East Crete has many different landscapes, impressive gorges, fertile plateaus, picturesque valleys, the peaks of the Dikti that are more than 2000 m high and the lower, but also very beautiful Thripti mountains. Many of the old paths are still not marked, making it a good opportunity to explore them with Angela Sturmayr, a certified Walking guide. For many years she has walked in the mountains, mostly with small groups. Originally from Austria, she has been living on Crete since 1985 and has been a walking guide since the middle of the nineties.
During the walking season in spring and autumn Angela offers guided walks at different levels of difficulty, easy ones for a relaxed wander in nature or more challenging ones for the experienced walkers. She always likes to share her knowledge of nature, history and local traditions with her guests, and the advantage of speaking four languages (Greek, German, English and Dutch) helps to make connections between the locals and the visitors.
The direct surroundings of Mirtos offer views, old mountain villages, Minoan settlements, a gorge and much more. Because many guests asked for walking routes in the region, in 2012 Mirtos Hiking Village started to mark the paths around the village.
In 2015 the next step was done:
Both having cooperation as their philosophy, Discover on Foot and Walking Dimension shared their knowledge and their work with a great result. A colourful guide with 9 marked walks around the village and plenty of information about Mirtos is now available for the visitors. Ask for the booklet in your accommodation or in the local stores.
Explore the South East of Crete
Here are two examples:
The Sarakina Gorge
The impressive Sarakina gorge is approx. six kilometers far from Mirtos. After the narrow entrance with high walls of colored rocks the adventure of crossing this gorge starts .
Huge rocks are spread over the whole length of the gorge. The visitor has to climb over or sometimes pass under them. Depending on the season and the amount of rain during the winter the gorge contains more or less water.
Partly it is necessary to pass until the knees or even deeper through basins full of water. A couple of years ago the local authorities made some steps in the rocks to make the passage easier.
Crossing the gorge takes approx. 1 ½ hours and is only for sportive persons looking for adventure.
Don’t hesitate to return if you feel unsure about your condition or climbing abilities, your personal safety goes first! We don’t recommended to do this tour alone.
The Dikti Mountains
Mirtos is located at the south side of a large mountain range, the Dikti Mountains. The highest point of these mountains is named Dikti or Spathi (sword) by the locals .
There are several options to reach the 2148 m high peak. The nearest one to Mirtos is the route from Selakano, a high located valley in the largest forest region of Eastern Crete.
The first part of the walk follows the E4 path (European long distance walking route E4) until a saddle and then further up to the peak. It is a fantastic, but surely challenging walk with 8 to 9 hours walking time from Selakano and back.
The path is partly very rough and stony, and the yellow marking is sometimes not easy to find. From the saddle to the peak the markings get worse and much attention has to be paid to stay on the track.
The rewards are fabulous: great views to the Lassithi plateau, the Ida Mountains in the West, the Thripti Mountains in the East and of course to the sea at the North and the South side of the island.
It is advisable to do this walk with a guide who knows the path and the region well. The best time to do such a mountain trip would be in September and October. In this period the peak is free of snow and the weather conditions are still quite stable.
Good condition, full health and good walking boots are required.
Walking time: approx. 8 – 9 h
High distance: approx. 1200 m
Kilometers: approx. 18
is about walking and a lot more. The walker will learn all about Cretan traditions, the flora and fauna of Crete and the secret of the healthy Cretan diet. Angela Sturmayr, the driving force of the organisation, is acquainted with almost everyone on the island and has a vast knowledge of flowers, herbs, edible plants, traditional Cretan Cuisine and History.
Mirtos Hiking Village
was the instigator of the seven marked paths around Mirtos, and offers walking arrangements and organised walking weeks.