Welcome to today’s edition of hiking in Crete. If you have never been to Crete before, let me tell you, it has everything for everyone. If you want to relax at the beach, hike, explore caves, learn traditional cuisine, discover the culture, there’s all that and more.
Among the Greek islands, Crete is the most fertile and abundant one. The climate is very favorable for many types of fruit trees including bananas and avocados. And if you didn’t know, the island is famous for the high quality olive oil that it produces every year. If you want to learn how to choose a good olive oil have a look here. I witnessed first hand how the olives are collected and processed.
I will definitely return to Crete to see more and maybe backpack the island, sleep at the top of the mountains and soak in all the beauty around. Cave Lera and Seitan Limania are easy hiking routes and I am sure you will enjoy the gorgeous views.
Being one of the biggest Greek islands, it’s quite difficult to visit the whole island just in one 7 day holiday. However, even so, you can visit quite a bit. I was living in a small town near Chania with some friends. We had a car for a few days and decided to hike up to Cave Lera. We actually left quite late from home, around 2 pm and during winter it gets darker sooner at 5:30 pm. The drive from Chania was around 20 min, nothing crazy. It was finally a sunny day after lots of rain and cloudy days.
Hiking to the cave is nothing complicated and fast paced can be done in 40 min. While you go up in altitude the view is incredibly beautiful. And the scent of thyme follows you around as you continue to walk. Lots of wild goats patrol the mountains. You will see them around often. Many different flowers and aromatic herbs can be seen in the mountains. Hence, the renowned Cretan Thyme Honey that can be found in many shops.
When we arrived at the cave we were so surprised to find out how big it is. There were many different rooms inside with amazing rock formations. As it is pitch-black inside, we used our phones to have some visibility, but even so, the light was too weak. The rocks are of different textures, shiny and it seemed that the rock was cut. Maybe it’s some kind of precious stone. We probably spent an hour or more exploring it and after we watched the sunset from up there. So incredibly beautiful.
Another day we decided to go to Seitan Limania, a beach located between rocks. While we were on the road it started raining, but we went there anyway. When you get there you actually have to hike down the mountain to get to this beautiful beach. Even though it was November the water was not so cold and one of my friends actually swam and I got in with my feet. After a while the sun came out and it was lovely. During the summer must be so nice to come to this secluded beach. There’s nothing near, no restaurants or shops, so if you want to spend the day here bring food.
On the way to this beach we actually stopped at the Agia Triada monastery as it is on the way. If you are not into monasteries, but into design, architecture, esthetics then you should visit. This place is so beautiful. I found it so peaceful and relaxing. And I absolutely loved the color of the walls and the many cats that were living there.
Hope you’ll enjoy these places and start your own hiking exploration in Crete. There are still many places left. Happy hiking!