The E4 starts in Crete at Kastelli Kissamou: it goes from north to south to arrive at the Chrysoskalitsa Monastery and Elafonisi; then east to Sougia. At this point it splits into two. The southern branch crosses beaches at times, and at others wanders a little up into the impressive mountain range (the south flanks of the White Mountains). The north section enters the massif of the White Mountains at two points – these both meet up at the Omalo plateau. Thereafter the E4 proceeds east through much of the White Mountains for many kilometres until arriving at the Askyfou plateau. Now is goes south again: after the gorge of Imbros it rejoins the southern branch at Komitades, close to Frangokastello. From Imbros another sector goes on up through the east flanks of the White Mountains to Kallikratis and Asi Gonia, to arrive at Argyroupolis on the Rethymnon Prefecture border.
Anyone taking the north route in particular, but also parts of the southern, must be well prepared for the crossings at high altitude – with no trace of life, or shade in the summer, for very many kilometres at a spell.
Nonetheless, one is compensated by the experience of crossing one of the most impressive mountain ranges in Europe – here overgrown with vegetation, there bare and austere. Over 50 peaks exceed 2000m in altitude: they may literally fall into the sea and are cut through by impressive gorges. It is worth pointing out that the E4 traverses the longest and most spectacular gorge in Europe – the Samaria. Along the Chania section of the E4 you will have the chance to go through secluded mountain villages, past important archaeological sites, beautiful beaches and landscapes of outstanding natural beauty.
Do not forgetto read the Helpful Suggestions for the E4 route in Crete. For the best sightseeing though, use the menu ‘The E4 Routes’ at the left, arranged by Prefecture, or search the Smart Search faculty.
Below are details on the E4 Walking trail in Crete. Each has a description, photographs and a detailed map.