Certainly a bucket-list-worthy hike. Many points during the day we were in standstill from a constant traffic jam. The gorge is closed to the visitors from the end of October to May. We were on one of the first busses to arrive. Le sentier longe une rivière et sa difficulté est évaluée comme difficile. It was created by a small river running through mountains, and today it is by no means small anymore. It is a fairly strenuous hike but so worth it. Catch the earliest bus from Hania to Xyloskalo to beat the heat and midday crowds. Easy enough walk but you are occasionally sharing the trail with donkeys. Welcome to Samaria Gorge Hiking the 16km-long Samaria Gorge, one of Europe's longest canyons, is high on the list of must-dos for many visitors to Crete. Walk carefully and don't lean too much on the guard rail. Excellent hike and beautiful! There are some washrooms along the way, and natural springs where you can fill your water bottle. The gorge is in southwest Crete in the regional unit of Chania. There are a number of stopping points along the route, where you’ll find toilets and drinking water. At one of the rest stops I was attacked by a baby Kri-Kri. Amazing trail. Book a full-day Samaria gorge hiking tour or the 'Samaria lazy way'; either way, this private hiking tour in Chania will be one of the best things to do on your holidays in Crete. Our guide Linda was so enthusiastic and informative we learned a lot about the region and its history. Water packs for all is essential plus sturdy footwear. Did the Samaria Gorge hike with Io Tours, and it was definitely the highlight of my 3+ week trip throughout Greece. Beach is dark pebbles so bring the water shoes or flip flops (or get a pair at the local shops). The terrain in the gorge is rough, rocky, and uneven and the hike is not suitable for anyone who has heart problems or is unfit, or for pregnant women. Some are pointy, some are smooth, some are slippery, so keep that in mind as well. Didn’t have another way to get to the trailhead and shot myself in the foot with this one. Took us 5.5 hours including breaks. Ended at Agia Roumeli with a few hours to spare before a ferry would be taking us back to the bus. When you finish the walk at Agia Roumeli you then have to get the ferry to Hora Sfakia where you pick up a bus back to Chania. Sheer cliffs and mighty peaks surround the fertile highland plain of Omalos where ancient olive trees still grow. The Samaria Gorge is a favorite trail for hikers on Greece's Island of Crete, which can be completed in 6-8 hours. the entrance of the Samaria Gorge Basic information about the Samaria Gorge Crete: The gorge is situated in the Samaria National park, within the White Mountains in West Crete. Beautiful trail, not too busy on October 22nd. The trail end on the southern part of the island and you take a ferry and a bus to get back to Chania in the evening. Not too difficult descent. There are some washrooms along the way, and Samaria Gorge is a major tourist attraction in Crete. I left early so that it wouldn't be too crowded (in August). This is theoretically quite easy in the gorge of Samaria as you are going down most of the time but the path requires some care and attention and the walk will take you a minimum of 4 hours of walking time. - if you start the trail after 8:30a (ie you take a bus up to the trailhead) you’ll be trekking among hundreds of people almost the whole way through. Discover Samaria Gorge. Def recommend, but it is a long one! Watch out for goats! More shade than I thought, but we started at 8AM from the top. Cafe at the end of the hike before the beach. I hiked this alone for my 40th birthday. The Samaria Gorge is a favorite trail for hikers on Greece's Island of Crete, which can be completed in 6-8 hours. This trail is not difficult, but it is very long. If you have concerns about the weather, call on the day of your Samaria Gorge hike, especially if you're doing it yourself and not as part of a bussed group. Entrance fee is €5. The water here is fresh and safe to drink. • The hike ends at Ayia Rouméli, where you can catch the ferry to Hóra Sfakion. Beaucoup de cailloux, privilégiez les chaussures montantes. Thousands of tourists flock here daily in the summer season to walk from the top to the bottom. The terrain in the gorge is rough, rocky, and uneven and the hike is not suitable for anyone who has heart problems or is unfit, or for pregnant women. At the top of the gorge, temperatures will be more mild because of the altitude, but at the bottom, especially on a hot day, the heat can be unbearable. It has about a 3,000 foot drop and 10+ mile length. It is quite long (4 to 6 hours hiking), so you should be prepared for a quite rough route. The various terrain that you go through and the scenery is magical. You will not have to carry more than a liter bottle of water, which you will refill at the springs along the way. It was very cold and wet early in the morning when the bus arrived at the park entrance, though the weather quickly warmed up and it ended up being a lovely day! DeTraci Regula is a freelance writer who has specialized in Greek travel and tours for 18 years. Even on a weekday in the end of September, it’s tough to get away from the crowds. Stunning views. This hike was stunningly beautiful and the beach at the end while waiting for the ferry absolutely amazing as well. Hardest part was the heat as you arrive in the gorge in the afternoon heat. Some people also put petroleum jelly between their toes or wear double socks, which can also help. Because of popularity it is a very busy trail (at least when I hiked mid-August). With your expert guide, you will escape the crow As the mountain portion ends, the remainder of the decent is following the path of a dried river bed - so lots of rocks and boulders as the terrain! While it's not the only gorge in the area, Samaria Gorge is by far the biggest—in fact, it's Europe's second-largest canyon overall. Regarded by the locals as an almost sacred place and a monument to freedom (partisans found refuge here throughout centuries), … It’s mostly downhill and this is gonna test your knees. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. Their corpse-like scent attracts flies who fertilize the flowers like bees. - I had a pretty bad tour bus experience with KTEL. Amazing. Samaria Gorge is the longest gorge in Greece and one of the biggest in Europe. The steepest, most accident-prone section of the Samaria Gorge is right at the beginning, at the so-called "Xyloscalo" or "wooden staircase", which is actually a series of shallow terraced steps. Be on lookout! If you do choose to take a tour bus, try to book your stay in Crete in Chania or somewhere closer to the trailhead so you won’t spend as much time traveling. - the terrain is very rocky almost the whole way through. Absolutely stunning. If you have a choice, a well-ventilated hiking shoe may be useful to you, especially if it's hot. The Samaria Gorge hike was the highlight of our week on Crete! We took a bus to the top and caught a ferry and bus to get back to Chania. It has been a National Park of Greece since 1962. Subscribe: http://bit.ly/HappyTravellerYT This is our video from our hiking in Samaria Gorge. Bonus to this hike is that it ends at a beach so you can jump in the water to cool down. The most challenging part is right at the beginning of the walk, in the first 6km of the trail, with a couple of steep downhills followed by two demanding hikes. 2k walk to the beach from there. The hike starts at 1,250 m height and goes on for about 16 kilometers until the Libyan Sea in Agia Roumeli. It’s an experience you will carry with you forever. Gygilos with its lunar landscape. The ancient Greek site of Tára, is on the left (east) hill as you exit the gorge. Did the Samaria Gorge hike with Io Tours, and it was definitely the highlight of my 3+ week trip throughout Greece. Magnifiques paysages, pas une multitude de touristes (visiblement les gens préfèrent la plage) et tant mieux! Samaria Gorge is a paradise for biodiversity — home to 450 species of Cretan flora out of which 70 are endemic meaning that they grown only in a gorge. Nous l’avons faite tranquillement avec des pauses de 10h00 à 15:30. Starting early is key, avoids the mad rush of people and there’s more shade in the canyon than if you went through it mid day. That said, scenery is spectacular and I don’t regret walking down. Hiking in Samaria Gorge The hike commences at Xyloskalo the famous location of the Omalos plateau (1.250 m above sea level) where there are several local taverns, hotels and a museum dedicated to the Samaria Gorge. I did this hike in my train running shoes, and felt totally fine as a decently active regular hiker. Bottoms of your feet may hurt tomorrow if you do! There are a lot of drinking water spots to refill, I certainly didn’t need to bring 3L of water like I did. Hiking boots optional. The gorge has a length of 16 km, starting at an altitude of 1,250 m., in Xyloskalo and ending on the shores of the Libyan Sea in Agia Roumeli. In the gorge, there is a variety of several rare endemic species as well as many species of flowers and birds. From Chania, Crete you can take a bus ride that will get you to the trail head in the morning. The Samaria gorge hike is 16 km (about 10 miles) long and in the summer you will be feeling the power of the sun’s rays with very little in the way of shade. The trail follows a clear creek that you can drink from and passes many Byzantine ruins. While ridiculously congested in the height of summer, the 10-mile hike through the Gorge of Samaria can be a Cretan highlight. The E4 European Path: Palaiochora to Lissos, The E4 European Path: Lissos to Poikilassos, The E4 European Path: Poikilassos to Domata, The E4 European Path: Domata to Agios Pavlos, The E4 European Path: Agios Pavlos to Chora Sfakion, The E4 European Trail: Chora Sfakion to Frangokastello, The E4 European Path: Chora Sfakion to Petres, The E4 European Path: Petres to Argyroupoli. Europe’s largest gorge. It’s a gong show the crowd trying to get on the 5.30 ferry! The 16km walk through the gorge of Samaria can be broken down into four sections of roughly similar length (if you want to be very accurate Part 1 is 3.8 km / 580 of descent, Part 2 is 3.7 km / 310m of descent, Part 3 is 3.6 km /170m of descent and Part 4 is 4.8 km / 170m of descent to sea level). Really cool terrain hiking down a famous gorge in Crete. The hike is all downhill, so if you need to turn back for any reason, your best bet is to keep going until you reach the ranger or medical station at the otherwise-abandoned village of Samaria and ask to be taken out by donkey. My three children were 6,9 and 11 and they all loved the walk. Samaria Gorge hike difficulty: It is a medium-difficult hike. The Samaria Gorge National Park is a truly natural wonder and offers the ultimate hiking experience, beginning deep in the mountains and ending up practically on the shores of the Libyan Sea. The Samaria Gorge on Crete is one of the most beautiful places in Greece, weaving legends and guarding secrets throughout the centuries. Therefore, some days ago, I decided to hike on my own. Very nice trail. Dramatic gorge walls after the old Samaria village halfway down. The view once you’ve climbed done into the Gorge is incredible. The various terrain that you go through and the scenery is magical. Would rate as moderate as the trail itself is very easy, just long. To the south is a majestic view of Mt. Because of popularity it is a very busy trail (at least when I hiked mid-August). Potential hazards include flash floods and hot weather. As described, this is all downhill so if you’ve got knee issues, this will hurt. If I came back I would hike one of the other less crowded gorges. Much of the lower trail is on rounded river rock, and good hiking shoes seem to handle these better than boots. There are a number of stopping points along the route, where you’ll find toilets and drinking water. • Ayia Rouméli Ayia Rouméli is a small coastal village that you reach after walking through the Samaria Gorge. For many visitors, it is the sole purpose of their visit to Crete. The beach is free and renting a chair is 7 euro. In this complete guide to hike the Samaria Gorge in Crete, you will find all the information needed to walk Samaria as easily as possible. We did this walk in August. Would recommend avoiding them if possible. The Samaria Gorge hike is a favorite among walkers and a must-do for adventurers in Crete. Dramatic gorge walls after the old Samaria village halfway down. SAMARIA GORGE. Hiking boots are not necessary for most people walking the Samaria Gorge. If I came back I would hike one of the other less crowded gorges. A steep stone pathway with wooden rails leads down to the trailhead on the gorge floor; from there, the path continues between sheer limestone canyon walls, known as the Iron Gates at their narrowest point. Beautiful views, the old settlements were a wonderful diversion from the trail. Still absolutely worth it though. Gorgeous the entire way!!! Available EVERY DAY ! Leave all the rest to us! Most people are total amateur “hikers” who seem mildly offended when you want to pass them, even if you ask nicely (keep in mind most people wont speak English as their first language so asking nicely is not straightforward). Would recommend hiking boots due to walking on rocks for a large part of the way. This is not a hard hike, it's downhill then flat. Walked it a hot summer day, so got pretty hard. At 16 kilometers, Samaria Gorge is one of the longest gorges in Europe (some sources say the longest, others the second longest), is located in Crete’s only national … Multiple water stations along the way so you really don't need to bring all your water with you. The walking tour from one end of Samaria gorge to the other is a challenging 18 kilometers. If you are traveling in the spring, take notice of the smelly, dramatic Dragon Lillies, huge deep-red spikes rising up from fringy leaves and spotted stems. Portes – the narrowest part The Samariá Gorge (Greek: Φαράγγι Σαμαριάς or just Φάραγγας) is a National Park of Greece since 1962 on the island of Crete – a major tourist attraction of the island – and a World's Biosphere Reserve. On a débuté a 7:35am, peu de monde. The rim of the gorge, where you begin your hike, is 4,000 feet above the village of Ayia Roumeli on the Libyan Sea, where you end your hike. Hopefully this review is helpful. Especially getting to the seaside and diving into crystal clear water. If you have an opportunity to do this hike, I highly recommend it. Something with a piece of plastic in the sole will help. Walk through a deep ravine that’s bathed in sun yet shaded by trees. An absolute must-do if you are a hiker and want to experience Crete in it's mountainous glory. Your home base for this loop trip is Hania, a city on Crete's north coast serviced frequently by the overnight boat from Athens. There is an early morning bus from Chania bus station to Xsiloskalo, the enterance of the Samaria Gorge. Hike the UNESCO protected gorge of Crete with an expert mountain guide. If you find yourself on the region of Sfakia, or on the south coast of the prefecture of Chania, don't miss the chance to get the ferry to Agia Roumeli and from there to walk the opposite direction within the Samaria gorge, up to the famous Gates 1 , which is the narrowest point in the gorge.This is known as the Lazy way to Samaria gorge or the easy way to Samaria gorge. If you are not up for the hike, but still want to see the famous Iron Gate, where the pathway enters an opening only about nine feet wide, many tour companies offer the option of bussing to Skafia and taking the ferry to Agia Roumeli. You can bring your own snacks or buy a sandwich from the lunchroom at the top of the Samaria Gorge. It is home to over 450 species of plants and animal, many of them can only … The 18 km hike through the Samaria Gorge begins at Xyloskalo on the Omalos plateau 1200 m. high. Make sure to pack your bathing suit and take a dip on the Mediterranean Sea! Personally, I find this detracts significantly from the hiking experience but the beauty of the hike and the beach make it worth it anyways. Amazing and breath taking. There are few tricky sections and one short uphill section, but for the most part it is very manageable, especially when you're prepared for a long hike. That said, scenery is spectacular and I don’t regret walking down. If you head out of the state park and walk (or catch a van ride down) 3km to the port, there is the most gorgeous water I’ve ever seen. I would recommend proper hiking boots though the majority of walkers wore running shoes. The hike begins high in the mountains and for the first few miles it is a winding decent down the slope of the mountain. The hike isn't too difficult, but it's a long one, so prepare yourself with some tips before you head out. Great hike with great views and such a unique landscape. Wonderful hike- absolutely gorgeous. Don't take the ferry back to Sougia or … It’s not too difficult - it’s entirely downhill (don’t trust the AllTrails altitude guide, it’s way off). Samaria Gorge is in the regional unit of Chania, it is 16 km long and since 1962, it is a National Park of Greece and the only one in Crete. Most beautiful is the “Iron Gate,” the narrow section near the bottom. Impassable in winter, it opened for the 2018 season at the start of May. Everything we wanted and more. Since it's a long hike, you will want to have some food with you to keep your energy up. - there is significant water gathering opportunities along the way. Overall, I loved this experience and hope to return again someday :), wow, belle randonnée, facile a suivre. More than a quarter-million tourists choose hiking the Samaria gorge every year from May to October. Problem with the company but take drammamine for the 2018 season at the end of way. 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