Crete Hiking Retreat September 18-25 2023
Embrace Life in Crete – a celebration for all senses
A few years ago, I discovered the small village of Sougia in the Southwest of Crete. And what can I say – this place stole my heart right away. I find it easy to surrender to a deeper, slower rhythm here. I manage to let go on all levels and become one with the sea, the rocks and the horizon. I can allow myself to be. In this landscape, I still feel a pristine wilderness which is very beneficial to body, mind and soul. It’s truly magical!
Can you smell the aromatic scent of wild thyme and oregano? Are you able to taste the Raki, the Nescafé frappé and the olives? Do you hear the sea roaring and the mountain goats bleating?
Do you fancy hikes in wonderfully bleak, rough landscapes? Over plateaus dotted with flowering herbs and gnarled olive trees. Through adventurous gorges and dry riverbeds. Along magnificent coastal paths with breathtaking views. Over red earth, rock and stone. The sun on your skin and the wind in your hair.
Are you longing for the chirping of the cicadas and the buzzing of the bees? And the whistling of the Meltemi? Do you love the bright pink of the bougainvillaea? Are you dreaming of dozing in the shade of tamarisk trees and losing yourself in the glitter and glistening of the waves until eventually, all that you see are stars? And at night, the silver moon over the deep blue sea.
Tasting salt and freedom. Feeling life.
Sougia is a small, sleepy village in Southwest Crete. In the Seventies, it was very popular with hippies. It managed to keep this charm until today. There are no large hotel complexes, but mainly simple guesthouses, private rooms and flats.
Two mini-markets, a bakery and a couple of tavernas, cafés and bars are available for the guests. There is an ATM, but it does not work reliably – please bring enough cash. You won’t find a pharmacy or petrol station, nor any nightlife or shopping facilities.
The beach of Sougia has been awarded the “Blue Flag” for pristine water quality. The pebble beach is about 1.5 km long and mostly natural. Only a tiny section of the beach remains reserved for sun beds and umbrellas.
Lissos, Agia Irini, Tripiti and other walks around Sougia, through canyons, valleys and along the coastline. The hikes take between 1.5 – 6 hours. You should be sure-footed and in good condition. I walked all the mentioned trails several times myself.
Sougia is “the place to be” for those seeking rest and relaxation and appreciating the simple life. While enjoying the company of like-minded people, you also welcome space and time for yourself.
You like to be in movement and get to work out and sweat as much as you appreciate having enough time to chill on the beach, watch the waves and read your favourite books. Or simply doing nothing at all. You feel comfortable in wild, rugged landscapes. You look forward to the relaxed Greek way of life and, of course, Greek cuisine! Jámas!
Monday: arrival day; time to settle in and explore the area; dinner together in one of the excellent taverns to get to know each other and talk about the schedule.
Tuesday: after breakfast short hike to the ancient neighbouring town of Lissos (round trip approx. 3 h). Time to discover the magic valley with its excavations like the remains of an ancient amphitheatre, the ruins of the Asklepios temple with its beautiful tiled floor, a tiny church and impressive olive trees; unwind at the remote Lissos beach for the rest of the day. Hike back to Sougia or take a short boat ride alternatively.
Wednesday: Beautiful coastal hike from Tripiti to Sougia (approx. 6 h walking time), starting early in the morning.
Thursday: Easy hike through impressive Agia Irini Gorge in the morning (approx. 3 h walking time)
Friday: free to chill on the beach as you please
Saturday: Hike to Anidri Beach (5 h walking time), spending some time at the beach, hike through Anidri Canyon (1 h walking time) to a cosy tavern for late lunch/dinner. Back to Sougia (full-day)
Sunday: free to relax and enjoy your last day as you please; dinner together
Monday: Departure – good bye Sougia!
The itinerary is flexible and subject to change according to flight schedules, the needs of the participants, weather conditions, availability of transportation, etc.
September: nights and in the shade often pleasantly cool, during the day quite hot. Sea still very warm.
The minimum number of attendees is 4, the maximum number of attendees is 7.
The journey to Sougia alone is beautiful and adventurous. We head up to the mountain pass of the Omalos Plateau on winding country roads and down again to the coast via serpentines.
Past olive groves, orange plantations and small villages where time seems to have stood still. Sometimes the drive is interrupted by herds of goats and sheep that calmly cross the road.
There is a wide choice for every budget; if you require assistance or advice please contact me, I tested a couple of accommodation over the years. I recommend booking via Sougia Accommodation but you can find rooms also on platforms like Booking, Viator or Airbnb.
Organisation, hosting and guiding as described: € 385,– per person (bank transfer) and € 400,– per person (credit card). Closing date 15 August 2023. Prices are valid for paying via BANK TRANSFER*. CREDIT CARD payment slightly higher due to fees.
*You’ll receive the payment details/payment link after registering. In case you don’t have a bank account within the European Union please contact me beforehand.
For a full refund, cancel at least 30 days before the retreat is scheduled to start. After that or in case of a no-show we cannot grant any refund. (The Terms of Cancellation mentioned in the General Terms & Conditions do not apply for this retreat).
Disclaimer: Participation in the hikes is at your own risk and responsibility. It is highly recommended to take out *travel insurance including mountain rescue.
This is an estimate and not binding. It should help you to calculate the approximate cost for your travel.
**Before you register please try to find accommodation in Sougia first – September is very busy**
REGULAR: € 385,– per person
REGULAR: € 400,– per person