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Samaria Gorge
Samaria Gorge

Samaria Gorge

star-5
175 Reviews
Old National Road Chanion-Kissamou, Lefka Ori

The Basics

The Samaria Gorge hike is a favorite among walkers and a must-do for adventurers in Crete. 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. Often more than 1,000 hikers hit the trail each day in summer, so it’s best to start early in the morning before the crowds arrive. The simplest way to manage the logistics of getting to and from the gorge by far is to join a walking tour from Chania, which includes hotel pickup, transportation to the trailhead on air-conditioned bus, and the ride back from Chora Sfakion. Ferry tickets for the trip between where the trail ends and Chora Sfakion are not included in Samaria Gorge tours.

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Full Day Samaria Gorge 10-Mile Walking Tour

Traveler Favorite

Full Day Samaria Gorge 10-Mile Walking Tour
star-4.5
$49.28 per adult
Breathtaking scenery
Fantastic trip out! Hotel pick up. Masks worn on the bus which wasn’t too busy at all considering it’s August! When we got to the gorge it was a little busy mainly with Greek tourists not practicing social distancing. The trek is so long that eventually your displaced with other walkers and find yourself walking peacefully with no one around. Plenty of rest places and toilets on the way. Most people wearing trainers. It’s a well trodden trail and pathways wide enough to pass slower walkers where needed. The most arduous part I found was leaving the park and walking to the little tourist town by the beach. You can take a bus for €2 if you wish. Highly recommend this trip for the scenery. Warning your leg muscles will ache the next day!
Nicholas_S, Aug 2020

Recent reviews from experiences in Heraklion

star-5
Worth the pain
Miks_K, Jul 2020
SAMARIA GORGE: One of the most important in Europe From Rethymnon
Be prepared to be tested physically and to feel calf pain the next day/days; however, the hike is picturesque and worth it.
star-4
sAMARIA GORGE
Seaside45512055364, Oct 2019
Samaria Gorge Tour from Chania - The Longest Gorge in Europe
Our guide was amazing and really helped to make the trip as enjoyable and interesting as possible. She was so encouraging as we found it to be a very difficult hike (and we are experienced and very strong hikers) with the elevation and the smooth slippery rocks along the way that required slow and very careful footing.
star-5
Best Day on Crete
Nix2, Sep 2019
Samaria Gorge - Semi Private Hiking Day Trip from Chania, with max 8 onboard
The Samaria Gorge is incredibly beautiful and was the highlight of my trip to Crete. Lina was our guide and she was friendly, funny, and very knowledgeable. There were ten people in our group so nice and small, but we still had some slow walkers which meant that I went ahead and didn't stay with the group. Our guide would stay with the last of the group to make sure we all made it through the gorge. The views in the gorge are spectacular. Starting with a views of beautiful mountain ranges, you end up walking between high and sheer cliff faces with a crystal clear stream bubbling beside you. A couple of things to note is that you are going downhill most of the way, and the first 4 to 6 kms are quite steep, so it can't be very tough on your knees. We were recommended to take hiking sticks, and I am so glad to have it. It released some of the pressure on my knees as well as prevented a few slips. Also note that the beach at the end of the gorge has black sand and it burns your feet. It's not just hot, it's searing hot - so it's worth taking your flip flops even if it adds a little weight to your bag. You can save weight by taking less water, as you can fill up bottles at taps on the way. I highly recommend this experience with this company.
star-5
Breathtaking scenery
Nicholas_S, Aug 2020
Full Day Samaria Gorge 10-Mile Walking Tour
Fantastic trip out! Hotel pick up. Masks worn on the bus which wasn’t too busy at all considering it’s August! When we got to the gorge it was a little busy mainly with Greek tourists not practicing social distancing. The trek is so long that eventually your displaced with other walkers and find yourself walking peacefully with no one around. Plenty of rest places and toilets on the way. Most people wearing trainers. It’s a well trodden trail and pathways wide enough to pass slower walkers where needed. The most arduous part I found was leaving the park and walking to the little tourist town by the beach. You can take a bus for €2 if you wish. Highly recommend this trip for the scenery. Warning your leg muscles will ache the next day!

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Take sturdy footwear, a sun hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, a full water bottle, and food to complete the 4- to 6-hour hike safely.

  • Stick to the trail! If the going gets too tough, there are park wardens on donkeys to rescue you.

  • Overnight camping is not permitted in the gorge; this is a day hike only.

  • Some walking tours from Chania do not include the national park entrance fee..

  • Because of the rough terrain and length, this hike is not recommended for young kids or those who are not in good physical condition.

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How to Get There

Most visitors join an organized Samaria Gorge tour, though it’s possible to reach the trailhead independently via the towns of Omalos or Agia Roumeli. Public buses run to the head of the gorge at Xyloskalo from Omalos, and Agia Roumeli connects to Chora Sfakion by ferry.

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Trip ideas

How to Spend 3 Days in Heraklion

How to Spend 3 Days in Heraklion


When to Get There

The shallow stream on the valley floor runs with clear water in spring; in summer the riverbed rocks become stepping stones, and hikers can revive with a refreshing dip at the Agia Roumeli beach at the end of the trail. In any season, the hike takes most of the day, so hit the trail in the morning.

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Flora and Fauna in the Samaria Gorge

The Samaria Gorge is known for its lush wildflowers in spring and summer. And hikers may catch glimpses of rare kri-kri—wild goats—perched on the cliff tops and birds of prey circling in the sky above.

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