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Crete Kayak Adventure Matala Full Loop

Crete Kayak Adventure Matala Full Loop
With world-class kayaking along a dazzling coastline, local cuisine, fascinating culture, warm hospitality and incredibly comfortable climate, it’s easy to see why this award-winning trip has been our most popular year after year. Come experience it for yourself!
Family Owned Inns
Kayak, Hike, Multi-sport
8 Days, 7 Nights
Skill Rating
Van Supported
Single Supplement


Guides, ground transportation, support vehicle, lodging (based on double occupancy, single supplement applies), most meals (breakfasts and all but one dinner), all kayaking equipment, instruction and entry fees for the Samaria Gorge National Park.

Not Included

Air or ferry to Heraklion on the island of Crete, lunches, drinks and one dinner, personal clothing and accessories, full medical, baggage and trip cancellation insurance, airport taxes and gratuities. Single Supplement: $700.

Upcoming Dates:

September 13-20, 2024
September 21-28, 2024
May 31 - June 7, 2025
June 8-15, 2025
June 16-23, 2025
June 24 - July 1, 2025
September 12-19, 2025
September 20-27, 2025
September 28 - October 5, 2025



Day 1: Our trip officially begins 10:00am on the first day at the Heraklion Airport where The Northwest Passage staff will meet you at the airport. We will then enjoy a scenic drive across Crete down to the beach town of Matala on the south coast. There will be a kayak outfitting session followed by welcome drinks while viewing the incredible sunset. Over dinner at an authentic Greek taverna, we will review the itinerary for the week and answer whatever questions you may have. D Day 2: After breakfast, we will outfit everyone with paddle, PFD and sprayskirt, then head to the beach for our basic kayaking instruction session. The protected bay in Matala provides us with an ideal introductory location, surrounded by the famous caves - legendary homes to Joni Mitchell, Cat Stevens, Bob Dylan and others in the 1960s. Following our morning paddle session, we will paddle to two neighboring beaches, Red Beach and Kommos Beach. After enjoying lunch at Kommos Beach we return to Matala for cliff-jumping into the bay and our highly recommended Sunset Hike. The day ends with a great meal (as always) and a chance to experience the Matala nightlife. B,D Day 3: We’ll get an early start today as we transfer by van to the Samaria Gorge. The Samaria Gorge is a “must see” for every visitor to Crete; this incredible national park draws thousands of visitors each day. We have designed our itinerary to be able to experience the Gorge after the vast majority of hikers have already headed down. While most visitors to the Gorge rush to catch the last ferry, we will spend the night in Agia Roumeli, a charming and traditional town where the Gorge ends. We’ll celebrate our accomplishments with a wonderful dinner on the seaside terrace of our hotel on the beach, and we will fall asleep to the soothing sound of the sea. In the morning, we'll awaken to the gentle dinging of goat bells from the herds on the hillside. B,D Day 4: As the ascending sun brightens the cliffs along the bay, we will kayak from Agia Roumeli to Agios Pavlos for our cappuccino stop. The small 10th Century Byzantine chapel built in honor of St. Paul is a remarkable site and a classic photo opportunity. From Agios Pavlos, we’ll continue along the coastline to Marmara Beach, one of our tastiest lunch stops offering additional cliff-jumping opportunities from the wind-carved marble rocks. We then paddle to the water-access-only town of Loutro where we will spend two nights. Rounding the point to catch your first glimpse of this idyllic town has been a highlight of the trip for all past participants. We won’t ruin the moment by saying any more now- you’ll just have to see for yourself! B, D Day 5: Today is a day with multiple options. From Loutro, we may continue up the coastline to Sweetwater Beach where the freshwater springs bubbling out of the sand provide a unique experience. After stretching our legs, enjoying a refreshing swim and a cup of cappuccino, we can paddle on to Hora Sfakia for our lunch stop before paddling back to Loutro. There is also the option of a challenging all-day hike up into the traditional villages in the hills and descending through the beautiful Aradena Gorge before walking back to Loutro through ancient olive groves. Then we join up for another Sunset Hike to the Turkish fortress overlooking the harbor followed by dinner at another of the excellent bayside tavernas. B,D Day 6: You will have an option today to paddle to Hora Sfakia or to hike the trail which follows the coastline. We will then continue paddling or shuttle by van along the coast to the Venetian-era fortress at Frangokastello for a brief tour before continuing our journey along the coast to the town of Plakias. Plakias provides some upbeat nightlife and great shopping opportunities as well as the chance to visit one of our favorite bakeries on the island (the “Cretan Specialty” is another highlight of the trip!). Dinner is on your own tonight to give you a choice of the numerous restaurant possibilities in town as well as a chance to set your own schedule for the evening, including the chance to dance at local nightclubs. But remember it's an early paddling morning tomorrow! B Day 7: Heading out from Plakias, our next stop is Palm Beach, where Cretan palms line a picturesque stream which joins the sea. An optional short paddle up the inland freshwater creek provides a glimpse of river turtles and local birds.  After lunch, we will paddle on to the beach at Agios Pavlos. At this point, you can opt to shuttle the last section or paddle the final 7-mile stretch (making total mileage for the day 20+ miles!). In the evening, we will celebrate with a final dinner overlooking the harbor at Agia Galini. B, D Day 8: Those wishing to complete the paddling circle may choose to launch early in the morning and paddle across the bay from Agia Galini into Matala (approximately 8 miles in an open water crossing). Others will sleep a little later and van to Matala where we will have a brief stop to pick up any luggage you may have chosen to leave at the hotel, unload boats, and do any last minute shopping. The van will depart for Heraklion between 11 a.m. and noon, giving time for a visit the renowned Heraklion Archaeological Museum before catching late afternoon flights back to Athens. **This itinerary is subject to change. As with all adventure travel, some activities are dependent on appropriate wind and water conditions. But fear not -we have many alternative activities available in case the weather is not cooperative. B
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