Explore the Samaria Gorge beauties
Discover the Samaria Gorge
The Samaria Gorge is a National Park, that covers an area of 12,500 acres and offers the most famous and important hiking route in Crete. The route starts a little higher than the Omalos plateau at an altitude of 1,227m, ending at the south side of Chania prefecture, at Agia Roumeli, a seaside village. It is open to the public from May to the end of October, with a controlled entrance and a fee of 5 euros. The Samaria Gorge actually cuts through the White Mountains, and the hiking route moves along the bottom of a gorge 13 kilometers long, with high peaks towering left and right. Water flows from the melting snow, while the untouched wild relief offers unique emotions to the visitor. Many species of rare animals live in the park (such as the Cretan goat and Golden eagle) as well as endemic flora. Since 1981 it is part of the Unesco world network of biosphere reserves and has been a national park since 1962.
Crossing the gorge does not require technical or orientation skills as the route is easy, marked well, and has many rest areas where one can rest and get water from the natural springs that are present almost all along the route. The duration of the hike is about 6 hours, on a gently sloping downhill path without any difficult sections. An average physical condition is enough, along with a pair of comfortable and sturdy shoes. Even in the summer months, the heat is tolerable, as most of the route is in the shade. At the end of the route, a swim in the crystal clear sea of Ag. Roumeli is the best thing!
The length of the hiking route from the entrance to the beach of Ag. Roumeli is 17km. No road leads to the seaside village of Ag. Roumeli, so the visitor has to board the ships bound for Chora Sfakion, Sougia, and Paleochora. From there there is a road connection to Chania, while from Sougia there is public transport that returns to the Omalos plateau – useful if you have left your car there. Of course, you can also spend the night in Ag. Roumeli in the rooms available, as it is a beautiful place with spotless beaches by the Libyan sea and excellent dining options at the local taverns that offer genuine local food. We highly recommend it.