Do you want a taste of a timeless, traditional Greek village destination, combined with swimming in the southernmost part of Europe?
Then this is the trip for you.
Crete, with its rich 9000 year history established the first ever civilization in Europe. A melting pot of ancient cultures, the “world” as Homer called it, is a must-visit destination for the open water swimmer. Along with our local Cretan guides and contacts, we have sourced a unique swimming location that combines dramatic scenery, ancient ruins, beautiful local food and of course crystal clear seas. The Minoan Trail & Calypso Island* swims are based in the picturesque traditional Greek village of Sfakia and swimmers stay at Sfakian Horizon Hotel, a quiet location at the top of the village, offering excellent views of the bay below. This series of swims take place along the untamed coastline of south Crete, including swimming around the southernmost part of Europe during a day trip to Calypso island! - weather dependent.
This 7-day, approximately 5K swim per day sea safari starts on Saturday and finishes the following Saturday morning. We will greet you on your arrival on Saturday evening with a welcoming drink and an introduction to safety by our Crete based team. As part of this trip there will also be an optional opportunity for a filmed swimming analysis and open water swimming technique tips. During the week you will have the chance to explore dozens of caves, relax on remote beaches and peruse the gorges that have shaped this rugged, mountainous coastline with its churches and ancient ruins. Each day we swim a piece of the trail and we also stop for lunch at hand-picked seaside tavernas with extraordinary surroundings that specialise in local cuisine. The forgotten ancient waterside cities of Tara and Finix as well as some of the landscape can be visited on foot during lunchtime (not a guided tour).
By the end of an idyllic seven day tour you will have swum all the way from Ayia Roumeli, past Sfakia to the Vritomartis Beach, a distance of approximately 24K and will have completed The Minoan Trail, experiencing the unique natural wonder that is Southern Crete. The recent addition, a day trip to Calypso Island* will give you the chance to experience a remote, beautiful location and swim around Cape Tripiti, the southernmost part of Europe!
More on…CALYPSO ISLAND or GADVOS This is a unique, remote and interesting island located south of Crete. It is evident all around the island that it has been inhabited since Neolithic times and more recently many invaders have set foot on the island, including the Romans, Ottomans, Saracens, Venetians whilst pirates used it as a hideaway. It is also acting as a refuge for migratory birds between Africa and Europe, also ‘hosting’ more permanent wildlife such as the caretta-caretta turtles, thus deserving the protection of the Natura Organisation.
Experience for yourself the island where Calypso held Odysseus captive for 7 years and where “…the beaches are totally deserted and isolated, one more beautiful than the next, and the heavenly natural bays and azure-blue waters are ideal to enjoy a tranquil swim. Surely, the time you spend in Gavdos is never enough, an island which is so close and at the same time so far away from Europe…”.
*Please Note: Due to the remote location of Calypso Island, this day trip is weather dependent.
What is included in the holiday
The trip starts on your arrival at the hotel at Sfakian Horizon. On your arrival day you will be welcomed and in the evening have a chance to meet your fellow swimmers and be briefed on the week’s itinerary and safety issues over relaxing complimentary drinks.
On the first day of the trip our guides/coaches will video your swimming technique for an analysis session. We then view this with you and offer advice on achieving a more efficient, injury-free stroke. Individual advice can also be given during the swims.
Breakfast is offered every morning at the hotel and we will then travel in the traditional Greek boat to the swimming location (which is different every day). We will escort the swimming groups with the support boats and drinks will be offered at regular intervals during the swim. The boats will be manned by fully qualified first aid experienced swimmers who will keep a watch over you.
You will be given a Crete-theme Big Blue T-shirt, a water bottle and a swimming hat to use and keep and we have a range of snorkelling gear and fins you can borrow for exploring in caves or along coastlines.
- On Arrival: Complimentary drink, T-shirt, Water bottle
- 1st Day: Individual underwater video, Individual stroke analysis, Swimming hat
- 7 nights’ Hotel accommodation
- 3 motorised boats (One main and 2 auxiliary)
- 3 qualified swim guides
- Local boat captain
- Cold drinks along the swims
- Variety of snacks at the end of each swim