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FaragiTours is a young dynamic company for walking tours in Western Crete and especially the Apokoronas area. You can discover many different places and walk through spectacular gorges (faragi is the Greek word for gorge!), along the mountains, through wonderful villages and visit old churches and monasteries. Flexibility, small groups and good prices are important for us!

Walking is the best way to discover the Cretan landscapes, to meet the locals and discover that nice little tavern! We are sure you will enjoy the walks and the island of Crete, so we hope to see you soon!

The Area

Western Crete

Western Crete is still the less touristically developed region of Crete and certainly the most spectacular area! The White Mountains, with more than 30 peaks rising over 2000m, dominate this region. In the south, the mountains plunge steeply into the Libyan Sea and there are lots of spectacular gorges (faragi) including, of course, the most famous of all, the Gorge of Samaria. The south coast is the least developed area, and certainly the most spectacular coastline of Crete. In the northern part lie the three peninsulas of Rodopou, Gramvousa and Akrotiri, which are very characteristic for the province of Chania. A beautiful and very green region in Western Crete is the province of Apokoronas, further described below.

Apokoronas

The green landscape of Apokoronas
Would you like to go for holiday to Crete and enjoy the combination of wonderful beaches, old traditional villages, possibilities for walking and easy access to the beautiful cities of Chania and Rethymnon? Well, the Apokorononas area in Western Crete is just the perfect place to be! It is the greenest area of Crete and the place where FaragiTours is operating from. It is an ideal place for a mixed holiday and if you decide to do some walking, we are there to provide you our services. Below we describe some beautiful villages in the Apokoronas area that are very interesting to visit or to stay.

Click on the villages for more information.

Vamos
Gavalochori and Douliana
Kalyves and Almyrida
Geourgioupolis
Fres
Vrisses

Vamos

Old street in Vamos

In the center of the Apokoronas prefecture, on a hill you find the village of Vamos. All over the region there are signs to this village since the medical centre is here as well. The last 10 years many old buildings have been beautifully restored and turned into guesthouses. The organisation responsible for this is the Vamos S.A., a co-operative that is founded to promote eco-tourism. It has a travel office, a nice taverna (Sterna Tou Bloumosifi,), art gallery, art café, and a shop with local products. It also organises several activities like cheese making, cooking courses and walking tours (organized by FaragiTours). Through this organisation you can book a beautiful restored traditional house. In Vamos you will find some nice local kafenia, small shops, good taverns and still genuine local Cretan life. Vamos has wonderful views to the Lefka Ori and is close to the beaches of Kalyves, Almyrida and Georgioupolis.

Gavalochori and Douliana

Beautiful church in Gavalochori
Located a few kilometres north of Vamos the traditional village of Gavalochori has a lot of beautiful restored stone built houses. You find here nice little streets, Venetian arches, Romans tombs and a bit outside the village the beautiful Venetian Wells which is a perfect spot for a picnic! Gavalohori has also a lovely Folklore museum and a Women’s Co-op which has developed the fine art of handicrafts such as knitting, embroidery, and lace-making.

About 4 km from Vamos the idyllic little village of Douliana is situated on a top of a hill overlooking Souda Bay and is surrounded by olive groves and terraced farmland, dry stone walls and ancient Byzantine donkey paths. There are a mini-market and a rustic little kafenion in the tiny village square. From the square narrow little streets with whitewashed walls garlanded by flowers wend their way to the church. On the edge of the village you will also find a delightful little taverna serving authentic and very tasty Cretan food. The beaches of Kalyves and Almyrida are nearby, circa 4km.

Kalyves and Almyrida

Almyrida Greece
The village Kalyves is situated at the Souda Bay and, although touristic, is still a real Cretan village. Even during winter time it’s a place where the locals go for shopping or for a drink. There are plenty of hotels, rooms to let, restaurants, coffee shops and souvenirs’ shops. A small river crosses the village and there are two nice sandy beaches.

The fishing village of Almyrida, about 8 km from Vamos, becomes more and more a touristic resort. It has two small golden sand-beaches that are ideal for swimming. Just outside the village you can visit the ruins of a 11th century basilica with a beautiful mosaic floor. In the village there are plenty of good taverns, especially for fish and sea-food.

the walks

Walking with FaragiTours

Walking in Western Crete and especially in Apokoronas is a great experience. Like in most places in Greece it’s difficult to find nice walking paths on your own, because good maps are not available. With the guided walks of FaragiTours we bring you to places that are really off the beaten track! Walking with FaragiTours means: small international groups, good prices, a flexible programme and a lot of fun!


General information:
– Prices are per person and include transfer to and from the walk. Children under 15 years half price.
The main pickup places are: Geourgioupolis, Kavros, Vamos, Almyrida en Kalyves.
– Depending on the walk, a Cretan picnic or a coffee/tea is included.
– Guide speaks English, Dutch and German.
– At the end of the walk we have a ‘Meze’ (Greek tapas) and/or a drink (not included).

Individual Walks

Do you like to walk at your own pace and discover the Cretan landscapes yourself? FaragiTours has made several walk descriptions, mainly in the area of Vamos.

Other Walks!
During the season of 2008 I will be guiding twice a week in the region of Rethymno for the Happy Walker. One walk starts at the famous monastery of Arkadi and the other in the ceramic village of Margarites. If you are staying in the region of Apokoronas and you would like to join in these walks, you can book them through FaragiTours as well. We can also arrange your transfer. Click on the walks below for more information.

Diktamos Gorge

Through the riverbed of the Diktamos Gorge

A quiet, very green and shady gorge! Some small parts are a bit of a scramble but the combination of high rocky walls with beautiful shady vegetation of plane-trees is perfect! On the way we have a tasty Cretan picnic (included). The walk ends in the small village of Katohori where we can have a cold drink (not included). A spectacular walk, also suitable for the summer!

Information

Start/End Stilos/Katohori
Distance 11 kilometers
Walking time 4 hours
Season 20 April – 1 November
Day Sunday
Price € 25, per person
Extra picnic included

 

A countrywalk around Vamos

Old path outside Vamos

After walking around the village of Vamos, we go towards an old monastery. On the way there are wonderful views on the White Mountains (Lefka Ori). Along an old village, an old Turkish settlement and through forest tracks we walk to a hidden church with beautiful fresco’s. Here we enjoy a Cretan picnic and after we walk through olive groves and an ancient path back to Vamos. An easy and relaxing walk!

Information

Start/End Vamos
Distance 10 kilometers
Walking time 3,5 hours
Season 1 april – 1 november
Day Wednesday
Price € 25,- per person
Extra picnic included

 

The Imbros Gorge and FrankoKastello

Natural gate in the gorge

First a drive via the beautiful Askyfou plateau to the village of Imbros. From here the spectacular walk through the Imbros Gorge starts. At some points the gorge is extremely narrow! It is not a very long and difficult walk, suitable for children as well. At the village Komitades, where the walk ends, we have a transfer to FrankoKastello a Venetian fort from the 14th century. There is a beautiful sandy beach where you can go for a dive in the Lybian Sea or have some food and drinks in one of the taverns. Note! This walk is not guided!

Information

Start/End Imbros/Komitades
Distance 8 kilometers
Walking time 3 hours
Season 1 April – 1 November
Day On request
Price € 25,- per person
Extra entrance fee Imbros
not included! (ca € 2,-)

 

Authentic Apokoronas

An old stone path towards a chapel

This walk has really a lot to offer! We walk through four very traditional villages of the Apokoronas area. Situated at the edge of the White Mountains, the views and landscapes here are unspoiled and breathtaking! We walk through forests, along very old chapels (with fresco’s 700 hundred years old) and old mule-paths. In the distance we can see the sea and with clear weather even the city of Rethymno and the Psiloritis, the highest mountain of Crete! Halfway we enjoy a coffee or tea in one of the traditional ‘kafenia’. We end the walk with some ‘meze’ (Greek tapas) in a local tavern (not included). This walk is a beauty!

Information

Start/End Nippos
Distance 13 kilometers
Walking time 5 hours
Season 1 April – 1 November
Day Friday
Price € 25,- per person
Extra coffee/tea included

 

Along Rivers and through Orange Groves

River Koiliaris

We walk along a river and cross many olive and orange groves. We visit a 13th century Byzantine church and pass from the imposing entrance of the Diktamos Gorge. In a traditional village, which is famous for it’s springs, we enjoy a coffee/tea (not included). Along easy dirt roads we walk along oranges, olive and avocado groves back to the start. Hidden in the fields there are many old stone-built wells. At the end of the walk we enjoy a Cretan picnic in the yard of an old church (included). One of the easier walks with very few up- and downhill!

Information

Start/End Kalyves
Distance 12 kilometers
Walking time 4 hours
Season 1 April – 20 June
15 September – 1 November
Day Tuesday
Price € 25,- per person
Extra coffee/tea included

 

Arkadi Monastery, a symbol of Freedom

The Arkadi Monastery

In the Amazon Rethymno area..
The amazon listing optimization walk begins at the Arkadi monastery, a historical symbol of the Cretan fight for freedom against Turkish domination. Passing under big umbrella pines, we continue along goat paths, field tracks and cross-country. We see some chapels, one of them still has remains of frescoes. Following a riverbed we end up in the traditional village of Pikris with its beautifully restored Venetian archway.

Information

Start/End Arkadi/Pikris
Distance ca. 12 kilometers
Walking time 4,5 hours
Season 1 April – 1 November
Day Every Monday
Price € 30, per person
Extra coffee/tea included

 

Ceramics and old stone-built wells

In the Rethymno area..
Five different villages are part of this interesting walk. The walk starts in Margarites, known as a pottery village since old times. Walking along a beautiful green river valley we come across interesting old wells. The valley has been used for agriculture; now it is mainly overgrown. We see the oldest bridge of Crete (circa 450 B.C.) and Roman burial caves, cut into the rocks. We are in woody surroundings with beautiful views of the IDA mountains.

Information

Start/End Margarites
Distance ca. 13 kilometers
Walking time 4,5 hours
Season 1 April – 15 June
15 September – end oktober
Day Every Thursday
Price € 30, per person
Extra coffee/tea included