is available in your hotel in Paleochora.

Dates & Booking

  • = fully booked
  • = 1-4 bookings possible
  • = 5+ bookings posible
  • = departure confirmed
May 2021
DateName of the tripShipStart CityEnd CityStatusBase price
 15.05-21.05Pearls of Southern CreteKreta Hotel & RadPaleochoraPaleochora1290 book
 29.05-04.06Pearls of Southern CreteKreta Hotel & RadPaleochoraPaleochora1390 book
June 2021
DateName of the tripShipStart CityEnd CityStatusBase price
 05.06-11.06Pearls of Southern CreteKreta Hotel & RadPaleochoraPaleochora1390 book
 12.06-18.06Pearls of Southern CreteKreta Hotel & RadPaleochoraPaleochora1390
September 2021
DateName of the tripShipStart CityEnd CityStatusBase price
 11.09-17.09Pearls of Southern CreteKreta Hotel & RadPaleochoraPaleochora1390 book
 18.09-24.09Pearls of Southern CreteKreta Hotel & RadPaleochoraPaleochora1390 book
October 2021
DateName of the tripShipStart CityEnd CityStatusBase price
 02.10-08.10Pearls of Southern CreteKreta Hotel & RadPaleochoraPaleochora1290 book
 09.10-15.10Pearls of Southern CreteKreta Hotel & RadPaleochoraPaleochora1290 book

Any questions?

Contact us:

Monday - Friday
09:00- 12:30 Hrs
14:00- 17:00 Hrs

Tel. +49(0)7531 361860

info@islandhopping.com