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Samaria Gorge
Samaria Gorge

Samaria Gorge

star-5
206 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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Samaria Gorge Hiking from Chania

Traveler Favorite

Samaria Gorge Hiking from Chania
$48.25 per adult
Recommended
Great service, picked up from the hotel and all the important timings and information were explained well. Nikos the guide was fantastic
Ziad_A, Jul 2021

Recent reviews from experiences in Heraklion

star-5
Go for it!
Jim_M, Jul 2021
Samaria Gorge - Semi Private Hiking Day Trip from Chania, with max 8 onboard
Tough walking Samaria Gorge but the travel company was great. Sonia very knowledgeable about the walk and Crete generally. Air Conditioned Mercedes small coach was luxury. Driver was very good.
star-4
Overview of experience
Anonymous, Jun 2021
Samaria Gorge Hiking from Chania
Was very nice going early in the morning to avoid the afternoon heat. All that you are really paying for here is to have the transportation set up for you which makes the trip easier and for some advice about timing and rest stops so it depends if you consider that to be worth it. They give almost 8.5 hours for the hike essentially so you will probably have a lot of extra time at Agia Rumelia at the end if you want to eat and go swimming. We didn’t get back to Chania until almost 9 pm.
star-5
Excellent experience
Sofija_F, Jul 2021
Samaria Gorge Hiking from Chania
The excursion was very good. We had a wonderful time. It was an unique experiance. The gorge is beautiful. The trip was very well organized. We get all the necessary information upfront via email and we were even picked up in front of our hotel. Nikos was very friendly and gave us all the details to enjoy the walk. I highly recomend it! As a tip: confortable shoos are required! Forget the filp flops it’s a 16km walk trough rocks 😊 but at the end you can swim in a beautiful and cold sea water until the ferry arrives.
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
Samaria Is No Walk In The Park
Jayk, Jul 2021
Samaria Gorge Hiking from Chania
It was a little unclear from the description where the tour starts and finishes. The pick up was a few minutes late, and it was an airport style shuttle that picked us up and made a few stops before meeting up with the coach bus. Be aware there was a bit of confusion for a while since the tour bus was labeled Kyriakakis Travel meanwhile the Viator site references Fantasy Travel. Beyond that initial confusion it was a comfortable ride on the teetering cliffs to the starting point at the entrance of the Samaria Gorge National Park (the north end). We were the second bus to enter the park. The early start kept us in the shade longer than most - nearly until the end of the gorge. The views were spectacular. There are plenty of photo opportunities, and sources of fresh water along the trail. The trail is well marked, so you can’t get lost. You should bring a snack for the hike, or purchase something when you stop for coffee/breakfast just before the bus reaches the park entrance. There are water closets at the 4, 7 and 11 km waypoints. Be aware the restrooms are pretty much an outhouse with an Arabic style toilet. You may need to use your phone flashlight once you close the door, then again you may want to. Overall the hike was challenging even for someone with regular hiking experience. The terrain is steeper near the entrance with more significant rocky steps/structures. Make a concerted effort to stretch before and after the hike. The money shot (the image you see in all the advertisements) is toward the end of the hike after the dry stream bed turns into running water from some hidden spring. Ignore the plumbing running along much of the trail. The pipes are more substantial near the bottom. Make sure you keep your ticket handy. They check them at the National park exit. From that point it’s still another 2 km to get to the meeting point. Follow the signs to Samaria Tavern. This is a hot and sunny walk over a poor excuse of a concrete road. The rocks embedded in the concrete will hurt your feet. We made it down in just over 5 hours. There is plenty of time to get some lunch at the place of your choosing, and wander over to the beach area. €13 will get you a shady umbrella, two chairs and a couple of drinks delivered to you. Don’t forget to pack a towel, swimsuit (there’s a place to change), and flip flops. The sand gets piping hot. Your guide will withhold tickets to the ferry until you meet up at the bottom. Consider it incentive to get there. The ferry boards at 5, and departs at 5:30. Get on board early to have your selection of seats. The beach will become a ghost town as this is the last ferry of the day and the only way out. You’ll meet back up with the coach bus after a 45 min ferry ride. From here it’s the reverse of the pick up process. Our feet hurt after this experience, but it was all worth it. Even more so knowing our guide, Nikos, does it 5 to 6 times a week.
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!
star-5
Wonderful excursion, beautiful scenery
Alibd, Jun 2021
Samaria Gorge Hiking from Chania
This was a very nice hike and well organized too. The only downside is that when you have completed the hike, you have to wait about 5 hours until the boat comes to take you to the tour bus. This is not at all the problem of the company, as there is only one boat each day at 5:30 and the hike takes about 4 or 5 hours if you are walking at a regular pace. I would definitely do this again, but I think I would hike back up if it was an option with the tour company or if I had my own transportation.

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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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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