Top nature spots in West Crete

The gorge of Samaria

The gorge of Samaria is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Crete. Almost 200.000 people visit it every year! Still interested and willing to brave the crowds? Then visit The gorge of Samaria for details, maps and photos.

The White Mountains

The White Mountains in the spring

The White Mountains or Lefka Ori is the largest mountain range in Crete, with over 30 summits above 2000m and cut by about 50 gorges. They are the dominant feature of West Crete and a must for every nature lover, offering innumerable walks and excursions. There are plenty of photos in the Photos section of this site

Omalos plateau 

Famously known because it is the starting point for the walk through the Samaria gorge the Omalos plateau is worth more than a cursory glance. It is also the starting point of many beautiful mountain walks, a place for the inhabitants of Chania to see the snow in winter and for all to cool off in summer.

Anopolis plateau  

This is a really special place: a large plateau, its boundaries defined by the White Mountains to the North and plunging towards the Libyan sea to the South, it is maybe the heart of Western Crete, having never been invaded by the Turks. It is still a place of strong traditions and village life. The nature is really beautiful, there are a lot of interesting walks, abandoned villages and ancient chapels.

Imbros gorge

In the gorge of Imbros

The walk through the gorge of Imbros is a popular alternative to the Samaria gorge for those who prefer a shorter walk. It is also far less crowded (but by no means empty!).
The gorge of Imbros is also used by individuals and tour organizers as an alternative to the Samaria gorge when this one is closed to the public , generally between October and the beginning of May.



Amari valley

The Amari valley, south-east of Rethimnon is the heartland of Crete. Located between Mt. Psiloritis and Kedros, it harbours around 40 unspoilt villages set amid a lush landscape.
You will need your own transport to visit the area as the public transport network is not well developed.


Situated in the hinterlands of Rethimnon, Argiroupolis is the perfect place to escape from the heat in the summer. The lower village is a watery oasis formed by mountain springs. Running through aqueducts, washing down walls, seeping from stones and pouring from spigots, the gushing springwater supplies the entire city of Rethimnon.
The luxuriant vegetation, the shade and the coolness of the springs make it the perfect spot for lingering over lunch in one of the local tavernas.
Argiroupolis is built on the remains of the ancient city of Lappa and there is plenty to explore.

Kournas lake

Kournas Lake

Kournas lake may not be as exotic to foreign visitors as it is to the Cretans for whom it is the only sweet water lake on the island.
Located 3 km inland from Georgioupolis, at the foot of the White Mountains, its atmosphere is more reminiscent of Switzerland than Crete.
The clear water is great for swimming and constantly changes colour according to the weather and time of the day.

Private guided walks in Crete


Crete photo of the day
Crete Photo of the Day


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