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If you are staying in Chania for a couple of days mid-May and seek advice on a planned walk to view the monasteries at Agia Triada, Gouverneto and Katholiko-this is the expert to advise you.

We have been looking at the best way to do this without hiring a car, and our options are either a taxi or a (KTEL) bus from/to either Stavros or Chania Airport, or a combination of these options.Are there 'direct' walking paths between Stavros and Gouverneto/Katholiko without returning to the road at Agia Triada?From Google earth it doesn't look like the coast is accessible, but can we go 'over the top'? We found one website which talks of a valley between Katholiko and Stavros, but I cannot pick this out on the map.If there are paths, how difficult are they and what would be a rough walking time? Is a round trip Stavros-Monasteries-Stavros do-able in 5-6hrs?About how much would a taxi cost to Agia Triada, and would we be able to pick one up in Stavros if we didn't catch the bus back?

Answer:My Harms Verlag West Crete map shows a footpath between Stavros and Moni Katholiko, threading between the high hills on either side. It also shows an "unpaved secondary road" between Koumares and Stavros, reachable by footpath from Agia Triada.So yes, a round trip is possible, but whether it is do-able in 5-6 hours is debatable. The distances aren't great, and 5 or 6 hours might be enough for a brisk walk (although I don't know the Katholiko-Stavros path or how long it would take) but that would be defeating the purpose of going to see the monasteries! Agia Triada and Gouverneto are both still functioning monasteries and are beautiful and interesting to explore: you need time for them. Katholiko is possibly the most interesting of the three, because the most is isolated and ruinous.If you are staying in Chania, I think you'd make the most of your day by taking a taxi to Agia Triada, doing your walk to Gouverneto and Katholiko from there, and making your way back from Stavros by bus if that's feasible, or taxi. If a taxi isn't available in Stavros, Chania Radio Taxis will collect you anywhere (get a card with phone number from the driver who takes you to Agia Triada).If you decide to walk from Katholiko to Stavros, you should have the Harms Verlag map: don't try it without a map, and don't rely on googlemap.

Similarly, if you do it in the other direction, starting from Stavros, you need a map to get you to Koumares and onto the unpaved track to Stavros.Another option is to go back to Agia Triada from Katholiko and call a Chania taxi to collect you there. I did it this way several years ago and enjoyed the reverse walk, but you might be some of the many people who don't like to retrace their steps.The taxi then cost 30 euro each way .

You are very welcome: I'm sure you'll enjoy the walk. If you haven't done any walking in Crete before, be aware that the footpaths are almost without exception stony, and rough and tough on the feet: you need good hiking boots or shoes with thick soles and deep tread. Don't expect to be able to walk as fast as you do on footpaths in BritainThe path from Agia Triada-Gouverneto-Katholiko is well marked and well trodden, but I would imagine the Katholiko-Stavros path may not be. Be careful, take a charged mobile phone with you, and tell someone at your hotel in Chania where you are going and when to expect you back.

Any way there is not going to be useful if you hire a car, you will have to do it roundtrip and return at the startpoint again, if you are so well trained, this is a good idea and the rates of the rent a car Crete are very competitive that period. Good luck.

 
 
 

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