First time Rambler Keri Lewis satisfies a craving for sunshine and adventure on Ramblers Walking Holidays Grade 6 Wild Crete week long break and looks forward to her next...
I wouldn't call myself a rambler, and I've never been on holiday alone before, but I found myself with annual leave to take and a craving for sunshine and adventure so took a gamble and booked a week in October on the Wild Crete trip, and I'm so glad I did.
We arrived from grey Gatwick into brilliant sunshine and headed straight from Chania to the south west resort of Paleochora. After a quick dip in the Libyan sea, we went out for our first group meal together in a local taverna, and despite being a lone female traveller, I immediately felt comfortable with the friendly, mixed group of singles and couples.
While not being a seasoned rambler, as someone who runs and cycles regularly, I'm pretty fit and that was an advantage on this grade 6 walk which, although is rated moderate, is at the top of the scale. Whilst the walks were an ideal mix of gorgeous coastal trails, mountain climbs and gorge scrambles, the tracks were generally rocky with some high ledges so this was no doddle and you needed a head for heights.
I however enjoyed the challenges, and if anything, it's left me wanting to stretch myself even further.
We were also very lucky with the weather, which meant that most evenings we were able to cool off in the sea before relaxing with a cold beer.
Most of the hotels we stayed in were refreshingly rustic with a bit of character and every night was a different experience. We travelled along coastline that's only accessible by foot and boat which meant the small towns on our journey were largely unspoilt and quiet as it was the end of the season.
All the logistics went to plan, so we waved off our luggage in the morning and there it was waiting for us at the end of the day - which made it a stress free trip. We certainly didn't go hungry with three course meals each evening, and as a vegetarian, I enjoyed great food, all washed down with a jug of local wine. Most of the meals were covered, so apart from buying packed lunches and covering our bar tab, there wasn't much else to spend money on.
I may have begun the week as a novice, but this certainly won't be my last trip with Ramblers Walking Holidays. I met some lovely people, loved the walking and came back with very happy memories of a great week.
For an introduction to walking on Crete, why not try the grade 4 Cretan Trails and Tavernas or combine it with Wild Crete in the second week for a two week Western Crete walking holiday with an easier and then more challenging second week.