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Samaria Gorge

The gorge of Samaria is the second most visited tourist attraction on Crete (following the Minoan palace of Knossos) and by far the most popular walk. The Samaria gorge is the longest one in Europe. The gorge opens to the public usually at the beginning of May.

The gorge is 16 km long, starting at an altitude of 1,250 m at the northern entrance, and ending at the shores of Agia Roumeli. The 16 Km are broken down into 13Km for walking the actual gorge and 3 Km to reach Agia Roumeli where you will get the ferry back to the mainland.This distance usually takes on average 5-7 hours to cover. In Agia Roumeli you will have time ( if you get there early) to have a drink or even swim until the time comes to get on the ferry.

The walk takes five to seven hours and can be strenuous, especially at the peak of summer.

A Bit of History

The gorge became a national park in 1962, particularly as a refuge for the rare kri-kri (Cretan goat), which is largely restricted to the park. There are several other endemic species in the gorge and surrounding area, as well as many other species of flowers and birds.

It is said that there are 450 plant species in the gorge, and not a single flower may be removed from Samaria, by law.

The village of Samariá lies just inside the gorge. It was finally abandoned by the last remaining inhabitants in 1962 to make way for the park.

How to Get There

For this walk, you will have to use public transport to get to Omalos where is the starting point of the gorge, due to the distance and the endpoint which happens to be only accessible by boat. It really is not possible to walk back to your car. If you have someone to drive you that doesn’t want to experience the walk have a look at the map directions. Afterwards, that person will have to pick you up at Sougia, after you take the ferry there.

Now if you are going to use public transport (which we recommend) you can take the bus from Kissamos to Chania then switch in the main station in Chania to the next bus from Chania – to Omalos (the starting point for the gorge). Once you finish walking the gorge and make your way to the village of Agia Roumeli, we suggest that you first go and book your ferry ticket before doing anything else.

Map to the Area.

Fixxer’s Tips

  • Book your bus tickets with a return.
  • When in Agia Roumeli book your ferry tickets first.
  • Sunblock and a hat are required to the rocks reflect a lot of sun.
  • Make sure you have 2 bottles of water with you. You can refill them from the streams.
  • Pack some snacks with you. There is plenty of rest stops to sit and eat something along the way. 
  • Make sure your cameras are all charged up, you will need it. 
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