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Samaria Gorge
Samaria Gorge

Samaria Gorge

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
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Samaria Gorge Hiking from Chania
$47.48 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Awesome
It's a great trip. The hiking is long and tiring, but totally worth it. The views are many and breathtaking! The beach at the end is nice, although not outstanding.
Mordechai_S, Oct 2021

Recent reviews from experiences in Heraklion

star-5
A must do for hikers visiting Crete!
Daniel_L, Oct 2021
Walk through Samaria Gorge
Helen was an excellent knowledgeable and friendly guide who made us feel welcomed on our trip to Samaria Gorge. The experience itself was breathtaking with beautiful views all around the gorge. We would highly recommend it for anyone visiting Crete but be warned the walk is not easy and a good pair of walking shoes are essential. We were very happy with the price compared to other providers and would not hesitate to book with Altino Travel again.
star-5
Well planned tour.. Highly recommended
Peter_T, Oct 2021
Samaria Gorge Hiking from Chania
Timing was very good and the guide, Nikos, really had our back. Hiking poles for rent €3 each from the guide. I found that a good investment. Hike starts from the plateau and continues down for about 16k to the ocean, where you get a few hours to lounge about by the sea before catching a ferry to your tour bus. The drive back has lots of switchbacks as you traverse the mountains and some good photo moments before the sun sets.
star-5
A scenic trek through a rocky gorge
Jamie_F, Sep 2021
Samaria Gorge Hiking from Chania
A long a beautiful hike over rugged terrain. Worth the journey. We got some excellent photos and had some good conversations along the way.
star-5
A must do in Crete
Gareth_J, Sep 2021
Samaria Gorge - Semi Private Hiking Day Trip from Chania, with max 10 onboard
Spectacular scenery, the gorge is beautiful. Long walk 12.2 miles great sense of achievement with lovely swim at the end followed by a cold beer
star-5
Go for it!
Jim_M, Jul 2021
Samaria Gorge - Semi Private Hiking Day Trip from Chania, with max 10 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-5
Experience of a lifetime!
Angela_W, Sep 2021
Walk through Samaria Gorge
Michael the tour guide was awesome. It wasn’t an ordinary trail hike it had many different aspects. Brutal but worth it!
star-5
Tough but definitely doable.
Cyd_S, Sep 2021
Samaria Gorge - Semi Private Hiking Day Trip from Chania, with max 10 onboard
The challenge of a downhill 9 mile hike over rocks then a 1.5 mike walk to a nifty beach and excellent taverna was definitely memorable! Guide Sofia watched over us quite well-worth it all to have comfortable drive down and back with competent driver and fewer people than a horde crammed into a large bus.
star-5
Samaria Gorge "the easy way" - Perfect for those like me that cannot hike 5/6 hours
Zoe_A, Sep 2021
Full-Day Beginner's Hiking Route Tour to Samaria Gorge
I was initially scheduled to do the Imbros Gorge hike. I chose Imbros Gorge because I didn't think my knee would be able to cope with the 5/6 hour Samaria Gorge hike. However, due to bad weather my hike to Imbros was cancelled. I received a call from Ria at the tour company who offered me the alternative hike to Samaria but the easier route. I have to say I am truly grateful for the call from Ria as I booked the hike and had the most amazing day. So for the detail, I was picked up at 6am to join the main tour group. I separated from the group after the morning stop for breakfast. I was driven to Sougia where I took a ferry to Agia Roumelli (18 Euro return) where I walked to the entrance at the bottom of Samaria gorge. There is an entrance here for those that want to hike up the gorge rather than down. This worked out better for me as this was a more manageable route and I could walk as far into the gorge as I wished. It was so beautiful, the scenery was stunning. I hiked for 2 hours into the gorge over rivers through amazing walkways and then hiked 2 hours back. This was great as I got to see the gorge from both directions which you get to see things you didn't see on the way in. As majority of people start the gorge from the top I had the gorge all to myself for the first hour or so which was amazing. The entrance fee to the gorge is 5 Euros. After 4.5 hours walking I was very much looking forward to getting into the sea. I had enough time to spend an hour on the beach, then take a look around the village and have an hour for a meal one of the tavernas (there are a fair few to choose from). I returned back to Chania at 9pm. Overall this was a truly amazing day. I was so happy to have been able to take this option to see the gorge. I travelled on my own, I would recommend this to people of all ages. You still need to wear trainers or walking shoes as you need to keep an eye on where you are place your feet. In my opinion this tour is worth every penny for such a wonderful experience. Finally thank you to Ria who was extremely helpful to me.
star-5
Such beautiful scenery! ...
Kristal_S, Sep 2021
Samaria Gorge Hiking from Chania
Such beautiful scenery! Not for those who aren't physically fit. 16km (10 miles) both up and downhill. Paths are uneven and lots of rocks and boulders too. I felt very accomplished to have finished this hike at the age of 57. Well worth it for sure though, as the Gorge is absolutely breathtaking !
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
Great Hike, a Must-do!
mattsondag, Jun 2019
Samaria Gorge Tour from Chania - The Longest Gorge in Europe
The gorge is amazing! Hike through several different terrains and scenic views. Allow a full day from departure to return. Transportation to and from was comfortable. If I had to change anything, it would be nice if the guide affixed a flag to the end of her walking stick to use as a visual to gather group at key points like at the ferry departure and coach bus.

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

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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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