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White Mountains (Lefka Ori) Tours and Activities

White Mountains (Lefka Ori)
Crete is renowned for being a divinely sun-baked Greek Island, boasting great beaches and hot weather—but it’s less known for its spectacular White Mountains (Lefka Ori). Found in the west of the island, the mountains are a paradise for hikers and nature spotters when not dusted with snow in winter and early spring.

The Basics
The island of Crete is home to not one, but two mountain ranges—the White Mountains and the Psiloritis Mountains. While the island’s tallest peak, Mt. Ida (8,058 feet/2,456 meters), can be found in the Psiloritis range, the White Mountains are the tallest range on the island, with over 50 different peaks rising to 6,550 feet (2,000 meters) or higher. There are many hiking trails here—one of the most popular starts at Omalos village and crosses the famous Samaria Gorge. If hiking sounds too strenuous, you can simply enjoy the scenery by driving through the mountain passes.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • The White Mountains are ideal for active travelers, experienced hikers, and nature enthusiasts.
  • Facilities are limited in the mountains, so bring a water bottle (which you can refill at rest stops), snacks, and sun protection. 
  • If hiking, make sure to wear suitable clothing and footwear.
  • Hiking the Samaria Gorge requires a small entrance fee to enter the national park.

How to Get There
The White Mountains are located in West Crete, and many people start their hike at Omalos village. Regular bus services travel from Chania to Omalos and Samaria Gorge during the summer months, or you can drive (although you will have to return for your car the next day). Many people finish their walk through the gorge in Agia Roumeli and then take the ferry and bus back to Chania. Crete, the largest island in Greece, is accessible by plane or a ferry from the mainland.

When to Get There
The White Mountains are covered in snow for much of the winter and early spring, and hiking by tourists is not recommended at this time of year. Samaria National Park (to access the Samaria Gorge) traditionally opens at the beginning of May and closes in October. The park is open from sunrise to sunset. 

Heraklion’s Archeological Museum
With several major archeological sites, Crete is a top destination for history buffs. The Archeological Museum in Heraklion (Crete’s capital) is a good place to start for visitors who want to learn about the island’s history. The museum is famous for its Minoan artworks, but its collections cover all of the ancient civilizations that once lived on the island. 
Address: Sfakia 730 11, Greece
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8 Tours and Activities to Experience White Mountains (Lefka Ori)

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Uncharted Escapes: Crete White Mountains Safari Including Lunch

Uncharted Escapes: Crete White Mountains Safari Including Lunch

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10
Discover Crete’s beautiful landscapes and heritage on this full-day 4x4 safari. Sitting inside an all-terrain vehicle with a professional driver-guide at the wheel, you'll coast along dusty pathways, passing pretty villages and olive fields. Learn about life on the island and Crete's agriculture, then head off-road for an exhilarating ride up the mountains. Your tour concludes with a meal at a traditional family Cretan tavern.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$104.87
From
$104.87
Taking safety measures

Georgioupolis Safari Off Road Tours Outdoor Activities Land Rover Defender

Georgioupolis Safari Off Road Tours Outdoor Activities Land Rover Defender

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61
Escape the tourist trail and spend a day exploring off the beaten track beauty near Georgioupolis. By traveling in a Land Rover, you’ll be able to access off-road sites that you wouldn’t discover otherwise. Visit incredible archaeological sites, traditional villages, and secluded beaches. If you work up an appetite, you won’t have to research where to eat as a delicious lunch in a family tavern is included. The tour will also take you to a winery, an olive oil factory, a castle, and multiple historical sites.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$83.49
From
$83.49
Taking safety measures

Chania Tour 1. Explore the White Mountains of Crete

Chania Tour 1. Explore the White Mountains of Crete

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77
Visiting White Mountains with best panoramic view of Chania Semi private safari tour up to 6 or 8 persons per vehicle A visit to an original shepherd’s hut “Mitato” at 1350m Coffee or tea or juice in a traditional coffee shop Lunch with traditional Cretan food and wine.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$102.85
From
$102.85
Taking safety measures

WHITE MOUNTAINS range highest summit PACHNES 2453m

WHITE MOUNTAINS range highest summit PACHNES 2453m

The famous chain of the WHITE MOUNTAINS, also called the CRETAN HIGH DESERT or CRETAN ALPS, proudly feature more than 50 peaks that are above 2000 meters. Within 2 hours of hiking you can experience the breathtaking view and stunning scenery of the trail that leads you to the highest summit: PACHNES which is the second highest summit of CRETE. From the top you can enjoy a full panorama view, revealing the SAMARIA GORGE, CAPE GRAMVOUSA, GAVDOS ISLAND, MOUNT PSILORITIS AND MOUNT GIGILOS.
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  • 9 to 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$496.43
Price varies by group size
From
$496.43
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Authentic Cretan cooking class and Wine tasting experience in Chania

Authentic Cretan cooking class and Wine tasting experience in Chania

The best way to learn about Cretan cuisine is by getting involved in the process of cooking according to traditional recipes. Learn about the Cretan way of life in the previous ages and now while tasting wine and cheese.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$467.00
Price varies by group size
From
$467.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Chania Shore Excursion to the White Mountains

Chania Shore Excursion to the White Mountains

Visiting White Mountains with best panoramic view of Chania Semi private safari tour up to 6 or 8 persons per vehicle A visit to an original shepherd’s hut “Mitato” at 1350m Coffee or tea or juice in a traditional coffee shop Lunch with traditional Cretan food and wine.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$110.46
From
$110.46

Semi Private Jeep Safari Tour - Visit a Shepherd's Hut

Semi Private Jeep Safari Tour - Visit a Shepherd's Hut

star-5
20
Heading into rural Crete alone to discover its villages and lifestyles means either self-driving a rental car or relying on public buses. With this full-day tour, save yourself the hassle and effort, and explore Crete’s mountainous interior in a convoy of chauffeured 4x4s. En route, stop at Venizelos Gorge, stone villages, a cheese-making shepherd’s hut, museums, viewpoints, and more—all of them easy to miss if exploring independently.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$114.95
From
$114.95
Taking safety measures

Uncharted Escapes: Crete's Wine and Olives Safari Tour from Chania

Uncharted Escapes: Crete's Wine and Olives Safari Tour from Chania

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5
Immerse yourself in Crete’s culture and cuisine on this full-day 4WD safari from Chania. Sample fine Cretan wines at a local vineyard, watch a demonstration of traditional knife making, then peek into an olive mill and learn about the island’s famous extra-virgin olive oil. Finally, indulge in a delicious lunch at a local tavern and taste typical Cretan specialties like seafood, feta cheese and savory pies.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$107.69
From
$107.69
Taking safety measures

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
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What's the best way to experience White Mountains (Lefka Ori)?