Circumnavigation of Dia island

You need to be an experienced paddler to finish this trip.
The whole route is very exposed to winds and force 4/5, sea state 5 is very common.
There are limited places to land and rough conditions are almost guaranteed!
To join in this trip you will need to be trained for 4* (based on British Canoe Union standards) or to be at that level.
That means that you should be very comfortable paddling in sea state 4 (waves up to 2.5-3 meters) and winds up to beaufort scale 5.
We run the trip usually twice per year, early April and mid November as then the conditions are better and the crossing is less busy with boats.
The trip starts just a few minutes outside of Heraklion city early morning.

You need to be able to paddle without getting exhausted 35km per day as on second day we will circumnavigate the island (32-35km) in a day. The open crossing is about 14km and usually on return it will be downwind (really great fun).

The island is visible from Crete's capital city of Heraklion, as it would have been in the time of the Minoan kingdom, from the capital of Knossos.

Because of this, it was sometimes identified as the island that Theseus escaped to after killing the Minotaur.

On Dia there are a number of protected creatures including:

  • the snail Albinaria retusa,
  • the lizard Pdarcis erchardii schiebeli,
  • the wild rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus cnossius,
  • and the eagle called mavropetritis (in the Greek language). 


Dia is part of the European Network of Nature (Natura) 2000 and is a vetted hunting ground. There are also a number of protected plants such as Carlina diae.

About the trip

This is a self supporting trip. Everything including water must be carried for the whole days. In case that the weather goes really bad and we are on the island we will return by boat. We will not paddle if wind and sea state is close to force 6.

The places on this trip are very limited. Maximum of 3 people can join this circumnavigation. 

The cost for the trip including the transfer boat if needed is 550 euros per person.

We will need 3 days to complete the journey but we will stay one more in case of bad weather.

This is a real adventure trip! Join us only if you fancy rough water!