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E4 walking path through Crete

Listed under Walking in Crete, Greece.

  • Photo of E4 walking path through Crete
  • Photo of E4 walking path through Crete
  • Photo of E4 walking path through Crete
  • Photo of E4 walking path through Crete
  • Photo of E4 walking path through Crete
  • Photo of E4 walking path through Crete
  • Photo of E4 walking path through Crete
  • Photo of E4 walking path through Crete
Photo of E4 walking path through Crete
Photo by flickr user margaretha_hopfner - thank you
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300 miles from Kato Zakros in the east to Moni Hrissoskalitissas in the west, across 4 mountain ranges. An absolute bugger of a path, and an absolute adventure of a lifetime. See my new book about my walk along this fearsome and delightful trail, The Golden Step (Haus Publishing, ISBN 978-1-904950-97-4) on my website and at Background by editor.

The rugged path of the E4 currently runs 10450 kms, with gaps that have yet to be laid, but when completed it will traverse from Cape St. Vincent to Cyprus.

The section in Crete begins on the coast in Kato Zakros, then winds gradually up to near Anogia and splits into a southern and northern trail. For those who love a beautiful view climbing Psiloritis will be one of the highlights, but you will also see some spectacular canyon scenery later in the walk.

The spa at Lissos and the monastery at Chrissoskalitissa are some of the historic high points of the journey. The trails rejoin around the alpine highlands of Sougia.

Both trails bypass Samaria gorge which most walkers will detour to visit. Much of the going is on overgrown trails and many walkers become lost, but there are plenty of villages along the way, in some sections only two kilometres intervals separate them so there are only a few places you could become stranded.

If you wanted to complete the entire Crete section it would take between three and three and a half weeks.

Read more about this.

Written by  Chris Somerville.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

Key tips for south-west hiking in Crete

E4 on the south coast, between Sougia and Romelli, is reputed to be impassable and dangerous due to rockfalls and non-maintenance. E4 to the west of Sougia, toward Paleohora, is navigable. E4 east from Roumeli is easily navigable, all the way to Sfakia and beyond. Roumeli to Loutro is a fabulous six-hour level hike. From Loutro, take detour 900m up the mountain to Anopolis and some old villages and then descend via the Aradena gorge west of Anopolis.

Most of the E-4 in Crete can be viewed by satellite maps on Google Earth/Google Maps. The paths are easily visible in most areas of the south coast trail.

There is a fabulous handbook for hiking the non-E4 trails in west Crete, it is worth getting -- called "Walking in Western Crete, 45 walks in Kissamos and Selinos" by Cicerone Press (author Alan Hill)

I have re-visited these E4 paths several times since 1987. The best experience I have ever had in Greece!

2 Replies

Thanks for the update - any plan to go back soon?

YES - This June I am planning to go to the island of Gavdos (south of Sfakia) which is like a Gilligan's Island - almost no infrastructure, only a couple of dozen inhabitants - the southernmost point in all of Europe. See for additional details.

E4 in crete good advisem company

I am a 55 year old Norwegian that will arrive Chania 10 april 2010 and want to go part of E4 in Crete in 14 days. Is there anyonone that could give me som good advise og company?

i walk and cycling all the path from promahonas at the north off Greece to kato Zakros and i am oing to be very happy to shere my testimonies and any questions with those are ready to try to discovered the anonymous part o my country!!

E4 through Mt. Ida (crete) in October.....Tough go....Snow, hail and winds reaching 100km/hr at the peak!!!!

we knew we were in "trouble" when a Swiss family turned around ahead of us and said they'd had enough!!!!! We kept going!!!!

Hello, anyone planning to do south coast Crete walk late July/early August? Join a professional travel writer June Field, email me on

travelling from London...

Are there any new maps?

Are there any recent maps that you recommend for the E4? I live in east Crete and would like to do the walk in spring 2010. I will leave the alpine alone route and go south. I have just completed the first 100 pages in 'The Golden Step' and will use it as well as Stellios Jackson's internet articles as inspiration.

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