"Out of season" and "off-season" the right time to enjoy Crete's more peaceful nature and mountains.
Winter months offer the chance to explore the uncrowded vision of Crete, do not miss it.
And the questions is: Ski in Crete? Of course!
Lovely Crete might be surrounded by sea but the tall and wild mainland mountains create an ideal landscape for ski-mountaineers.
Don't miss the chance for a great ski experience between two seas, not quite often, correct?
The White Mountains or Lefka Ori are one of the longest mountain ranges, with constant heights, of Greece with 54 summits at above 2000 meters and 58 more at 1800 m. That practically makes up a mountainous desert, the dream of any skier when this covered in snow.
The snow is relatively humid due to nearby sea and therefore there is no risk for dangerous avalanches.
The Kallergi mountain Refuge, which is our starting point for the below activities, was build in 1971 by the Greek Mountaineering Club of Chania and ever since it hosts hikers and climbers from all around the world that want to experience the majesty of the Lefka Ori massif. The refuge located, on the west side of the mountain range at the altitude of 1680 meters (5510 ft), 600 meters higher from Omalos plateau is the only staffed refuge of west Crete and it can accommodate up to 45 people. The Refuge can accommodate about 45 people, either in 4 bunk bedrooms or in the group bunk bed loft. Blankets and pillows are provided and heat in case of cold weather conditions. Dinner and breakfast can be provided by the Refuge staff, drinks and beverages as well. Special meals can be served in case of allergies or gluten-free diet after request.
Please note that our mountain escort is one of the best in Crete, especially for the White Mountains.
Please find below some of our best and most amazing ski excursions-tours:
1.Crossing The White Mountains
This is a two-day ski tour in snowy White Mountains. We start our crossing from the Kallergi refuge which lies in the West end of the White Mountains in Crete at an altitude of 1680m.
From there and as soon as we reach the Melidaou summit (2134m) we are right in the heart of the mountain. A few hours later we will find ourselves at Katsiveli plateau at 1900m, where we will spend the night in the Svourihti refuge.
On the next day, a visit to Pahnes, the tallest summit of the White Mountains at 2455m , is required and after admiring the view we take off the skins and the descend begin. Moving eastwards we will go past Trohari, Gria Soros and Paspalomiti summits but the longest and most enjoyable descend of our excursion starts from the Kastou Fanariou col . However, the hard part is not over yet, since in Askifou , at the East end of the mountain, in Nektarios’ taverna we will restore powers with tsikoudia and lamb dishes before the final relaxation.
The White Mountains crossing is about 40 kilometers long which are ideally covered in two days with one overnight stay in Kallergi refuge and one in Svourihti refuge. Hiking takes about 8-10 hours depending on the amount of snow and very good knowledge of ski mountaineering is required as the route covered is at exposed icy cuts and generally at alpine landscape not recommended for novice climbers.
2. All Day Ski Tour
You could also take very interesting ski day trips on the White Mountains to ski in the surrounding fabulous summits as it is very easy and close access with routes of all levels and difficulty. The most interesting ones are: On the north side, Therisso, Kakoperato, summits Xilaris, Malotira , on the west side, Xilafi summit, on the east Fanari Castle and on the south Pahnes, Kakovoli and Troharis.
3. 7 Days Ski - Ski Climbing Between Two Seas
In case that you would like to live the entire experience of Cretan Mountains then we highly recommend the hereby ski tour. The vast volume of mountains in Crete offers the opportunity for seven-day excursions and large group trips. We can visit Psiloritis and the White Mountains staying at mountain refugees or traditional settlements in beautiful Cretan villages. Moreover, hiking on the southern waterfront trail E4 in western Crete could be included. A unique experience, you don't have to miss since Crete in Winter is just unique.