We couldn’t wait to touch down in Chania (map) and start our long-awaited 1 week hiking vacation. We decided to take a bus straight away to Paleochora to firstly enjoy the nature before spending our last two days in Chania. We took a bus from the airport to the bus station of Chania to then get on the next bus which took us to Paleochora. It was on time, relatively comfortable and we could enjoy the beautiful landscape, so we can definitely recommend taking the bus. We stayed at the Relax Apartments & Studios which was just a ten minutes walk away from the bus station and was exactly like we expected it.
The next day, we met Friedels parents who had rented a car and took us with them to Azogires where we started our first 3 hours hiking tour. The tour started in a small forest and the higher we got the less trees we saw except from olive trees which were everywhere. The landscape is amazing as it is hilly and you have a beautiful view over the sea. On our way we passed a monastery, which is definitely worth having a look at. The path continued trough olive groves where we saw all kinds of herbs, cactuses, some goats and a few locals that lived along the way. We arrived at the restaurant Sto Scholeio, with its beautiful terrace overlooking the sea, around noon and enjoyed our first greek salad and fresh orange juice. After our little break we headed towards the beach which was located at the bottom of the hill. We cooled down, went for a swim and and had a few drinks at the beach bar.
Staying at Paleochora for two nights was a perfect start before we headed east towards Loutro. We bought our ferry tickets the day before and then left at 9 the next morning. Taking the ferry is not just for transportation reasons but it will give you a different perspective of the island. We enjoyed the view and the perfect sunny weather. The ferry does stop at Agia Roumeli for about an hour where we got off and wandered around the few streets which are very colorful.
When we got on the ferry again to finally arrive in Loutro we were overwhelmed by the beauty of this small bay with its white houses and restaurants. You cannot come here by car as there are no roads, which makes it a very special and quiet place. We had rented a room at Pavlos Restaurant and Rooms which were pretty simple but definitely enough for us. Pavlos is a legend when it comes to hosting and getting to know his guests. It is better to book a room in advance, especially in high season as there is only one path with restaurants and rooms and the place is often pretty full. Explore the bay, walk around, go for a swim, have a drink and don’t miss the fresh meat and fish from the grill! For us, the perfect day starts with a hiking tour with amazing views, sometimes a small lodge to have lunch, exciting paths and the beautiful nature. After this exhausting and satisfying trip we love to cool down in the sea and watch the sunset while eating local food and having interesting discussions. So this is pretty much how we spend every day in Loutro. The trip to the Aradena gorge (5 hours tour) was the most exciting one as we started in Loutro and walked along the sea for about one to two hours. After the pretty steep and rough coastal walk we headed towards the gorge and walked through it. Don’t be shocked when you see bones and goat sculls lying around, these animals climb between the rocks but sometimes it is even to steep and dangerous for them. We recommend you to do this tour if you are pretty fit and able to walk and hike for some hours.
We did another tour which takes you to Anopoli and the top of the mountain which lies above Loutro. The way back is beautiful as you can nearly always see Loutro and you slowly get closer by every step you take.
After hiking and enjoying the nature in Loutro we were looking forward to spending our last night in Chania to experience the life in a Crete town. We wanted to take the ferry but as the weather was pretty stormy and the sea rough we had to walk all the way to the next bay to get our car. The path takes you east along the coast and takes about 3 hours. It was really beautiful although the weather was choppy. We then drove to Chania which takes about 2 hours. We stayed at Hotel Juvas which was modern, cosy and perfect for us. We wondered around the city, explored the streets with its many restaurants, bars and cafes and loved it. We stopped for a drink at La Bodega right at the sea front and went for dinner in the western part of the bay where you find many individual, modern and local restaurants. We had the impression that Chania is a pretty young city full of exciting and newly opened locations.
When you decide to come to Crete, don’t just stay in the cities but move away from civilization and get spoiled by nature and the unique landscape.