Hiking route E4 path - European route

Hiking route in Kissamos

Kissamos has a large variety of walks which can easily be included in your daily exercise plan and are close to your residence. There are also hiking paths which are described in detail further on. The most beatifull and famous is part of the European hiking route E4.

The hiking route E4 has been classified as a hiking track and leads across Crete. The track is long and difficult  in parts but we suggest doing the section from Kissamos to Elafonissi and back to Kissamos.

The path starts from Kissamos and is passing through the villages Polyrinia, Galouvas, Zahariana, Sfinari, Kampos, Keramoti, Amygdalokefali, Vathi, Chrysoskalitissa, Elafonissi.

E4 European path map

Polyrinia : In the archaic time, the city of Polyrinia was one of the most important and most powerful cities in West Crete. The city was built amphitheatrically on top of a hill 6km south of Kissamos. On top of the hill stood its acropolis, T-shaped and surrounded by huge walls with unobstructed view, spreading from the Cretan to the Libyan sea.

Today the water system, old buildings and alleyways, the Venetian fortress, the foundations of the temple of Artemis, together with a church built of stone showing archaic inscriptions as well as archaic under rocks can be visited. The small roads of the village is also a very good hiking experience.

Chrysoskalitissa : The monastery imposing, built on a small hill, overlooks the sea inviting you to relish on the peacefulness and at the same time the wilderness of nature, on the tranquility and the turmoil of the people.

According to tradition, of the 90 steps leading to the top of the rock one is made of gold, but the sinners cannot see it (this gave the monastery its name: Chrysoskalitissa (gold ladder)).

It is not known, though, when and how it has been deserted, also it is not known when did the today’s monastery that is dedicated to the virgin Mary established. Noteworthy though is the celebration taking place there on the 15th of August.

Elafonissi : The landscape is breathtaking, with alternations of colours on the beach, rich small grove of palm-trees and, finally, the islet of Elafonissi that besides its main participation in the natural beauty you see it has a long history as well as remarkable flora and fauna.

It has been characterized as an ecotope. The beach is ideal for swimming for adults but mainly for children. The water is crystal clearing and shallow.

If you don’t wish to follow this hiking route our office organize also daily tour to Elafonissi with bus transfer and guide.

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