Crete tourist guide

The best Polish website dedicated to the Greek island Crete and to a small extent of continental Greece. You will find useful information related to visiting Crete that goes beyond the offer of optional tours. On the website you will also find descriptions of the most interesting places that we visited by visiting this largest Greek island. The content complements the current news, photographs and recipes of Greek cuisine.

Agia Irini gorge

The Agia Irini gorge, located a short distance from the village of Sougia, is one of the most popular hiking destinations organized in this area of Crete. The approximately 10 km long trail is a great alternative for all of these. who do not want to or cannot afford to cross the Samaria Gorge.

Description of the trail

The trail leading through the gorge is relatively easy to walk and well marked. A large part of it runs along a comfortable gravel path. In a few places there are slightly more rocky sections running through the gravel area, but their passage should not be a problem even for less advanced hikers. In fact, all you need to do to walk this trail is good will.

Agia Irini - the beginning of the trail


The beginning of the walking path is on the southern outskirts of Agia Irini. Right in front of the sign that marks the beginning of this small village, there is a concrete bay that is a stop for the KTEL bus. There is also an intersection in the same place with a clearly marked steep exit leading to a free car park. The ticket office is located in a small stone building deep in the square, where you can buy admission tickets. This place can be considered the right beginning of the trail leading through the Agia Irini gorge.


Agia Irini - A dry stream

What can be noticed in the first place is the peace of this place and the abundance of vegetation that dominates here. If the beginning of your trip to this gorge falls in the early morning hours, you may also feel the very distinct chill that prevails here at this time of the day. While walking at the beginning of the trail, the murmur of water flowing in the stream running along the path may also draw your attention. Unfortunately, at the height of the summer season, this nice sound will not stay with you for too long. The water flowing in the ravine very quickly hides under the rocky bottom, leaving only traces of the dried stream bed.


At this stage, the path through the thicket of oleanders growing on the slopes of the gorge is very wide and comfortable. It is only between the first and the second kilometer that the surroundings of the trail change significantly. It is dominated by a pine forest, characteristic for Crete, growing on steep slopes. Over the next several hundred meters, the path descends steeply, leading along very picturesque serpentines. If you've been to the Samaria Gorge before, you may have the right associations with Xyloskalo.

Agia Irini - steep descent


Further on, the Agia Irini gorge shows the full spectrum of landscapes that you can find in other places of this type. You will have the opportunity to admire steep rock walls or majestic sandbanks creating vast slopes covered with rock rubble.

The final stage of the trail through the Agia Irini gorge is by far the least attractive part of this trip. A relatively narrow path runs along a small ravine densely covered with greenery. At its end you will find a signpost leading to the Oasis tavern, which we describe below. This place can be considered as the actual end of the Agia Irini Gorge trail.


What to take with you

It is definitely worth taking an adequate supply of water with you. At the time when we were crossing the gorge, some of the water intakes there were not functioning. However, it is worth remembering, especially if you are going to cross this gorge when arriving by morning bus, that a large part of the route you cover will be in the shade. The sun will only operate on you with full intensity in the lower part of the gorge. So overloading yourself with too much water is not necessary. A bottle holding about 1.5 liters for one person will be quite a spare.


It is not necessary to take trekking poles, especially as we wrote

before that, the trail is relatively easy. It is worth noting, however, that they will not bother you, so if having them will make your journey easier, you can of course take them.

Agia Irini - stop

Traditionally, as with most hiking trails in Crete, we recommend that you use appropriate footwear. In our opinion, solid trekking sandals are the absolute minimum. Personally, however, due to the sharp gravel that covers the trail in places, we recommend the use of covered shoes. Various types of low trekking and approach shoes or sports shoes with a solid sole will be perfect.

In the lower part of the trail and at later times, it is also worth taking care of adequate protection against the sun. A hat, sunglasses and sunscreen will certainly be useful.



The Agia Irini gorge can be quite a windy place. On such days, usually much less tourists come here. In the words of the owner of the Oasis tavern, this is due to the fact that strong winds raise concerns about an increase in the amount of loose stones falling off the rock walls of the gorge. Despite the fact that our trip was on such a windy day, personally we did not notice that it increased this type of risk.

Agia Irini - the end of the trail

Oasis Tavern

A nice touch ending your stay in the Agia Irini gorge is the Oasis tavern at the end of the trail. The relaxed climate and pleasant atmosphere make it worth spending even a moment here regenerating after trekking. If you feel hungry, in the local menu you will find a selection of several local dishes and specialties. Of course, the Oasis serves a tasty juice made of freshly squeezed oranges and frappe. On site, you can also buy a number of local products, such as olive oil or honey collected from apiaries located in the surrounding mountains.

Agia Irini - Oasis Tavern

It is also worth knowing that if the next destination of your trip is Sougia, you can also order a taxi in the Oasis tavern, which will take you for about 10 € (maximum 3-4 people) to this town. We recommend that you use this option, because the rest of the road towards the coast runs along the asphalt road. It is not particularly interesting and its passage is a relatively small attraction - especially when it will be covered in full sun.


Organization of the trip

This trip is not difficult to organize, especially for people whose accommodation will be in Souga or Paleochora. In the case of both towns, access to the gorge is possible using the KTEL bus, which runs to the Samaria Gorge in the morning. When buying a ticket, just declare that your destination is Agia Irini. The cost of the ticket for the journey from Paleochora is about € 4.70, while from Sougia the cost of the journey is about € 3.20

Agia Irini - access by KTEL bus

Being in Sougia, you can take advantage of several additional courses in the afternoon at 12:30, 14:15 and 18:15. These courses can also be a pretty good choice for all those who want to explore the Agia Irini gorge by taking a rental car from another part of Crete. In this case, it is enough that after passing the gorge you will reach the town of Sougia, and then you will take a KTEL bus ride, which will take the afternoon course to Agia Irini, the point where you left your car and started your journey through the gorge.




Of course, the above options do not completely cover the spectrum of access to this gorge. People staying in Chania may also be tempted to visit this place, from where it is relatively easy to get to Agia Irini. You just need to take one of the buses that run to Sougia .

Regardless of which option you choose, always check if the bus route is being carried out. Depending on the season, the frequency of a given call may change. Sometimes it also happens that outside the tourist season, some or even all of the courses on some KTEL routes are suspended.

A quite popular way to implement this trip is also to get to Agia Irini with your own car, which you can leave in the parking lot described above at the ticket office. Finish the trail in the Oasis tavern, where you can order a taxi to return to Agia Irini. The cost of such a trip in recent years has been around 35 € - the car takes up to 4 people. Of course, you can also come back on foot, crossing the gorge in the other direction. It also has its advantages because when you walk the path in the opposite direction, you notice completely different elements of the landscape. If you choose this method of return, you also need to reserve an appropriate amount of time.

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Interesting places on Crete

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Falasarna
Falasarna

Falasarna

W 2002 roku Falasarna zdobyła tytuł najlepszej plaży w Grecji. Wyróżnienie to nie jest bynajmniej przypadkowe, gdyż miejsce to jak na standardy Krety jest naprawdę unikalne.

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Elafonisi
Elafonisi

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Elafonisi
Elafonisi

Elafonisi

Elafonisi is a small island located at the end of the southwestern edge of Crete. A characteristic feature of Elafonisi is the shallow lagoon connecting it with Crete.

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Chania Airport
Chania Airport

Chania Airport

This is the second largest airport (IATA code: CHQ) in Crete. In 2010, the airport in Chania served a total of over 1.65 million passengers.

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Chania - Xania
Chania - Xania

Chania - Xania

Chania (Χανιά) is the second largest (after Heraklion) city of Crete. The biggest advantage of Chania is the area of the Old Town and the beautiful Venetian Harbor.

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Aptera
Aptera

Aptera

Aptera is a city whose history dates back to at least a thousand years before our era. In the peak period, about 20,000 lived in it. people, of which only 1/5 were free people.

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Chania - Xania
Chania - Xania

Chania - Xania

Chania (Χανιά) is the second largest (after Heraklion) city of Crete. The biggest advantage of Chania is the area of ​​the Old Town and the beautiful Venetian Harbor.

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Sfakia
Sfakia

Sfakia

The genesis of the name of this poviat will not surprise anybody who will break the road from the Imbros gorge to Hora Sfakion.

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Frangokastello
Frangokastello

Frangokastello

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Hrisoskalitissas
Hrisoskalitissas

Hrisoskalitissas

(Χρυσοσκαλίτισσα) The Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary with the Golden Step from the 17th century is the westernmost church building of this type.

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Hrisoskalitissas
Hrisoskalitissas

Hrisoskalitissas

(Χρυσοσκαλίτισσα) The Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary with the Golden Step from the 17th century is the westernmost church building of this type.

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The Omalos plateau
The Omalos plateau

The Omalos plateau

Omalos is a perfect starting point for exploring the Samaria Gorge. Located over 1,100 m above sea level extends over an area of 25 km2. Its size corresponds more or less to the size of the Lasithi Plateau.

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Kournas
Kournas

Kournas

Located 47 km from the city of Chania, it is the only freshwater lake in Crete. Its area is about 580 thousand. sqm. and the maximum depth is about 45 meters

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The Omalos plateau
The Omalos plateau

The Omalos plateau

Omalos is a perfect starting point for exploring the Samaria Gorge. Located over 1,100 m above sea level extends over an area of 25 km2. Its size corresponds more or less to the size of the Lasithi Plateau.

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Aradena
Aradena

Aradena

The steel crossing, which in the central part is separated from the ground by nearly 150 m, is at the leading position of the places where the longest bungee jumps are made.

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Chania - Xania
Chania - Xania

Chania - Xania

Chania (Χανιά) is the second largest (after Heraklion) city of Crete. The biggest advantage of Chania is the area of the Old Town and the beautiful Venetian Harbor.

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Sfakia
Sfakia

Sfakia

The genesis of the name of this poviat will not surprise anybody who will break the road from the Imbros gorge to Hora Sfakion. Word

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Chania Airport
Chania Airport

Chania Airport

This is the second largest airport (IATA code: CHQ) in Crete. In 2010, the airport in Chania served a total of over 1.65 million passengers.

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Chora Sfakion
Chora Sfakion

Chora Sfakion

Chora Sfakion is an extremely picturesque mountain village of the mountainous and wild Sfakia region

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Loutro
Loutro

Loutro

Loutro is famous for the fact that you can get to it only from the sea or walk on the mountain trail, because there is no other road here.

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Stavros
Stavros

Stavros

Stavros used to be a small fishing village. Today, it is primarily a tourist destination, but in a positive sense.

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Bear's Cave
Bear's Cave

Bear's Cave

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Balos Lagoon
Balos Lagoon

Balos Lagoon

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Moni Katholiko
Moni Katholiko

Moni Katholiko

Moni Katholiko is probably the oldest and most spectacular monastery in Crete. It is located 20 km north-east of Chania.

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Agia Triada Monastery
Agia Triada Monastery

Agia Triada Monastery

The Orthodox monastery of Agia Triada, located on the northern part of the Akrotiri peninsula, is one of the most beautiful and richest monasteries in Crete.

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Agia Triada Monastery
Agia Triada Monastery

Agia Triada Monastery

The Orthodox monastery of Agia Triada, located on the northern part of the Akrotiri peninsula, is one of the most beautiful and richest monasteries in Crete.

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Gouverneto Monastery
Gouverneto Monastery

Gouverneto Monastery

Gouverneto Monastery is probably the oldest active Greek Catholic monastery located on the Akrotiri peninsula near Chania.

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Imbros
Imbros

Imbros

The length of the trail leading through this place is about 8 kilometers and the difference in altitude is about 600m.

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Agia Roumeli
Agia Roumeli

Agia Roumeli

Agia Roumeli znajduje się na południowym wybrzeżu Prefektury Chania, pomiędzy miejscowościami Chora Sfakion i Paleochora.

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Souda
Souda

Souda

Until the early nineties, this place was known only to few tourists and local residents.

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Paleochora
Paleochora

Paleochora

Paleochora is a quite well-organized tourist town, with a beautiful large sandy beach

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Lissos
Lissos

Lissos

Ruiny starożytnego miasta Lissos znajdują się około 3,5 km od miejscowości Sougia na południowym wybrzeżu Krety.

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Samaria
Samaria

Samaria

Samaria is one of the most important tourist attractions located in the western part of Crete.

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Glyka Nera
Glyka Nera

Glyka Nera

Glyka Nera is one of the most spectacular beaches in Crete.

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Sougia
Sougia

Sougia

Sougia is a small town located in the southwest of Crete.

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Falasarna (excavations)
Falasarna (excavations)

Falasarna (excavations)

On the north-western coast of Crete, at the foot of the Gramovous peninsula, there are ruins of the ancient port of Korikos, later known as Falassarna.

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Krios
Krios

Krios

Krios Beach is located about 9 km west of Paleochora and it is also the last beach on this stretch of the southern coast

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Agia Sofia
Agia Sofia

Agia Sofia

Between the villages of Topolia and Koutsamatados there is an interesting cave known as Agia Sofia

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Milia
Milia

Milia

Milia is an authentic mountain settlement, which most probably dates from about the seventeenth century.

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Potamida
Potamida

Potamida

On the edge of the village of Potamida grows a complex of clay mounds called Komolithi (Komolithoi)

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Grammeno
Grammeno

Grammeno

Grammeno (Γραμμένο) is a beach that can be counted among one of the best and most beautiful beaches in this part of Crete.

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Polirynia
Polirynia

Polirynia

Polyrinia was one of the most important city-states of western Crete during the Hellenistic and Roman periods. It was built amphitheater on a steep hill, rising to a height of 481 meters above sea level

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Agia Irini
Agia Irini

Agia Irini

The Agia Irini gorge, just a short distance from the village of Sougia, is one of the most popular hiking destinations.

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Recipes for self-organization of trips to the Samaria Gorge

Samaria is one of the places we often devote a place to on our site. This gorge is not without exaggeration is considered one of the biggest attractions of the western part of Crete. Every year in high season it is visited by even over a thousand people a day. Its popularity was influenced not only by the natural beauty of this place, but also by the name of the longest gorge in Europe. Although there is already a guide on our site, in which we described in detail the trip from Paleochora to the Samaria Gorge, we decided to supplement it with an additional article. Below you will find detailed information on how to organize this trip yourself from some of the more important towns of central and western Crete.

Gorge of St. Nicholas and Rouvas forest

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We would like to encourage you to choose Rouvas Gorge as one of your holiday goals. The trail led through this place is, in our opinion, one of the most interesting hiking tours in Crete. An additional advantage is that independent organization of such a trip is relatively uncomplicated and easy. Of course, if you have a rental car.

Sfakia and Aradena - the land of the chasm

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Najnowsze komentarze:

gość PiotrWie: Zaszczepcie się a zaoszczędzicie 2/3 z tego.
18 maja nie jest piątkiem :)
Hej, lecę na Kretę w poniedziałek i faktycznie nie mogłam znaleźć żadnych konkretnych informacji na temat otwarcia wąwozu, ale... Od 20.05 mozna wykupić wycieczki zorganizowane, więc zakładam, że wtedy Samaria otworzy się na turystów, tzn. mam taką ogromną nadzieję...
gość PiotrWie: Sezon się zaczyna. Od rana już trzeci samochód z dostawą do tawerny przy plaży
gość dodekanezowiec: 2 osoby dorosłe + 5,5 latek - ceny z Itaką - 340 x 3 + kwestia powrotu 3 x 99, aczkolwiek: - z kwarantanny po powrocie są zwolnione osoby wracające z przedszkolakiem,  - a wooj z wami, nie byde płocić, łobkupie sie, na kworontonnę se po powrocie pujde, do roboty tysz nie bynde musioł!   A na poważnie - liczę że od czerwca może antygen wprowadzą. 
gość PiotrWie: Bez przesady- Samaria jest mniej więcej tak niebezpieczna jak Droga Pod Reglami w Karkonoszach Szlak jest wyrównany, co kilkadziesiąt minut drogi są źródła wody, a w razie skręcenie nogi obsługa zawiezie delikwenta na koniu. Widziałam tam takich co szli w butach do wody i jakoś doszli. Jak dla kogoś Samaria jest bardzo niebezpieczna to niech lepiej nie opuszcza nadmorskiej promenady. (...)
gość PiotrWie: My dzisiaj byliśmy na okrężnej trasie przez wąwozy Kato Poros i Moundros. Pierwszy bardzo ładny ale bardzo niejasny szlak - spore odcinki szliśmy po prostu strumieniem. Było dość trudno, ale przeszliśmy. Drugi dużo łatwiejszy - ale też ciekawy, przez całą drogę wzdłuż strumienia rosną platany. 11 km zajęło nam 6 godzin.
Niesamowita wyprawa...
Bardzo niebezpieczny. Nie dla każdego
Obowiązkowy punkt wyprawy na Kretę
Dla turystów nadal obowiązuje jedynie test PCR czy dopuszczą antygenowe?
Magdalena Chojnacka
Rozumiem że co do wpuszczania ozdrowieńców ciągle nic się nie zmieniło?
Czy to prawda, że mają być losowe testy, nawet dla osób zaszczepionych?
Byliśmy z mężem rok temu w Heraklionie. Powiem tak, brzydszego miasta nie widziałam.
gość PiotrWie: Na lotnisku we Wrocławiu przedstawiliśmy zaświadczenie o szczepieniu - wydrukowane z pacjent.gov.pl ( z IKE) dwa zaświadczenia w językach polskim i angielskim oraz kod QR i grecki PLF, nasz miał numer zaczynający się od 7. Nikt nikogo nie testował. W Chanii nikt nas nie sprawdzał - w zeszłym roku oglądali PLF - ale może coś zorganizują od 15 mają gdy ruszy oficjalny sezon, póki co w Chanii 3 samoloty na krzyż. (...)
Adam Wyspiański : Planuję wylot z Wrocławia do Chanii na sierpień. Na pewno dużo się zmieni do tego czasu. Piotrze mam pytanie odnośnie procedur na lotnisku we Wrocławiu. (...)
Gosia | crete.pl : Piotrze a tak z ciekawości.... gdzie zatrzymaliście się we Frangokastello?
gość PiotrWie: My też wczoraj przylecieliśmy do Chanii. Testy lub szczepienia oraz PLF sprawdzano na lotnisku we Wrocławiu, zresztą słusznie bo co by zrobili z kimś kto przyleciał bez - trzymali na lotnisku?  W maskach chodzili w miejscowościach - tu w Frankokastelo tylko w sklepach i w recepcji. O systemie SMS zapomnieli chyba jakiś czas temu. Nie wiem jak w większych skupiskach ludzi - może tam coś wymagają. (...)
Ile kosztuje mniej więcej rejs takim statkiem?
Wylądowałem wczoraj w Chanii. Zero jakiegokolwiek testu lub zainteresowania władz. Bajki o angielskich testach itd, to nie w Chanii.
Magdalena Dudek Damian Konieczny pamiętacie tą jaskinię?
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