Where: The Pan European Walking Trail, known as the E4, crosses the island of Crete. It’s possible to walk across the whole island on marked trails or just individual sectors.
How Long: Hiking the trail along the south coast of the island, in the western sector, from Chora Sfakion to Elafonisi takes four days.
What To Expect: The terrain is rocky, exposed and hilly in many places.
What To Bring: Bring plenty of water and sunscreen.
What Is It?
The E4 European Long Distance Path begins in Spain and continues through France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece (including the length of Crete) and ends in Cyprus.
The whole E4 path is over 10,000 kilometres long and was developed by the European Ramblers Association (ERA), which covers 55 rambler’s associations across Europe and was founded in 1969. In Crete and throughout Greece the E4 path was founded and is maintained by the Hellenic Federation of Mountaineering and Climbing.
There is one large trekking or hiking route on the Greek Island of Crete, which is part of the E4 European Long Distance Path. The E4 trail covers the White Mountains (Lefki Ori), Mount Psiloritis (Mount Ida) and the Mount Dikti. The E4 Path is 320 kilometres long.
When To Go
The best months to walk the trail are April- June , before the summer heat kicks in and when the famous Cretan wildflowers are out.
Here is a suggested itinerary. You will walk about 15 kilometres a day. You need to carry everything with you and stay overnight in small pensions in the villages below. Loutro is accessible only by foot and boat.We have not hiked the difficult trail from Agia Roumeli to Sougia so suggest taking the boat instead. There is, however, a spectacular day walk from Sougia to an isolated Turkish fort and Church on a coastal mountaintop three hours away. This affords glorious views over the Mediterranean. Ask in Sougia for details.
Day 1: Chora Sfakion to Loutro. Overnight Loutro
Day 2: Loutroto Agia Roumeli, then boat to Sougia. Overnight Sougia
Day 3: Sougia to Paleochora . Overnight a Paleochora.
Day 4: Paleochora to Elafonisi .Return by boat to Paleochora. Overnight Paleochora.
You will need a good map of Crete if you want to take on walking the E4 European Path in Crete. You will also need to note that in Crete you may be a little confused by some of the different spellings of the village, town and place names you may come across on maps or road signs.