In Crete is also the end of the European Path - E4 -, which leads the hiker on an unprecedented adventure for mountaineering and trekking, through rocky terrain, shady paths, cool springs, sand dunes, gorges, highlands and historical monuments. The European Path, having crossed the Pyrenees, Central Europe, the Balkan Peninsula, Mount Olympus and the Peloponnese, ends in Crete.
The E4 route in Crete, briefly, is as follows: Chrysoskalitissa Monastery (Chania), Heraklion Prefecture, Zakros Minoan Palace (Lassithi). In fact, the E4 passes through Crete along its entire length, which is approximately 415 km in total. On the whole island there are 7 mountain refuges, above 1200 meters, which can accommodate 15 - 50 people each, all months. The most suitable weather for hiking is the spring and autumn months, when the temperature ranges from 16 - 25 degrees C.
Characteristic of the intense mountainous geography of the island, is a large number of gorges, biotopes and natural parks. Thus, today in Crete there are 106 gorges, of which 26 are in the prefecture of Heraklion. Some of them are inaccessible, while others can be visited.
Smells of a thousand herbs( ), sheep bells, wild edible fruits, colors, imposing rock formations, cellar waters and often castles and forgotten churches, compose a unique canvas of Cretan nature that the visitor encounters during his journey through these canyons. The high peaks and gorges of Heraklion are equally impressive in winter when they are covered in snow.
The opportunities for escape offered by the diverse and untamed Cretan landscape and life in Crete are unique throughout the 12 months, for all types of vacationers who seek to combine the high quality of services provided with the discovery of a different experience. Wandering in the countryside, exciting sports, sightseeing and archeological sites, contact with the locals and their daily life, Cretan cuisine are just some of the experiences visitors can taste. Often rudimentary equipment and the necessary enthusiasm are the only supplies of these modern explorers.
CRETE. AROUND ISLANDS
Crete is surrounded by 67 small islands and islets, most of which are ideal places for day trips or fishing. The most important of these are: Dia, Gavdos, Gramvousa, Chrysi, Koufonisia and Dionysades.
Dia, located directly opposite the city of Heraklion, is the traditional place of residence and breeding of the Cretan Goat, since the intense mountainous landscape of the island ensures the ideal environment and safe conditions for its survival. The island has small beaches and coves, and is a good place for a boat trip from the port of Heraklion. One-day trips are usually organized in the area of Ai Giorgi where there is also the church of the same name as well as a tavern for delicious food.
On the southern shores of the island, following research by the well-known oceanographer Jacques Yves Cousteau, significant traces of shipwrecks from the Minoan period to more recent times were found. At the same time it is also an international hunting zone as well as a popular place for diving and fishing.
From Heraklion, however, one can go to other islands, such as Gavdos, the legendary island of Calypso, which is also the southernmost point of Europe. You can also visit Chrysi, a flat island, known for its all-gold beaches and the thousands of shells that you will find there.