If Your Way of Relaxation is Walking...
For lovers of exploring and walking, our region offers plenty of unique destinations, gorges, traditional and historical villages, unexplored and famous beaches. Crossing all these areas you will find rich flora and fauna, majestic mountains, pristine beaches, archaeological sites, traditional cafes, tavernas and behind all this an incredible history.
For that reason Vritomartis Resort offers you the opportunity to meet some of these places through Organized Walkings Tours...
To Samaria Gorge
The Gorge of Samaria is by far the most famous and the most crowded of all the gorges. It is in west Crete, in the White Mountains and it is the longest gorge in Europe, with a length of 18 kilometres. It is exceptionally rich in plant and animal life. In the gorge you will find unique species protected under international law. You can admire the forests of huge pine and cypress trees and if you are lucky you may even meet its famous inhabitants, the wild goats of Crete, which the locals call "agrimia" and tourists call "kri-kri". As we reach the end of the gorge at the Iron Gates, the gorge is so narrow that you can almost touch both sides as they rise up sheer 350 metres above your head, it is an amazing spectacle. The walk through Samaria Gorge takes about 6-7 hours with stops to take pictures and enjoy the amazing natural landscape. It ends at the village of Agia Roumeli and then we can take the ferry boat back to Chora Sfakion.
To Imbros Gorge
Once a week we organize an excursion to the nearby Imbros gorge. Very pretty, a little more crowded than the gorge of Aradena but a lot easier to walk. It lasts about 2 hours. The Imbros Gorge (ending near Vritomartis Naturist Resort) can often be pretty crowded in the Spring, as before the Samaria Gorge opens to the public it is often used as an alternative organized tour. It may be small but well worth seeing as it is picturesque and full of wildness. The Imbros Gorge path is easy to follow and less challenging than Samaria Gorge, but it is still a 'serious' walk - not just a stroll!
To Aradena Gorge
Once a week we organize a walk through the gorge of Aradena, one of the most spectacular gorges in the area. The Gorge of Aradena (not far from Loutro) is far less frequented and the walk is a little more difficult than Imbros, with some steep passages. It is 19 km west of Chora Sfakion on the road to Anopolis and Agios Ioannis. It starts from the southern slopes of the White Mountains, north of the abandoned village of Aradena and ends at the Libyan Sea near the beautiful beach of Marmara with the marble rocks, a little west of Loutro. The walk requires good shoes and some walking experience and it lasts about 2,5-3 hours.
More walking tours that you can do by yourself are…
The Gorge of Ilingas (near Chora Sfakion) is, surprisingly, totally unknown and after heavy rains in winter some years ago now difficult to walk. From its northern end it is possible to get to interesting abandoned villages high above Anopolis.
Pachnes (summit at 2453m), at the centre of the White Mountains, can be reached from several directions. It is a place of silence in a moon landscape with great views of the whole of West Crete from the summit.
Agia Roumeli to Agios Ioannis
This walk starts along the coast, passing by the almost deserted beach of Agios Pavlos, (possible clothing optional beach) then climbs up through a pine forest on an ancient path to the village of Agios Ioannis. Splendid views and a chance to see bearded vultures if you are lucky.
Agia Roumeli to Loutro
Starts on the same path but continues along and above the coast towards Loutro instead of going up.
Loutro to Chora Sfakion (or vice versa)
Not a very long walk along the coast. Its main interest is the beautiful "Sweet Water Beach". This is a well-known and well-used nudist beach and regular trips are arranged by the Vritomartis naturist resort team.
For all walking tours possibilities there is a full description guide available in reception if you are interested in making walkings by yourself. Ask for it. It is very interesting and useful.