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Diktynna Travel

Liverpool
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Diktynna Travel

I asked about walking holidays in Crete last month and got some helpful replies.

I am now thinking of booking this trip www.diktynna-travel.gr/page.aspx… for several reasons.

1. It offers a good mix of walks, and includes the main things I think I want to do. It makes good use of time. No days seem too rushed, but we get to see and do a lot.

2. Compared to others it seems like good value. More meals and transfers included than most.

3. The last night is in Chania. Others finish in Sfakia (or even Loutro), which would mean catching a bus at 0700 for our flight home.

Is this a sensible assessment? And has anyone used Diktynna Travel?

London, United...
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1. Re: Diktynna Travel

The programme covers a good deal of ground, and takes you on some of the best walks in the area. My only reservation about it is that after the walk down the Samaria gorge you may not feel up to the long, hot, tiring though splendid coastal walk from Agia Roumeli to Loutro. But if that were so, you could spend the morning resting and swimming on Agia Roumeli's beach, and get to Loutro later, by ferry.

This walk is one of my favourites (in the other direction) so if you do have the energy for it, I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

I don't know Diktynna, but the price seems reasonable, considering that transfers, accommodation and most dinners are included, plus occasional baggage-carrying. Let's see if someone can tell you about the firm.

Chania, Greece
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2. Re: Diktynna Travel

Diktynna Travel have been around for close to 20 years. They are a serious outfit aiming for quality so I think that you won't have any problems with them.

Agii Apostoli...
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3. Re: Diktynna Travel

Its a well organised and relaxed walking tour, if your walking/hiking fitness level is average. Nevertheless, you could organise these excursions by yourself for much cheaper...

Liverpool
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4. Re: Diktynna Travel

Fair point. I've been on a few trips like this in the past, and you probably pay twice what the accommodation and meals would cost you if you did it off your own bat. I've also done plenty making the arrangements myself. Time is precious on holiday, and on a well-run trip I've never resented paying the extra to have the bags moved around, someone waiting to drive me on various transfers, and the hotels and some of the meals fixed up.

Anyway, I've booked it now, (with a 10% early booking discount!) so I don't want to hear anything bad! Just looking at the Aradena Gorge for the day in Loutro.

London, United...
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5. Re: Diktynna Travel

There's nothing bad to be said. Yes, it could be done cheaper. But at £700 for a week (now £630, with your discount), considering everything that is included, I'd say it is very good value. You're in unfamiliar territory, and you'll be glad to have the maps and walks descriptions, and the orientation session.

Re your day in Loutro, walking the whole of the Aradena gorge is a full day's trip. Read this (you've probably found it already):

http://www.west-crete.com/aradena-gorge.htm

It describes the walk going up rather than down, which really is easier, as the author says (even for me, as a 5'-nothing woman with short legs, and I've done it both ways). But if you'd rather go down, you can do it in the other direction, ascending 650 to Anopolis, walking across to the start of the gorge at Aradena, down the gorge to Marmara beach and back to Loutro. Either way, it's a long day: a good 8 hours walking time, plus stopping, looking, eating, drinking, taking photos time, plus swimming at Marmara time.

One proviso to the walking-time estimate is that if you go UP you've a good chance of getting a lift down from Anopolis to Sfakia, from where you can take the ferry back to Loutro. Another is that the the incline up the gorge is so gradual you scarcely notice it, except when climbing the rock falls; whereas the trek up to Anopolis is more taxing. (Beautiful views, though, and time to enjoy them.)

Note that whether you choose the ladder or the new path, you need a head for heights: this is not really a walk for anyone with vertigo. I've known a few with vertigo who have done it, but it's challenging.

If you've done the Agia Roumeli-Loutro walk the day before, after the Samaria gorge the day before that, you might prefer to do Aradena the "short way", from Livaniana, the village you can see above Loutro. That's about 4 hours walking, with plenty of time left to relax and swim at Marmara. This avoids the ladder and the path that skirts it.

You're welcome to PM me if you want any more information.

Liverpool
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6. Re: Diktynna Travel

Thanks for that. I think I'd picked up most of it already, but the notion of hoping for a lift is a good one. The downside for me of going up the gorge is that I was thinking of getting the boat between Loutro and Marmara to shorten the walk and avoid re-tracing our steps from the day before. Apparently this goes at 1100, which is too late, and returns at 1700, which would be just right if we'd done it the other way round. I'll worry about this at the time. We might just do nothing!

And it's even better value than you say - euros, not pounds.

Chania, Greece
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7. Re: Diktynna Travel

If you really want to avoid the walk from Loutro to Marmara you can take a taxi boat from Loutro. It shouldn't cost more than 20 Euro. But it's a nice walk, especially in the morning. Less so in the afternoon heat (coming from Agia Roumeli) .

London, United...
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8. Re: Diktynna Travel

Yes, it's a beautiful, varied walk, and it wouldn't be at all like retracing your steps, as you'd be going in the other direction and the outlook would be quite different. I've lost count of the number of times I've done this walk, and I always love it.

But yes, €20 is about right if you want to take a taxi boat.

If you do go up the gorge, you will probably be able, as I said, to get a lift down from Anopolis to Sfakia, which would shorten the walk even more effectively. Or you could get a taxi down (someone's pickup truck) and pay. It wouldn't cost much.

Doing nothing is also a nice option! There are loads of comfortable places to sit around and eat and drink in Loutro. Or you could do "almost nothing"- walk to Sweetwater Beach (about an hour, halfway to Sfakia) and spend the day relaxing there.

Liverpool
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9. Re: Diktynna Travel

An update for anyone who has similar questions, and thanks to those who gave advice.

Diktynna Travel were excellent. Their notes were good, so were the hotels, the restaurants were all good enough to be recommended in our guidebook. We were ferried around in spotless Mercedes people carriers and minibuses. There are always minor glitches on a holiday like this, but I can't really complain that the luggage arrived a bit late in Loutro when other firms don't get your luggage to Loutro at all. Nor that the transfer from Hora Sfakion was late when other firms leave you to make a 70 km bus journey - especially when the driver stopped and bought us a snack and a drink on the way back!

As to the itinerary, we did find the Agia Roumeli to Loutro walk hard going - it was a very hot day - so we had a leisurely drink at Marmara and got the 1700 ferry to Loutro. The following day we took the advice about going up the Aradena Gorge, but we went up the gorge to where it is crossed by a path from Agios Ioannis to Livaniana, quite a bit higher up than the path most other people were taking to Livaniana, but giving us more time in the gorge and a lot easier climb out.

10. Re: Diktynna Travel

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