Authentic and preserved, nature in Crete is prolific. If the island is known for being the cradle of Greek mythology, which owes it the nickname "Island of the Gods", Crete also has a dream setting. With family or friends, discover the most beautiful natural areas of Crete.
Located in West Crete, with the White Mountains in the background, the Samaria Gorge is a must-see spot on the island. These gorges will impress you with their beauty. They have been classified as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO since 1981. Although it is a tourist Mecca of Crete, the walk is worth the detour. Take these hiking trails that will lead you to discover sublime landscapes. Be careful though, the Samaria Gorge is only open from May to October. The rest of the time, the water level makes it dangerous and access is closed to the public.
Head to the south of Crete to admire this wonder of nature. Indeed, the peninsula of Elafonissi looks like a postcard. This beautiful beach is known for its turquoise blue water and pink sand. Though the place is rather touristy, the spectacle is nevertheless worth seeing. You will also find quieter corners towards the rocky cliffs. To fully enjoy this little paradise on earth, we advise you to visit Elafonissi in low season. During your visit, do not miss the lighthouse of Elafonissi, intended to warn sailors of an attack after the sinking of 1907.
On the western tip of the Gulf of Kissamos is a magical place: Balos lagoon. Accessible from the peninsula of Gramvoussa, the lagoon of Balos is a paradise of turquoise waters and fine sands. Walk the arid landscapes of the peninsula of Gramvoussa and rest by the beautiful Balos lagoon. We also recommend that you stop at Balos Bay, a favourite spot for Cretans who enjoy picnicking and sharing moments with their loved ones. In a few words, this heaven on earth is a real delight!
Only a few kilometres from Georgioupolis, Lake Kournas is the only freshwater lake on Crete. Surrounded by mountains, this lake exudes serenity and relaxation. It is possible to swim in the waters of this lake and even rent pedal boats for a beautiful ride on the water. In addition, the site is favoured by fishermen. In the lake, there is indeed an impressive amount of eels and even turtles. Legend has it that a nymph was seen brushing her hair in the light of the moon. Uncover the secrets of this legendary lake and take a break at one of the most beautiful sites in Crete.
The largest mass on the island, the White Mountains occupy most of western Crete. They owe their name to the limestone that they are made up of, and the snow they are covered with until the end of spring. This imposing mountain range is a fantastic starting point for various hikes. In particular, the most athletic can tackle the ascent of Pachnes, the highest peak of the White Mountains (2453 metres). All along the way, you'll come across sinkholes, caves and precipices. Do not miss the Gourgouthakas and Leon limestone reliefs, the darkest but also the most surprising in the region.
A famous hiking spot in Crete, the Valley of the Dead is a must for all nature lovers. The advantage of this valley is that the walk is perfect for a family excursion. Accessible to all, Zakros, also called the Valley of the Dead, enjoys a natural environment of dreams. Leave the small village of Zakros and continue to the gorges where you will discover cavities along a well-marked path. The hike lasts about an hour. Far from the tourists and the hustle and bustle of Chania, Zakros is a pleasant excursion in the middle of a dry and arid landscape.
Located in eastern Crete, the Lassithi Plateau is one of the most fertile regions of Crete. Nicknamed the "valley of 10,000 mills", the Lassithi Plateau offers a sublime panorama of the entire surrounding region. In addition, the plateau is bordered by the mountain of Dikti, where we recommend a visit to its cave. Dikti cave is legendary because it was there that Zeus, the king of the Gods of Greek mythology, was born. In this region, many walks are possible, during which you can admire all the beauty of the natural landscapes and take a breath of fresh air.