Heraklion Hiking

The prefecture of Heraklion is a fine option for a hiking trip, given that it has enough marked and unmarked routes for all skill levels. The views are unique, and reaching the top of its mountainside through Europe's E4 trail paths is recommended for all nature wanderers! Its roads and specialized trails include trips to beaches, villages, forests, and mountaintops, ranging from easy-to-walk paths to difficult hikes. Marked pathways help with orientation, while some with no markings challenge experienced hikers.

Below are the mapped-signposted and some unmapped trails that one can follow.
We highly recommend that all hikers carry enough water, take the necessary sun protection measures, and wear shoes suitable for hiking. For the longer trails, it is best to bring food and basic first aid supplies.

Official E4 routes

• Trail 1: Rouvas Forest - Rouvas Gorge

This trail is fantastic to spot wild Cretan flora, like cypress, pine, plane, pear, aria, and zelkova trees.
Length: 6 kilometers
Duration: 2.5 hours

• Trail 2: Rouvas Forest - Giristi - Prinos - Ascites

Take this hiking path to stroll through an oak wood forest and spot refreshing spring water.
Length: 17 kilometers
Duration: 5.5 hours

• Trail 3: Asites - Venerato - Profitis Ilias

Spot a beautiful church, the village of Kerasia, and fantastic views.
Length: 14 kilometers
Duration: 4 hours

• Trail 4: Profitis Ilias - Arhanes

Travel through Giouchtas mountain and the village of Kamari to reach the village of Arhanes.
Length: 11 kilometers
Duration: 3 hours

• Trail 5: Arhanes - Mirtia - Agarathos

Travel through the countryside of Heraklion and witness picturesque villages.
Length: 18 kilometers
Duration: 6 hours

• Trail 6: Agarathos - Kasteli - Kastamonitsa

Start from the oldest operating monastery of Crete, Agarathos, and make your way through the dirt roads to Sambas and Agioi Apostoloi villages.
Length: 18 kilometers
Duration: 5 hours

• Trail 7: Kastamonitsa - Tsouli Mnima - Agios Georgios

This trail leads you from Kastamonitsa to the monastery of Saint George and the starting point of the Minoan trail, Mesada.
Length: 16 kilometers
Duration: 4.5 hours

• Trail 8: Trip to the Gorge of Agios Nikolaos

Starting from Zaros and ending up at the Rouvas Forest, this hike trip will offer you excellent views, as you encounter old sights and churches.

• Trail 9: Ano Asites - Profitis Ilias

Travel through the Venerato Gorge and check out the village of Kerasia, the monastery of Paliani, and the chapel of Profitis Ilias.


Other E4 routes

• Trail 10: Anogeia - Agios Yakinthos (9.1km, 3h40m)

• Trail 11: Agios Yakinthos - Nida (13.5km, 4h10m)

• Trail 12: Prinos Forest - Rouvas (13.5km, 8h)

• Trail 13: Rouvas - Nida (11.5km, 4h35m)

• Trail 14: Nida - Timios Stavros (8.6km, 4h10m, steady uphill, reaching the very top of Mount Psiloritis)

• Trail 15: Kamares - Timios Stavros (15.3km, 9h40m)

• Trail 16: Fourfouras - Timios Stavros (10.7km, 6h15m)

• Trail 17: Kamares - Nida (10.1km, 4h55m)

• Trail 18: Zros - Rouva Forest (5km, 2h05m)


Unmarked routes

Kamares Cavern
This path takes you through an oak forest and lots of springs, and can take you about three to four hours.

Hiking trip to the lake of Fairy Cave of Astrakoi
20 kilometers south of Heraklion Town.

Paths of Achentria
Includes the lake of Tourkos, Stiromana, Kefalovrisi springs, and a gorgeous palm forest.

Path Paranimfi - Koudoumas
A hiking trip leading to the mountainous Paranimfi Village and the Koudoumas Monastery.

Agios Ioannis - Koudoumas
It connects the seaside Agios Ioannis Village with the churches of Agios Antonios and Agios Ioannis.

Oleander - Deep in the canyon loop from Voriza
Duration: 4 hours and 10 minutes | Length: 9.6 kilometers

Panorama from the cliff - Matala View loop from Pitsidia
Duration: 1 hour and 15 minutes | Length: 4.3 kilometers

Malia - Mohos path up to Mochos loop from Malia
Duration: 4 hours and 40 minutes | Length: 15.3 kilometers

Malia - Mohos path up to Mochos loop from Stalida
Duration: 3 hours and 50 minutes | Length: 12.2 kilometers

Oleander - Zaros Canyon loop from Voriza
Duration: 2 hours and 35 minutes | Length: 7.2 kilometers

Lentas - Trachoulas Beach loop from Lentas
Duration: 2 hours and 50 minutes | Length: 10.2 kilometers

From Matala:

Agiofaraggo Beach - Agios Antonios loop from Matala
Duration: 2 hours and 30 minutes | Length: 8.8 kilometers

Agios Antonios - Agiofaraggo Beach loop from Matala
Duration: 1 hour and 35 minutes | Length: 5.4 kilometers

Panorama from the cliff - Matala View loop from Matala
Duration: 1 hour and 50 minutes | Length: 6 kilometers

Matala Beach - Red Beach loop from Matala
Duration: 1 hour and 5 minutes | Length: 3.1 kilometers

Various unmapped/unmarked routes

• Akolita - Kamares
• Kamares - Zaros
• Nida - Rouvas
• Rouvas - Heraklion Mountain Shelter - Asites
• Ano Asites - Venerato - Profitis Ilias
• Profitis Ilias - Arhanes
• Arhanes - Myrtia - Agarathos
• Agarathos - Kasteli
• Kasteli - Kastamonitsa
• Kastamonitsa - Metohi