Alternative Crete - Langdale Walking Holidays

This holiday offers a relaxing and creative experience in an unknown and peaceful part of Crete, where you can uncover a more laid back and authentic experience of life on this picturesque corner of the Mediterranean.

  • Your own comfortable accommodation with swimming pool and breakfast served in your apartment
  • Quiet coastal location
  • Relaxed guided walks along the coast, local villages and rolling hillsides
  • Learn about the local fauna and flora as you explore the countryside
  • Introduction to Cretan culture, history and archaeology
  • Swimming pool and local secluded beach
  • Optional painting workshop
  • Local English-speaking guide and tour leader
  • Dinners in local tavernas
  • Free time in the afternoons to relax by the pool or further explore the area

Stay in comfortable apartments in the small coastal village of Nopigia on the northwest coast, east of Kissamos Bay, near the Spatha Peninsula. Here you can experience peace and tranquillity, as well as a taste of the “other Crete” – far removed from the crowds and the mass tourism resorts.

Start your day by exploring areas well off the beaten track with your local English-speaking guide. There’s no better way of getting an insight into Cretan life than discovering firsthand a side of the island that is largely known only be locals, with guided tours of the archaeological, natural and historic features of the Kissamos Bay area. A feature of this holiday is the inclusion of optional painting and drawing classes, run by an English artist in the afternoons. Alternatively, you may prefer to spend this time relaxing on the beach, by the pool or further exploring the surrounding area.

The family-run apartments are air-conditioned and located about 200 metres from the beach of Nopigia. They are well furnished and include a double bedroom, living room, shower, kitchenette and large balcony.

Direct flights are to Chania from Manchester, Gatwick or Birmingham. Breakfasts are provided in your apartments and dinner each evening will be in traditional tavernas in the village. This is a perfect time of year to visit Crete with average temperatures around 19 ºC – 24 ºC during the day and 14ºC at night.

Walking Grade: Grade: Easy

Day 1: Tuesday 2nd June - Flight to Chania

On arrival at the airport, look out for the taxi driver who will be displaying a board showing your names. Then transfer to the village of Nopigia, where you will be met by our Active Crete agents, Camille and lakovos. For those flying from Gatwick, take the afternoon to settle into your home for the week.
We have arranged for a complimentary welcome pack of provisions to be placed in your apartment, including bottled water, a bowl of local fruit, local home-made biscuits, a bottle of wine and a bunch of sweet-smelling herbs.
Please note that there is an extra charge of five Euros a day in the unlikely event of needing the air-conditioning.
Dinner has been arranged at Taverna Porfyra at 8:00pm for the group arriving from Gatwick, to be joined later by the group from Manchester. The restaurant is a five-minute walk from the hotel.

Accommodation: Cormoranos Apartments

Meals: Dinner,

Day 2: Wednesday 3rd June - Morning Walk: Platanaki - Korfalanos - Kissamos; Late afternoon: Painting Workshop

Breakfast will be delivered to your apartment.

Meet at 9:00 for the Platanaki – Korfalonas – Kissamos walk. From our hotel, we walk to the sea and then along the beach to the Platanaki and Korfalonas areas, crossing the little river of Korfalonas and continuing further until we cross another small stream to reach Kissamos where we visit the local archaeological museum, old fishing port and local traditional
shops selling honey, wine, tsikoudia, herbs etc.- a chance to take back something back to your apartment. Optional light lunch in Kissamos before returning via the regular bus service. Free time in the afternoon.

The first painting workshop (optional) is held in the studio from 17:30 to 19:00. We will discuss the painting programme, try pencils and pastels and do some warm up exercises in drawing/sketching e.g.: still lives/views of the sea/painting from sketches or photographs taken on the first walk. Beginners will be introduced to drawing materials and encouraged to start sketching.

Dinner in local taverna.

Walking: Walking about 2.5 hours. Grade Easy.

Accommodation: Cormoranos Apartments

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner,

Day 3: Thursday 4th June - Deliana Gorge

Breakfast will be delivered to your apartment.
Please meet at 9:00am for a taxi ride to the entrance of Deliana Gorge, for the start of today’s walk.
At the entrance to the gorge, there are benches, toilets and a water fountain. The walk is very pleasant, as the path is clear of stones and there is shade during the major part of our exploration. Inside the gorge, there are plenty of interesting things to see. The steep gorge-sides are bathed in sunlight, while vultures circle the skies. Butterflies are plentiful, as well as goats, with the ambience of the gorge only interrupted by the sound of the goat’s bells. We follow the path for about two and a half kilometers until we reach a small mountain church with benches, tables and a water fountain outside. We plan to pause for a break here; some of us may wish to go further and the others can wait for us to return. We all walk back together to the village of Deliana to visit the Byzantine church of Agios Ioannis and have a coffee break. We return by taxi to our apartments.
Walking about 3 hours. Grade Easy. Free time in the afternoon.
The second painting workshop is from 17:30 to 19:00. We will meet at the studio to collect paints and materials and then walk east along the bay to find a shady spot from which to sketch the rocks, trees and sea. For beginners, this second workshop is the chance to try painting in colour, using shading to add depth. The receding rocky coastline is an excellent subject for the study of perspective and tone to create distance and for all artists it is a chance to paint ‘en plein air’.
Dinner in Taverna Porfyra.

Walking: Walking about 3 hours. Grade Easy.

Accommodation: Cormoranos Apartments

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner,

Day 4: Friday 5th June: Falasarna

Breakfast will be delivered to your apartment.

We take the bus from Nopigia at 09:00am, passing Kissamos Town and Kissamos Harbour, on our way to Neo Chorio. Here, we stroll through the olive grove and gardens, where one can see flowers, typical of the areas, as well as the picturesque villages of Piperiana and Gramvousa. As we follow the route to the top of the hill, overlooking the bay of Falasarna, the landscape steadily grows emptier, but here at the west side of Crete, we are rewarded with views stretching right out over the Mediterranean. Descend to the ancient site of Falasarna, where the harbour was the reason for the city’s existence, the source of its wealth. A former city-state with its own lawns and coinage, Falasarna provided military advisers and thousands of mercenaries for a war under the Macedonian king, Perseus, against the Romans (Livy).

Falasarna was involved in two major wars with neighbouring city-states during the Hellenistic period. The first was with Polyrrhenia, probably triggered by land disputes. It started in the late fourth century and ended around 290 BC, following mediation by Cleonymus of Sparta. The peace treaty was inscribed on a stone tablet which is today in the museum of Kissamos. A second war was fought with Cydonia (Chania) around 184 BC and the disputes were finally resolved through Roman intervention (Polybius).
The city-state prospered through its maritime affairs, evidenced by the remains of monumental buildings and artwork. The treaty with Polyrrhenia gives evidence that in the third century BC the inhabitants of Falasarna were engaged in piracy, a common practice of the Cretan city-states. In 69-67 BC the Romans sent forces to eliminate piracy from the eastern Mediterranean, stormed Falasarna, blocked its harbour with massive masonry, and destroyed the whole city.

The city never managed to overcome this disaster. Even worse, the great earthquake of 365 AD raised the west coast of Crete by 6-9 metres, and the harbour of Falassarna suddenly found itself on land. If you walk round the archaeological site, you will see that the ruins of the city and its harbour are about 100 metres from the sea.
After visiting the ancient site, we plan to visit a local taverna for optional snacks or lunch. We then take the bus back to our hotel at 17:15.

Walking about 4 hours. Grade Easy.

During this expedition, there will be ample time for sketching, either in the taverna or at the beach. By now, beginners will have found the confidence to tackle more varied subjects. Help is at hand from the resident artist, Camille Marquand.

Dinner in local taverna.

Walking: Walking about 4 hours. Grade Easy.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner,

Day 5: Saturday 6th June - Free Time / Optional Visits

Breakfast will be delivered to your apartment.
For those interested in exploring the area further, a good choice would be a visit to Chania to see its picturesque Venetian harbour, old town, indoor market and artisan workshops. Camille and lakovos will provide you with maps of Chania and point out various points of interest. There is a regular bus service from near the hotel to the centre of Chania (4.80 Euros).

Also of interest could be a visit to the British war cemetery in Souda, which is best reached with a 5 km taxi ride from Chania (7-8 Euros per taxi).
Another possibility is Rethymnon, with its delightful harbour and labyrinth of quaint narrow streets and shops. The old town quarter is regarded as one of the best-preserved Venetian and Ottoman old towns.

If you don’t mind the long(ish) drive, you may be tempted to spend the day at the famous archaeological site of Knossos
near Heraklion.
Dinner in local taverna.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner,

Day 6: Sunday 7th June - Polyrhenia

Breakfast will delivered to your apartment.
Meet at the hotel at 9:00 for a taxi ride to modern Polyrhenia for the start of today’s walk.
Ancient Polyrrhenia was one of the most important cities of Crete during the Hellenistic and Roman period. Up on the
hilltop there are remains of the ancient Acropolis and a Byzantine fort where parts of the fortification walls with towers
have been preserved. The city is characterized by rock-cut houses with built facades. Only the rock cut parts have
survived and are still visible throughout the area. The supply of water was assured by a system of rock-cut cisterns that
are still to be found amongst the archaeological site. Indeed, the main source of water was the rock-cut aqueduct – an
important public construction and a technological achievement – at the entrance of the city.

The aqueduct consists of rock-cut tunnels which collected and distributed water into the city using the force of gravity. The ancient water supply system is still functioning, and parts of its tunnels are still visible. The ancient necropolis (cemetery) is situated on the north of the modern settlement, outside the city walls in accordance with the Hellenistic practices of the
time. Return to Kissamos walking downhill through a typical Cretan landscape of olive groves, before taking the public bus back
to our hotel.

For those wanting to sketch there are many views and charming houses. It is possible for painters to stay longer here and
return later with Camille (to be decided at the time). Free time in the afternoon. Between 17:30 to 19:00 the fourth painting workshop takes place either at the studio or on location (to be decided by the

Dinner in local tavern.

Accommodation: Cormoranos Apartments

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner,

Day 7: Monday 8th June: Nopigia - Panagia Myrtidiotisa - Agios Vasilios

Breakfast will be delivered to your apartment.
Free time. Private transfer to the airport for the return flight to the UK.

Accommodation: Cormoranos Apartments

Meals: Breakfast,

Cormoranos Apartments, NopigiaCormoranos Crete Apartments Hotel

Less than 40 metres from the beach, the Cormoranos Apartments are a neat little oasis of comfortable apartments set amongst lush gardens with an
inviting swimming pool surrounded by cool green lawns, exotic palms and colourful splashes of bougainvillea.

All apartments are kept spotlessly clean. Bed linen and towels are changed twice weekly and there is a communal washing machine. There are shops,tavernas and a mini market in Nopigia. Chania is 40km away and Kissamos 5km.

Availability Status: Available To Book

Option Price p.p Notes
Price per person £1740 Sharing a twin or double room
Single supplement £150

Price Includes:

  • Seven nights accommodation in characterful apartments
  • Expert local guide
  • Breakfast and meals in local tavernas
  • Welcome reception
  • Painting workshops
  • Guided group walks through the Cretan countryside
  • Accompanying tour leader

Not Included:

  • Drinks
  • Lunches
  • Holiday travel insurance
  • Any Government taxes, airline or fuel charges introduced after publication of the brochure

Please Note: We may need to pass on additional airline costs should the price of flights increase unexpectedly.  We will always check this with you before confirming the holiday.

Please Note: For reasons of safety, weather conditions and unforeseen circumstances, it may be necessary to make changes to the programme without advance notice. Every effort will be made to avoid this if at all possible.


Tuesday 2nd June: Fly to Chania
Arrive at the airport under your own arrangements for the flight to Chania. Please check-in at least two hours before departure time.

London Gatwick Departure:

  • Depart London Gatwick: 08:00
  • Arrive Chania (BST+2): 13:55

Flight time: 4hr 05
Carrier: EasyJet

Manchester Departure:

  • Depart Manchester: 13:50
  • Arrive Chania (BST+2): 20:00

Flight time: 4hr 10
Carrier: Ryanair

Birmingham Departure:

  • Depart Birmingham: 15:25
  • Arrive Chania (BST+2): 21:25

Flight time: 4hr
Carrier: Ryanair

Flight times are the latest known and subject to confirmation by the airline.  All flight times are local.


Tuesday 9th June: Return Flight to the UK
Transfer by private coach to Chania Airport.

London Gatwick Destination:

  • Depart Chania (BST+2): 14:35
  • Arrive London Gatwick: 16:40

Flight time: 4hr 05
Carrier: EasyJet

Manchester Destination:

  • Depart Chania (BST+2): 20:25
  • Arrive Manchester: 22:45

Flight time: 4hr 20
Carrier: Ryanair

Birmingham Destination:

  • Depart Chania (BST+2): 21:50
  • Arrive Manchester: 00:05 (14th June)

Flight time: 4hr 15
Carrier: Ryanair

Flight times are the latest known and subject to confirmation by the airline. All flight times are local time.

June Weather

Average Temperatures
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Average Rainfall
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Average Sunshine
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Useful Information

Currency: Euros (EUR). €1 will get you (roughly) £1.15 GBP or $1.33 USD, with the average price for a cup of coffee in Crete being €2.30. USD may be accepted in some restaurants and hotels and Visa and MasterCard are acceptable, though few places will accept AmEx. Foreign currency can be easily and readily exchanged at banks, exchange specialists, post offices and even some larger supermarkets.

Timezone: EET - Eastern European Time (GMT +3).

How Fit Do I Need to Be? Being comfortable with covering extended distances on foot will ensure more of an enjoyable time spent following Crete's network of rural walking trails. That being said, there is a lot of room to relax by the pool, engage in the painting sessions or explore the area further.

What to Wear in Crete: Light, breathable fabrics will put you in good stead to walk through the Cretan climate with eases. We strongly advise bringing sturdy footwear ready to tackle some of the rougher rural trails as well as clothing and accessories that will protect you from the sun while you're out exploring.

Power Plugs and Sockets in the UK: Crete uses the standard two-pronged Euro plug.

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Langdale Walking Holidays is a trading name of Celtic Trails Ltd, A company registered in England and Wales under number 07736096. Registered Address: 5 Ashweir Court, Tintern, Wales, NP16 6SE, GB | Tel: 01291 639697 | VAT No. GB901053773 | Our business hours are 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Monday to Friday.
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