This is a major European route under the supervision of the European Union’s Mountain Walking (EWV): the Greek section was designed and marked out by the Greek Federation of Mountaineering and Climbing. The route begins in the Pyrenees, crosses first the centre of the Alpine massif and then Yugoslavia, arriving at Florina – where the Greek portion begins. This traverses all of Greece down to Gytheon, and takes up again at Kastelli Kissamou on Crete.
At this point the Cretan segment of the E4 starts: it runs south to Elafonisi, then west-east all along Crete (twice it splits into two sections before rejoining) to Kato Zakro, where it turns north again to end in the area of Siteia. At Sougia, the path throws off side branches north and south: the northern is definitely Alpine in character, and walkers must have the necessary experience; the southern, along the south coastline, is very rough in places because of the cliffs. Each branch is some 320 km long, and 3 weeks are required for their passage. Walkers have the chance to experience an unknown aspect of Crete’s natural state – one passes old trackways, settlements, monasteries and of course the high mountain reaches of the island.
Do not forget to 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.