Hi everyone! My name is Helen and I love exploring Crete, running and hiking in the mountains and on the trails. I am excited to share with you some of my favourite routes for running and hiking in Crete 🙂
Malaxa – The Overlooked Mountain
Malaxa is the closest mountain to Chania yet often overlooked! It is only a 15 minute drive from the centre. These are the closest trails to Chania city and are perfect for all levels of trail runners including beginners with the relative smooth non technical trail system
There are 2 main starting points at the bottom:
1) either to the East which is by the Arts & Craft village close to the highway or
2) on the West side of the mountain from the village of Nerokouros.
And one at the top: If you prefer to start at the top then the best place is in the village of Malaxa.
If you start at the bottom, the trail system there can take you up to the village of Malaxa, even higher to the antennas, round the back side with epic view of the white mountains.
Traversing across the mountain you will pass numerous churches nestled into the mountain side and even pass an ancient spring where you can enjoy delicious fresh mountain water from.
You can see it in all its beauty in the 1 minute video below.
Finding the path
There are some crude markings made with paint on parts of the trail but as sections frequently intersect with each other and the mountain itself isn’t that big, I think it would be difficult to get lost and perhaps part of the fun is to see where the different trails lead.
If you are feeling nervous then you can do out and back sections until you are familiar with the landscape.
You can also reach out to me for gpx files which you can download to your favourite apps on your phone like Kamoot, Alltrails, Gaia, Wikiloc, Strava etc
These trails are beautiful all year round and have sweeping views of Chania and Souda Bay. In the spring the flowers are bright and vibrant and even in the summer the landscapes are a lush green.
The 3 Churches loop
One of my favourite routes (that I like to take newbie trail runners on) is what I call the “3 churches” loop.
It is 6.5kms with 350m of uphill. You start from the small car park in Nerokouro.
You make your way to the ancient spring, traverse across to the right and trek uphill towards the first of 3 churches.
Next, you traverse back to the left to the 2nd church, make your way down the dirt road to the 3rd church and then make a loop and head back to the car.