Rethymno Nature & adventure

Our most recommended Rethymno Nature & adventure

From Chania or Rethymno: Samariá Gorge Guided Hike

1. From Chania or Rethymno: Samariá Gorge Guided Hike

Embark on a guided hike in the Samariá Gorge on a day trip from Rethymno or Chania. Get your daily dose of exercise, enjoy the panoramic views and take a swim.  Discover the longest gorge in Europe, an area of stunning natural beauty. See its many flowers and herbs and the crystal-clear spring waters that flow from the mountains. Following an early morning pickup from the nearest point to your accommodation in Rethymno or Chania, travel through the mountains passing the plateau of Omalos. Arrive at some wooden stairs at the start of Samariá Gorge. You can opt to start the walk straight away or get some breakfast at the taverna before you begin. Hike for approximately 6-7 hours and experience the magnificent landscape on a 16-kilometer walk. Once you have finished the hike, there will be ample time for a swim and lunch at a taverna in Agia Roumeli.

From Rethymno: Half-Day Quad Bike Safari

2. From Rethymno: Half-Day Quad Bike Safari

Choose from a morning or afternoon Quad Bike safari, and benefit from a hotel pick-up from Rethymno, Bali, or Georgiopoulis. Journey to the base in Rethymno town and get kitted out with all the necessary equipment. Listen to a detailed briefing before you set off for some serious off-road fun. Journey up into the mountains of Maroulas, and head for the summit for a 10-minute break to take in the panoramic views. Then, continue on your bike for another 20 minutes to reach a spot where you can relax over coffee at a traditional kafeneion (Greek coffee house). Soak up the peace and quiet of Café Gidospito overlooking beautiful Lake Potami before making your way to the picturesque village of Prassies for a quick snack to refuel after your Quad Bike experience. Return to Rethymno and get dropped off at your hotel to relax and freshen up after your dusty adventure.

From Crete: Santorini Full-Day Tour by Boat

3. From Crete: Santorini Full-Day Tour by Boat

Visit Santorini on this full day-trip from the island of Crete. After pick-up from your hotel, head to the harbor and begin your sightseeing boat tour on the Cretan Sea. Upon arrival, see the white houses of Fira that lie high above the edge of the crater, and decide whether you would like to spend more time on this volcanic island. Wander the small town of Fira or visit the picturesque town of Oia. Enjoy the leisurely Greek lifestyle and visit a taverna or two. Relax on the beach, enjoy the day by the sea, and simply leave your cares behind.

From Rethymno/Chania: Imbros Gorge Hike

4. From Rethymno/Chania: Imbros Gorge Hike

Discover the Imbros Gorge, which runs parallel to the more famous Samaria Gorge. Although the Imbros Gorge is smaller, many people prefer to cross here because it offers a very different hiking experience than the Samaria Gorge. Hike 8.5 kilometers and discover the exquisite beauty of nature in this narrow passage and learn about the stunning rock formations. Hear about the legend of the two Greek brothers that the town of Imbros is named after. For many years, the Imbros Gorge served as part of the trail that connected the city of Chania to the Hora Sfakion village. Stroll through a piece of World War II history, as walk in the Gorge where thousands of British soldiers passed through after the Battle of Crete order to get to Egypt. After the hike, take a swim in the stunning refreshing Libyan sea. Eat lunch with the locals in the taverns. 

Crete: Rethimno, Chania, and Kournas Lake Day Trip

5. Crete: Rethimno, Chania, and Kournas Lake Day Trip

The first stop is the town of Rethimno, the third biggest town in Crete west of Heraklion on the north coast of Crete. Here, archeological monuments of the Ottoman and Venetian eras co-exist. Enjoy a stroll in the alleys of the old town, a visit to the Turkish minarets and the Venetian fortresses, or a coffee at the magnificent harbor. The next stop is Chania town, the second largest town of Crete on the north coast west of Rethymno. The city of Chania is divided into the Old City, with the gorgeous harbor, and the New City, beyond its Venetian fortifications. The Old City is one of the most beautiful cities in the Mediterranean and is called “Venice of the East”. You can find Turkish minarets and mosques, Muslim neighborhoods, Venetian fortresses, dockyards, fountains, squares, arches, mansions, Loggia and the Lighthouse. Visit the famous Agora (market), which houses traditional little shops and taverns. The last stop of the day is Kournas lake, a beautiful habitat with natural freshwater, one of a kind in Crete. The whole area of Kournas is protected under 'Natura 2000', as it's a designated wetland. Vast greenery, steep cavities between hills, and rare species of fish and birds make Kournas the ideal place to enjoy an early afternoon walk.

Rethymno: Full-Day Trip to Gramvoussa Island & Balos Lagoon

6. Rethymno: Full-Day Trip to Gramvoussa Island & Balos Lagoon

Set off on a day trip by bus and boat to the magnificent Balos Lagoon and the Gramvousa island, on the northwestern coast of Crete. Travel by air-conditioned bus to the port of Kissamos and board the boat for a cruise with swim stops and a visit to a castle. After an early morning pickup near your hotel, sit back and relax as you pass through beautiful scenery to get to the Port of Kissamos. There, you'll pay for the cruise and board the boat which will take you in the sea for about an hour till you reach Gramvousa island. Once at Gramvousa, you'll have 1.5 hours of free time to explore the Venetian Fortress which offers breathtaking views from the top. Otherwise, you can stay on the boat to take advantage of the bar restaurant or you can relax at the beachside. Afterward, the boat will continue for about 20 minutes to reach the Balos Lagoon. There, you'll have 2.5 hours of free time on the beach. Swim, snorkel, sunbathe and explore the dunes in the background. In the afternoon, the boat will begin the cruise back to Kissamos and from there you will be driven back to your Hotel area in Rethymno.

From Rethymno: Elafonissi Pink Sand Beach Tour

7. From Rethymno: Elafonissi Pink Sand Beach Tour

Visit one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Elafonissi is truly a heaven on earth, with soft white/pink sand, exotic crystal-clear water and cedar trees that extend down to the coastline. It is located in the easily accessible, south-western side of Crete. Get picked up from your hotel area in the morning. Stop for a short break is the Aghia Sophia cave. Visit the cave, and have coffee or refreshments if you choose. Following this, depart for Elafonissi. On your way, see small traditional villages combined with typical Mediterranean scenery, along with the rugged landscape around the Topolia Gorge. Once you reach Elafonissi, have 4 hours of free time to soak in the amazing sun and enjoy the spectrum of shades of blue that this beach has to offer. At the end of your tour, return to your accommodation in Crete.

From Rethymno: Lake Kournas and Villages Full-Day Tour

8. From Rethymno: Lake Kournas and Villages Full-Day Tour

Benefit from pick-up at your hotel in Rethymno, and then journey by bus to the stone church in Kotsifu Gorge. Marvel at the steep cliffs and dramatic rock formations of the canyon, and then make your way to the historic plateau of Askifou. Stop to take souvenir photos of beautiful Plakias Bay, and then drive up into the mountains to visit the traditional village of Kallikrati. Swim in the deep blue waters of the Libyan sea. Stop for a coffee in the village of Argyroupolis near the Roman site of Lappa and marvel at the waterfalls. Next, go to beautiful Lake Kournas and enjoy a well-deserved traditional lunch in a typical village tavern at your own expense. Get a magnificent view of the lake and mountains before you drive back to Rethymno and get dropped off at your hotel.

From Heraklion: Chania, Lake Kournas and Rethymno Tour

9. From Heraklion: Chania, Lake Kournas and Rethymno Tour

Depart Heraklion and journey west by bus to the stunning city of Chania. Learn about its Minoan history and see sights from different civilizations, including the Byzantine, Ottoman and Venetian eras. Get a view of the lighthouse in the port, wander the narrow streets of the old town and enjoy some free time for lunch in the pretty harbor. Look for gifts and souvenirs in the famous agora (market) and more. Then, make your way to Lake Kournas and get back to nature in the lush green hills. Keep a look out for rare birds and marine life, including eels and turtles. Go for a swim or take an early afternoon walk in the protected wetlands. Drive back towards Heraklion and stop in the city of Rethymno along the way. Wander the enchanting alleys of the old town, see the domes and minarets of the Ottoman-era mosques, and marvel at the 16th-century Venetian fortress.

Rethymno: Elafonisi Day Trip with Balos Lagoon Photo-Stop

10. Rethymno: Elafonisi Day Trip with Balos Lagoon Photo-Stop

Start your day at Elafonisi beach, with its shallow water and fine white sand. Relax on the shore for 2 hours or explore your surroundings in one of the most beautiful, remote locations in Crete. Dip your feet in the turquoise lagoon or simply stroll along the shore fringed with pink coral sand. Then, get ready for the wild road to Cape Vouxa. Ride 8 kilometers up a dirt track to the national park in a comfortable 4x4 bus. As you travel, enjoy the beautiful natural scenery around you. Finally, arrive at your destination. Step out and take in the breathtaking panoramic views of Balos Bay and Gramvousa.

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What people are saying about Rethymno

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 1,246 reviews

We had a wonderful time on this excursion! The guide was very informative and made instructions clear in order to get us all down the gorge safely. The hike itself is not too strenuous although some older folks in our group seemed to struggle with it. It’s mostly loose rocks and gravel of all different sizes so it is easy to lose balance. The whole thing is downhill too. After everyone had made it through the gorge, we took another 20 min ride to a small town at the coast and you were able to get food and swim on the beach for about 2 hours before returning to the bus. The whole thing went from about 9:30am to 6pm when we were dropped back off at our hotel due to the 1.5hour bus ride each way. Overall a really wonderful experience and well worth the money for a full day of adventure. Make sure you bring lots of water, snacks, good shoes, and cash for the entrance fee (2.50 per person).

An absolutely gorgeous hike and worth waking up at the crack of dawn! The bus driver met us on time. If you get motion sickness, I highly recommend bringing something. I took a lot of ginger. The route is scenic but the roads are very windy, the drive is long and the driver goes fast. All the water in the gorge is drinkable. Bring layers — the hike started chilly and misty then I warmed up a lot from hiking and the sun came out. The tavern at the beginning is super basic (juice, bananas, coffee, simple sandwich) so I’d recommend packing your own food for the day so you can eat when you want. I rented 2 hiking poles for 6€ from the guide which helped a lot in the beginning for the stair-like descent then I stowed them in my pack when the trail was more boulders. The organization of this tour was great and helped make my hike smooth and enjoyable, thanks!

The gorge was wonderful but the organisation was not smooth and caused stress. I received pick-up details 2 days after the trip! As I did not receive the email with additional info before the trip I wrote to customer support. No one ever answered. I contacted the local organisator via WhatsApp and again no reaction. I was lucky to call them 30 min before pick-up time and received directions where to go. Fortunately, we stayed close, otherwise, we could miss the trip...

Went in october, temp perfect for walking, be prepared for a long day, our guide Kostos was brilliant, lovely taverna at the end of the walk, transfers and pickups were spot on.

Unbelievable hike! Gorgeous views and now as challenging as expected. Highly recommend but be prepared for a long, winding bus ride to and from.