E4 European Path at Chania

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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 menuThe 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.

 

01

Kasteli Kissamou - Polyrrinia

An easy route on a paved road, with gentle slopes
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  • Route Length6.5 km
  • duration1 hour & 30 minutes
  • suggested periodSpring, autumn
02

Polyrrinia - Sfinari

An easy route with small slopes
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  • Route Length15.5 km
  • duration3 hours
  • suggested periodSpring, autumn
03

Sfinari - Kefali

A very easy route with no difficulties
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  • Route Length25 km
  • duration5 hours
  • suggested periodSpring, summer, autumn
04

Kefali - Chrisoskalitissa

An easy route with no difficulties
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  • Route Length11.5 km
  • duration2 hours
  • suggested periodSpring, summer, autumn
05

Chrisoskalitissa - Agios Ioannis

Not particularly difficult
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  • Route Length9 km
  • duration1 hour(s) & 45 minutes
  • suggested periodSpring, summer, autumn
06

Agios Ioannis - Palaiochora

Not particularly difficult
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  • Route Length13 km
  • duration2 hours & 45 minutes
  • suggested periodSpring, summer, autumn
07

Palaiochora - Lissos

Not particularly difficult
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  • Route Length11.5 km
  • duration3 hours
  • suggested periodSpring, summer, autumn
08

Lissos - Sougia

Not particularly difficult
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  • Route Length2.5 km
  • duration45 minutes
  • suggested periodSpring, summer, autumn
09

Sougia - Poikilassos

One of Crete's most tiring and difficult routes
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  • Route Length6 km
  • duration2 hours & 15 minutes
  • suggested periodFrom April to September
10

Poikilassos - Domata

One of Crete’s most tiring and difficult routes
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  • Route Length6 km
  • duration3 hours
  • suggested periodFrom April to September
11

Domata - Agia Roumeli

One of Crete’s most tiring and difficult routes
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  • Route Length8 km
  • duration3 hours & 30 minutes
  • suggested periodFrom April to September
12

Agia Roumeli - Agios Pavlos

An easy route with no difficulties
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  • Route Length3.5 km
  • duration1 hour
  • suggested periodAll year round; mainly from September to May
13

Agios Pavlos - Loutro

Not particularly difficult
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  • Route Length9.5 km
  • duration3 hours & 30 minutes
  • suggested periodAll year round; mainly from September to May
14

Loutro - Chora Sfakion

Route with minor difficulties
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  • Route Length6 km
  • duration2 hours
  • suggested periodAll year round
15

Chora Sfakion - Fragkokastelo

Route with minor difficulties
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  • Route Length14 km
  • duration3 hours & 45 minutes
  • suggested periodAll year round
16

Sougia - Koustogerako

Not particularly difficult
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  • Route Length10 km
  • duration2 hours & 30 minutes
  • suggested periodSpring, summer, autumn
16A

Koustogerako - Omalos

Not particularly difficult
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  • Route Length12 km
  • duration4 hours & 30 minutes
  • suggested periodSpring, summer, autumn
17

Sougia - Agia Irini

It includes a relatively tiring gorge trek
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  • Route Length13.5 km
  • duration4 hours & 30 minutes
  • suggested periodFrom May to September
17A

Agia Irini - Omalos

It includes a relatively tiring gorge trek
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  • Route Length5 km
  • duration2 hours & 15 minutes
  • suggested periodFrom May to September
18

Omalos - Agia Roumeli

A long, relatively easy, organised route
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  • Route Length18 km
  • duration6 hours & 30 minutes
  • suggested periodFrom May to October only
19

Omalos – Kallergis Mountain Shelter

No particular technical difficulties; tiring in the summer
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  • Route Length5 km
  • duration1 hour & 30 minutes
  • suggested periodFrom late spring to early autumn
20

Kallergis Mountain Shelter – Katsivelli

No particular technical difficulties; tiring in the summer
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  • Route Length15 km
  • duration6 hours & 30 minutes
  • suggested periodFrom late spring to early autumn
21

Katsiveli – Niatos

One of Crete’s most difficult routes
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  • Route Length17 km
  • duration7 hours
  • suggested periodFrom May to September
22

Niatos – Askifou

A relatively easy descent
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  • Route LengthPath: 3 km, dirt road: 7 km
  • durationOn the old path: 1 hour(s) & 15 minutes
  • suggested periodFrom May to September
23

Askifou - Impros - Komitades

Not particularly difficult
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  • Route Length10.5 km
  • duration3 hours & 15 minutes
  • suggested periodSpring, summer, autumn
24

Askifou - Impros - Kallikratis

A relatively easy route on a paved road
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  • Route Length17.5 km
  • duration4 hours & 45 minutes
  • suggested periodAll year round
25

Kallikratis Plateau - Patsianos

Not particularly difficult, from the north to the south
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  • Route Length7 km
  • duration2 hours & 30 minutes
  • suggested periodFrom spring to autumn
26

Patsianos - Fragkokastelo - Kato Rodakino

None; walking on an asphalt road
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  • Route Length17 km
  • duration4 hours & 15 minutes
  • suggested periodAll year round
29-30

Kallikratis – Asi Gonia – Argiroupoli

An easy route on an asphalt road
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  • Route Length16 km
  • duration4 hours & 30 minutes
  • suggested periodAll year round

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