Conference Excursions

The day after the conference (Friday July 3, 2015)


You can select either one of two destinations


1) Samaria gorge (Hike downhill for about 13km in the Park & 5km to Agia Roumeli)


No holiday in Crete is complete without a walk through the Samaria Gorge. At 18 kilometres it is the longest in Europe. A stunning drive of 1 hour to the White Mountains is required to reach the Plateau of Omalos and after a short stop at a cafe for breakfast the start of the walk begins at Xyloskalo. 

Descending the 600 wooden steps you will be intrigued by the beauty and serenity of this massive gorge, which is shadowed by the White Mountains.  The trail thins out to a mountain path winding through the gorge where you can see the caves, which once sheltered Cretan partizans during war periods but are now left to the rare Cretan "Kri-kri" goat.  The magnificent wild and unspoiled scenery and flora that you will see along the way is unrivalled anywhere in Crete. The narrowest point of the Gorge named “the Iron Gates” is truly an unforgettable scenery. 

The small fishing village of Agia Roumeli at the end of the Gorge is built on the ruins of Tara, which was a strong and independent town in ancient times. There is time for lunch and a refreshing swim in the crystal clear waters of the Lybian Sea before the ferryboat departs at 15:45. An one hour cruise along the south coast will end at Chora Sfakion.  Completely satisfied, you ponder over the magnificence of nature and the accomplishment of tackling Europe's longest gorge. 
Good walking shoes, sunscreen cream and a hat are essential. Also a light salty snack and a small water bottle that you can refill in the springs inside the Gorge are all you need to carry with you. Please note: The entrance fees into the National Park (~5 ) and the ferryboat ticket (~11 ) are paid by the participants.


Departure time (from Minoa Palace Hotel) - 7:00 am 


2) Elafonissi beach (relaxing on the beach...)


A trip to one of the most beautiful beaches in Crete is a unique opportunity to discover the South West part of Crete. The final destination is an off shore island called ELAFONISSI, separated from the main shore by a shallow channel.  The island can be easily reached by wading through the crystal blue and clear turquoise water of the Mediterranean Sea an adventure in itself! Our trip starts from Chania in a westerly direction and we leave the northern coastal road and turn south through a countryside of villages and olive groves. We take the first break in AGIA SOFIA to visit the small church in a cave crowded with stalactites and stalagmites. There are steps to the cave but the breathtaking view over the gorge of Topolia is worth the climb. A small cafeteria can serve a well earned cup of coffee and a light breakfast. Our next stop is CHRISSOSKALITISSA MONASTERY which means golden step. The monastery is built into the rock where the cave together with the monastery and church are surrounded by the sea. Our arrival at Elafonissi is around lunch time and the rest of the day is free to sunbathe and explore the area. There are plenty of small tavernas in the area for lunch or refreshments.The departure for Chania is 15.00.  On our way back we stop for a coffee break  before arriving back in Chania at approximately 18.00.


Departure time (from Minoa Palace Hotel) - 8:30 am

Return time (to Minoa Palace Hotel) – 6:00 pm