Walking holidays in Crete
Escorted by Jonathan Peat
"In all things of nature there is something of the marvellous." - Aristotle
THE HOLIDAYS IN BRIEF
The largest and southernmost of the Greek islands, Crete has an identity all of its own. A land of delightful diversity, the stark beauty of snow-capped mountains contrasts with the lush allure of flower-filled plains, unfathomably deep gorges carve extraordinary paths to hidden beaches and the humble artlessness of tiny inland villages is the perfect antidote to the graceful Venetian architecture of Chania and Rethymno. It’s an island begging to be explored and we are delighted to introduce our selection of walking holidays, led by expert guide Jonathan Peat.
Walking holidays 2023
About Jonathan Peat
Jonathan Peat is a qualified European Mountain Leader and has been hosting escorted walks in Greece, France and Spain for more than 30 years. The son of a Greek mother and Scottish father, he grew up in the UK and Greece and is fluent in both languages. He also speaks French, is a keen organic gardener, an artist and a daily practitioner of yoga and meditation. In 1990 he was instrumental in setting up the walking programme for Simply Crete and lived on the island for many years, developing a special affinity for its culture, natural history and proud tradition of hospitality. His abundant knowledge affords our guests insights into aspects of the island that often go unseen and his natural enthusiasm for the Greek language and people, ensures a warm welcome from the locals wherever he goes. For Jonathan, walking is a passion and over the years he has hosted people from a wide variety of backgrounds. He observes that walking in Crete has a unifying effect on them all.
“Touched by the warmth of the sun and possessed by the beauty of what they see, these walks, accompanied by humble readings and observations that connect to the world around them, awaken the senses, calm the mind and stir the soul! It’s a privilege to watch.”
We are delighted to welcome Jonathan back to the Simpson family.
All our walking holidays require a reasonable level of basic fitness. If an hour’s stroll on the flat is about your limit, it’s important to bear in mind that the terrain in Crete may be steep and the local tracks rough, adding to the demands of the day. Equally, none of our walks are so demanding that they require anything more than a good pair of walking shoes, a bottle of water and a desire to step out at a modest pace, though walking with poles is recommended for those who require extra stability. We make regular stops along the way to rest, take in the view and discuss the astonishing surroundings. Full days are always broken with a leisurely (and delicious!) lunch.
As a guide, we have graded our walks as follows:
Up to 2 hours' walking, appropriate for those who take gentle regular exercise. Some inclines but nothing too taxing: mostly dirt roads or paved paths. Walking poles recommended for those who require extra stability.
Up to 4 hours' walking, appropriate for those who are used to a little more rigorous exercise. Some steep inclines: mostly ancient unpaved paths. Good balance required as ground can be rocky.
Up to 5 hours' walking, appropriate for those with good levels of basic fitness and plenty of stamina. More demanding terrain with steep unmade tracks which can be very rocky. Good balance and a head for heights required.