Places to Walk, Crete Island
If you go walking in Crete you are sure to come across some of these shaggy creatures scrambling up a cliff or along the side of a gorge.
This picture was taken on a coast walk below Rodakino : they belong to Nikos from the 'Anna and Nikos Taverna (see my accommodation tip) . Try some of their delicious goat milk yoghurt for breakfast.
Spring is a great time to walk in Crete, not too hot and there are lots of wonderful wild flowers out. Don't restrict your plans to the Samaria Gorge, which herds of tourists head for. There are lots of other gorge walks - a favourite of mine is the Gorge of the Dead at Kato Zakro, which is a couple of hours walk, and is somewhat less demanding.
Probably the best general map for walkers - and for drivers - is 'Western Crete' and the separate 'Eastern Crete' maps published by 'Road Editions'. I have seen them listed on Amazon and they are on sale in bookshops in Crete. I wouldn't say they are perfect - the problem is the choice is somewhat limited.
(since writing this 8 to 10 years back the idea of a printed map has become rather quaint, but I still like following a good map)
I'm listing a website below which gives info on walks around the Plakias, Rethymnon, Yeoryeopouli and Elounda areas.
8 km of awesome landscape. Park the car in Imbros and there you see the signs to the beginning of the Gorge. Wear comfortable shoes because of the many loose rocks. At the end you can get a taxi for about 5 euros pp. You can have a wonderful lunch in Imbros.
The surrounding area of Melame is very rural, peaceful and quiet and great for wandering around. Watch out for the cats - although greek islands are famous for their catlife I've never seen so many in one place as here!
Samaria is a beautiful and impressive gorge. It is a must see if you are nearby. It is a fairly long hike so don't forget walking shoes, water and lots of film!