Take a private tour of Chania with a local guide and we’ll leave behind the city and its Venetian charm as we venture into a completely different landscape, going deep into the unique region of Sfakia.
The White Mountains will be our stomping ground for a whole day of activities for the whole family, including a cheese- and yoghurt-tasting, a hike through a gorge, a hands-on cooking experience, a visit to a one-of-a-kind 'herbal sanctuary,' and a wine-tasting to finish off the day.
Sfakia is a region of southern Crete and took its name from the larger village located there, Chora Sfakion. The entire region is characterised by rugged mountainous beauty combined in a unique way with the sea. From the White Mountains, large green canyons descend to the Libyan Sea, giving the impression to anyone who looks from above that God tore the mountains in half! Aside from their astonishing beauty, these gorges also have a million tales to tell you. Among those stories from its turbulent, but heroic, past are the many times when brave rebel Sfakians, fighting for freedom, had to hide in these canyons.
Sfakia includes part of the White Mountains range, or Madara, including the highest peak of Pachnes. It also includes Samaria Gorge, the largest gorge in Europe and one of the most popular sights in Crete. As well, it is home to Imbros Gorge, which is the second most popular gorge on the island, and the one we will hike.
Our first stop of the day on your private Crete tour will be at a family-owned, small-scale cheese factory, where you’ll get an introduction to and tasting of Cretan cheese and yoghurt. You’ll learn all about the traditional local production from this expert cheesemonger and have the opportunity to sample what locals consider the best yoghurt on the island!
After this light breakfast, we’ll move on to Askifou Plateau, a natural valley surrounded by the White Mountains. From an altitude of 730 metres, we’ll start our hike of the Imbros gorge. The gorge is about eight kilometres, and the average walking time is about two and a half hours. Don’t worry though, it’s an easy walk for the whole family, with many stops for photos and learning about the flora and fauna that we’ll encounter along the way.
Imbros is a spectacular gorge with several very narrow passages — and if you are Australian, New Zealander, or British, walking through the gorge is almost a pilgrimage, as many ANZACs who fought with the allied troops in Crete walked through this gorge in May 1941 to escape the island and sail to Egypt. Your guide will have many thrilling stories to share with you.
Your Crete adventure will continue as we visit Kallikratis, a village off the typical tourist path and which has an intriguing history. It has never lived under the permanent foreign rule, as its residents have a long tradition fighting for freedom and are well-known for their bravery. The area also boasts gorges, ravines, plateaus, and small abandoned villages.
Next up, time to experience local culture through gastronomy and a hands-on workshop! Among the flavours and aromas of local food and good wine, we’ll unveil the secrets of Cretan cuisine as you enjoy a traditional meal.
After lunch, we’ll head to a 'herbal sanctuary.' Known for their therapeutic qualities from ancient times but also for the special taste they give to local dishes, Cretan herbs will fascinate you with their abundance (over 1,800 plant species) and qualities. In a little café, we’ll meet the owners who distil Cretan herbs the traditional way and offer high-quality herbal products in their shop. And yes, we are going to try some of their concoctions!
The end of the day will find us with a glass of wine in-hand as we visit one of the best wineries on Crete. Here, we’ll get to taste four different wine varieties in a cellar that is in itself a setting for a ritualistic experience. A fitting finale in Crete’s far west!
(If you’d prefer to travel as part of a regular group experience, please book our The Best of Far West Crete group tour.)
This tour is priced for a minimum group size of two travellers. A solo traveller may still book this private experience but will be charged the base rate for two travellers.
Inclusions: Local English-speaking guide, transportation, cheese and yoghurt samples, two-course meal (meat and veggie options), sweets, fruit, 4 different wine tastings, fresh orange juice for the children.
Exclusions: Additional food and drinks, souvenirs or personal shopping, tips/gratuities for your driver and guide.
Dress standard: Please wear comfortable walking shoes, and dress appropriately for hiking and the weather.
Confirmation of booking: If you have your voucher, your booking is confirmed. We'll see you at the start point. Get in touch if you have any concerns or require more information via the email address or phone number (business hours only) on your voucher.
Additional Information: For last-minute bookings, please call us directly at 6986780970.
Child Policy: This is a child-friendly tour. Children between the ages of 6 and 11 inclusively are permitted on this tour at the rate listed above. Please select ‘child’ above when booking. Children under the age of 6 are permitted to join this tour free of charge. Please inform us at the time of booking if you’ll be bringing a child under the age of 6. You can do so in the special request box on the checkout page.