Be aware of the donkeys on the trail and make way for them as they pass by pressing yourself against the wall. From here a frequent boat service will take you directly to Loutró and Hóra Sfakion. While it's not the only gorge in the area, Samaria Gorge is by far the biggest—in fact, it's Europe's second-largest canyon overall. As the mountain portion ends, the remainder of the decent is following the path of a dried river bed - so lots of rocks and boulders as the terrain! Du départ jusqu'a la taverne sur la plage, ma montré Garmin indiquait 19.3km. There is an early morning bus from Chania bus station to Xsiloskalo, the enterance of the Samaria Gorge. Hardest part was the heat as you arrive in the gorge in the afternoon heat. Hiking boots are not necessary for most people walking the Samaria Gorge. SAMARIA GORGE. Samaria Gorge is in the regional unit of Chania, it is 16 km long and since 1962, it is a National Park of Greece and the only one in Crete. Le sentier offre plusieurs activités et est accessible toute l'année. The hike begins high in the mountains and for the first few miles it is a winding decent down the slope of the mountain. The 300,000 visitors that visit annually the 18 km long gorge are usually not aware of its historical and mythical significance. The gorge is in southwest Crete in the regional unit of Chania. There are a lot of drinking water spots to refill, I certainly didn’t need to bring 3L of water like I did. Add to this time to rest, to stop and look at the scenery, take photographs and you can count about 6 or 7 hours to cover the entire distance. Excellent hike and beautiful! Amazing trail. I left early so that it wouldn't be too crowded (in August). With your expert guide, you will escape the crow Very steep and hard on the knees in the beginning, but the 2nd half is much flatter. Dramatic gorge walls after the old Samaria village halfway down. Potential hazards include flash floods and hot weather. When you finish the walk at Agia Roumeli you then have to get the ferry to Hora Sfakia where you pick up a bus back to Chania. Magnifiques paysages, pas une multitude de touristes (visiblement les gens préfèrent la plage) et tant mieux! I would recommend proper hiking boots though the majority of walkers wore running shoes. Especially getting to the seaside and diving into crystal clear water. DeTraci Regula is a freelance writer who has specialized in Greek travel and tours for 18 years. Samaria National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the White Mountains of Crete, draws tens of thousands of visitors per year to hike the spectacular gorge at its center. To the south is a majestic view of Mt. Stunning views. Cafe at the end of the hike before the beach. Ended at Agia Roumeli with a few hours to spare before a ferry would be taking us back to the bus. As described, this is all downhill so if you’ve got knee issues, this will hurt. Walk carefully and don't lean too much on the guard rail. It will be much cooler at the top of the Samaria Gorge than at the bottom, so dress in layers so you can adjust to the temperature. The walking tour from one end of Samaria gorge to the other is a challenging 18 kilometers. The gorge of Samaria is the gem of the White Mountains! Because of popularity it is a very busy trail (at least when I hiked mid-August). It's a good idea to bring some bandages along with you also and use a walking stick if you think you will need help to climb over the rocks. Beautiful hike in Crete. Amazing and breath taking. If I came back I would hike one of the other less crowded gorges. The Samaria Gorge is the most famous gorge for hiking on the island of Crete. Bussed in from Chania. Listen to your body. Entrance fee is €5. The beach is free and renting a chair is 7 euro. Would rate as moderate as the trail itself is very easy, just long. Europe’s largest gorge. Hiking boots optional. The hike isn't too difficult, but it's a long one, so prepare yourself with some tips before you head out. If you are traveling in the spring, take notice of the smelly, dramatic Dragon Lillies, huge deep-red spikes rising up from fringy leaves and spotted stems. Therefore, some days ago, I decided to hike on my own. Welcome to Samaria Gorge Hiking the 16km-long Samaria Gorge, one of Europe's longest canyons, is high on the list of must-dos for many visitors to Crete. Our group was fun and friendly, and the whole tour went smoothly from pick-up to drop-off. Starting early is key, avoids the mad rush of people and there’s more shade in the canyon than if you went through it mid day. Much of the lower trail is on rounded river rock, and good hiking shoes seem to handle these better than boots. The terrain in the gorge is rough, rocky, and uneven and the hike is not suitable for anyone who has heart problems or is unfit, or for pregnant women. Stayed In sougia, took a €50 taxi to the entrance, for a 730am start. Bottoms of your feet may hurt tomorrow if you do! It’s mostly downhill and this is gonna test your knees. The water here is fresh and safe to drink. It has about a 3,000 foot drop and 10+ mile length. Enjoyed a nice lunch and relaxed on the beach for a bit; as an FYI, the west part of the beach appeared to be quite nude! Very nice trail. I hiked this alone for my 40th birthday. The trail follows a clear creek that you can drink from and passes many Byzantine ruins. There are a number of stopping points along the route, where you’ll find toilets and drinking water. Gygilos with its lunar landscape. Wonderful hike- absolutely gorgeous. Something with a piece of plastic in the sole will help. Everything we wanted and more. Un ferry à la fin vous emmène à Sougia pour reprendre un bus où vous avez garé votre voiture au départ de la rando. Some are pointy, some are smooth, some are slippery, so keep that in mind as well. Your Trip to Copenhagen: The Complete Guide, Your Guide to Crete Including Maps, Weather, and Things to See, Here's Everything You Need to Get Ready for Trekking in Nepal, Ten San Francisco Beaches You Won't Want To Miss, Learn the Real Meaning of the Greeting "Yasou" in Greek, Everything You Need to Know About Visiting a Nude Beach in Greece, A Guide for First-Time Hikers in New Zealand, Tips for Hiking the Samaria Gorge in Greece. The Samaria gorge hike is 16 km (about 10 miles) long and in the summer you will be feeling the power of the sun’s rays with very little in the way of shade. Gorgeous the entire way!!! It’s the longest gorge in Europe and is located in west Crete, in the White Mountains. Stay tuned and… stay safe! We did this walk in August. Great hike with great views and such a unique landscape. The ancient Greek site of Tára, is on the left (east) hill as you exit the gorge. The hike is all downhill, so if you need to turn back for any reason, your best bet is to keep going until you reach the ranger or medical station at the otherwise-abandoned village of Samaria and ask to be taken out by donkey. In the gorge, there is a variety of several rare endemic species as well as many species of flowers and birds. Samaria Gorge hike difficulty: It is a medium-difficult hike. If you are not up for the hike, but still want to see the famous Iron Gate, where the pathway enters an opening only about nine feet wide, many tour companies offer the option of bussing to Skafia and taking the ferry to Agia Roumeli. Le sentier longe une rivière et sa difficulté est évaluée comme difficile. Beaucoup de cailloux, privilégiez les chaussures montantes. The gorge is closed to the visitors from the end of October to May. Your home base for this loop trip is Hania, a city on Crete's north coast serviced frequently by the overnight boat from Athens. My three children were 6,9 and 11 and they all loved the walk. Our guide Linda was so enthusiastic and informative we learned a lot about the region and its history. • Ayia Rouméli Ayia Rouméli is a small coastal village that you reach after walking through the Samaria Gorge. It can take anywhere from 4 to 6 hours to complete the … A nice day hike, and if you can, overnight in Agia Roumeli after the hike. Bonus to this hike is that it ends at a beach so you can jump in the water to cool down. Samaria Gorge, Europe’s deepest and longest gorge, is a great gash in the White Mountains of Crete. But lots of stations along the route and possible to drink from the streams. The rim of the gorge, where you begin your hike, is 4,000 feet above the village of Ayia Roumeli on the Libyan Sea, where you end your hike. There are few tricky sections and one short uphill section, but for the most part it is very manageable, especially when you're prepared for a long hike. It may close for bad weather, hot weather, or the occasional strike by workers. Impassable in winter, it opened for the 2018 season at the start of May. Still absolutely worth it though. The hike was a straight descent. The view once you’ve climbed done into the Gorge is incredible. In ancient times, the Gorge was home to a famous oracle site which attracted pilgrims from as far away as Libya and the giant gray mountain at the beginning of the Gorge, Giglio, or Sapimenos, was thought to be the throne of Zeus on Crete and also the location he used to conduct horse races. At the top of the gorge, temperatures will be more mild because of the altitude, but at the bottom, especially on a hot day, the heat can be unbearable. If you find yourself on the region of Sfakia, or on the south coast of the prefecture of Chania, don't miss the chance to get the ferry to Agia Roumeli and from there to walk the opposite direction within the Samaria gorge, up to the famous Gates 1 , which is the narrowest point in the gorge.This is known as the Lazy way to Samaria gorge or the easy way to Samaria gorge. More than a quarter-million tourists choose hiking the Samaria gorge every year from May to October. Walked it a hot summer day, so got pretty hard. Really cool terrain hiking down a famous gorge in Crete. Je ne suis pas une grande fan des descentes mais la pente est plutôt douce après les 2 premiers km. Some people also put petroleum jelly between their toes or wear double socks, which can also help. It is home to over 450 species of plants and animal, many of them can only … You really don’t need more than 1 L. I would recommend carrying empty bottles to fill at the end though if your trip home is long. Don't take the ferry back to Sougia or … A few things to keep in mind I didn’t know going in: Since it's a long hike, you will want to have some food with you to keep your energy up. From there, you can walk up to the gorge and reach the Iron Gates in about thirty minutes. The trail end on the southern part of the island and you take a ferry and a bus to get back to Chania in the evening. Didn’t have another way to get to the trailhead and shot myself in the foot with this one. There are some washrooms along the way, and You will not have to carry more than a liter bottle of water, which you will refill at the springs along the way. Would recommend hiking boots due to walking on rocks for a large part of the way. At one of the rest stops I was attacked by a baby Kri-Kri. You can bring your own snacks or buy a sandwich from the lunchroom at the top of the Samaria Gorge. With all the busses dropping off the tour groups it begins very busy but after the first few miles each team sets their own pace and the slack opens up. Someone in my group had standard running shoes (Nike) and her feet were painful by the end. Did the Samaria Gorge hike with Io Tours, and it was definitely the highlight of my 3+ week trip throughout Greece. Hiking in Samaria Gorge The hike commences at Xyloskalo the famous location of the Omalos plateau (1.250 m above sea level) where there are several local taverns, hotels and a museum dedicated to the Samaria Gorge. Very rocky and the first kilometer or so is fairly steep so it’s hard on your knees. It is quite long (4 to 6 hours hiking), so you should be prepared for a quite rough route. Well kept and fun to run ! It has been a National Park of Greece since 1962. Beach is dark pebbles so bring the water shoes or flip flops (or get a pair at the local shops). Being the largest gorge in Europe and arguably the most spectacular, the Samaria Gorge offers a spectacular 18km walk with a starting point on the plain of Omalos at 1,000 m above sea level. Regarded by the locals as an almost sacred place and a monument to freedom (partisans found refuge here throughout centuries), … It is a fairly strenuous hike but so worth it. The Samaria Gorge is a favorite trail for hikers on Greece's Island of Crete, which can be completed in 6-8 hours. It is a fairly strenuous hike but so worth it. I did this hike in my train running shoes, and felt totally fine as a decently active regular hiker. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. Samaria Gorge is one of many beautiful gorges in Crete and one of the places you should visit on your Crete holidays. Most people are total amateur “hikers” who seem mildly offended when you want to pass them, even if you ask nicely (keep in mind most people wont speak English as their first language so asking nicely is not straightforward). Def recommend, but it is a long one! Une fois la trail complétée, nous avons mangé chez Rousios (Taverne), excellent et ensuite loué un parasol et 2 chaises (7 euros) pour une sieste en attendant le traversier de.17:30. pas besoin de guide:). Discover Samaria Gorge. Personally, I find this detracts significantly from the hiking experience but the beauty of the hike and the beach make it worth it anyways. Walk through a deep ravine that’s bathed in sun yet shaded by trees. Bonus to this hike is that it ends at a beach so you can jump in the water to cool down. Amazing. Hike the UNESCO protected gorge of Crete with an expert mountain guide. Many points during the day we were in standstill from a constant traffic jam. The Samaria Gorge hike was the highlight of our week on Crete! Hopefully this review is helpful. Be on lookout! Did the Samaria Gorge hike with Io Tours, and it was definitely the highlight of my 3+ week trip throughout Greece. Not too difficult descent. Most beautiful is the “Iron Gate,” the narrow section near the bottom. Portes – the narrowest part The Samariá Gorge (Greek: Φαράγγι Σαμαριάς or just Φάραγγας) is a National Park of Greece since 1962 on the island of Crete – a major tourist attraction of the island – and a World's Biosphere Reserve. Catch the earliest bus from Hania to Xyloskalo to beat the heat and midday crowds. There are some washrooms along the way, and natural springs where you can fill your water bottle. There are a number of stopping points along the route, where you’ll find toilets and drinking water. The 16km walk through the gorge of Samaria can be broken down into four sections of roughly similar length (if you want to be very accurate Part 1 is 3.8 km / 580 of descent, Part 2 is 3.7 km / 310m of descent, Part 3 is 3.6 km /170m of descent and Part 4 is 4.8 km / 170m of descent to sea level). An absolute must-do if you are a hiker and want to experience Crete in it's mountainous glory. Samaria Gorge is the longest gorge in Greece and one of the biggest in Europe. Would recommend avoiding them if possible. The Samaria Gorge hike is a favorite among walkers and a must-do for adventurers in Crete. The Samaria Gorge National Park is a truly natural wonder and offers the ultimate hiking experience, beginning deep in the mountains and ending up practically on the shores of the Libyan Sea. This trail is not difficult, but it is very long. Les Gorges de Samaria est un sentier de point à point de 15.9 kilomètres modérément fréquenté situé près de Palaiá Agía Rouméli, Crète en Grèce. This is theoretically quite easy in the gorge of Samaria as you are going down most of the time but the path requires some care and attention and the walk will take you a minimum of 4 hours of walking time. Easy downhill trek. It’s an experience you will carry with you forever. Sheer cliffs and mighty peaks surround the fertile highland plain of Omalos where ancient olive trees still grow. (I think the company was called Elafannosis) Zero problem with the company but take drammamine for the bus rides. The gorge is protected by Samaria National Park, which was set aside by the Greek government in 1962. On a débuté a 7:35am, peu de monde. I knocked a star off for the shear number of people. The terrain in the gorge is rough, rocky, and uneven and the hike is not suitable for anyone who has heart problems or is unfit, or for pregnant women. Length 9.9 miElevation gain 9215 ftRoute type Point to point The Samaria Gorge is the most famous trekking gorge in Europe and a part of the European E4 hiking trail. Subscribe: http://bit.ly/HappyTravellerYT This is our video from our hiking in Samaria Gorge. At 16 kilometers, Samaria Gorge is one of the longest gorges in Europe (some sources say the longest, others the second longest), is located in Crete’s only national … Finished by 1pm. - if you start the trail after 8:30a (ie you take a bus up to the trailhead) you’ll be trekking among hundreds of people almost the whole way through. The various terrain that you go through and the scenery is magical. Take plenty of snacks and enjoy the walk x. Water packs for all is essential plus sturdy footwear. We took a bus to the top and caught a ferry and bus to get back to Chania. This is not a hard hike, it's downhill then flat. If you have concerns about the weather, call on the day of your Samaria Gorge hike, especially if you're doing it yourself and not as part of a bussed group. Leave all the rest to us! The hike itself is doable if you are of reasonable fitness. Their corpse-like scent attracts flies who fertilize the flowers like bees. Took us 5.5 hours including breaks. The E4 European Path: Palaiochora to Lissos, The E4 European Path: Lissos to Poikilassos, The E4 European Path: Poikilassos to Domata, The E4 European Path: Domata to Agios Pavlos, The E4 European Path: Agios Pavlos to Chora Sfakion, The E4 European Trail: Chora Sfakion to Frangokastello, The E4 European Path: Chora Sfakion to Petres, The E4 European Path: Petres to Argyroupoli. Park authorities might even close the park if it is too hot outside. If I came back I would hike one of the other less crowded gorges. This hike was stunningly beautiful and the beach at the end while waiting for the ferry absolutely amazing as well. While tens of thousands of people trek down the Samaria Gorge each season, it is not danger-free and fatalities have occurred in the past. - the terrain is very rocky almost the whole way through. The walking tour from one end of Samaria gorge to the other is a challenging 18 kilometers. - there is significant water gathering opportunities along the way. The mountainous scenery and the cliffside vistas are truly spectacular! the entrance of the Samaria Gorge Basic information about the Samaria Gorge Crete: The gorge is situated in the Samaria National park, within the White Mountains in West Crete. Even on a weekday in the end of September, it’s tough to get away from the crowds. Samariá Gorge Trail is a 9.9 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Palaiá Agía Rouméli, Crete, Greece that features a river and is rated as difficult. Thousands of tourists flock here daily in the summer season to walk from the top to the bottom. The first section of the walk is by far the most difficult one because it descends steeply. Make sure to pack your bathing suit and take a dip on the Mediterranean Sea! If you have a known hotspot for blisters, use moleskin on it before starting the hike. • The hike ends at Ayia Rouméli, where you can catch the ferry to Hóra Sfakion. Multiple water stations along the way so you really don't need to bring all your water with you. Samaria Gorge is a major tourist attraction in Crete. For many visitors, it is the sole purpose of their visit to Crete. Total walking time 5 hours. If you have a choice, a well-ventilated hiking shoe may be useful to you, especially if it's hot. I would highly recommend this tour to adventure-seekers who appreciate nature and history. Available EVERY DAY ! 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. The various terrain that you go through and the scenery is magical. Those mountain roads are killer! The steepest, most accident-prone section of the Samaria Gorge is right at the beginning, at the so-called "Xyloscalo" or "wooden staircase", which is actually a series of shallow terraced steps. A rocky and crowded trail with any inexperienced hikers. That said, scenery is spectacular and I don’t regret walking down. There's a €2 van that will take you to the beach if you're just too tired! - be careful driving on the mountain roads on Crete. Absolutely stunning. The 18 km hike through the Samaria Gorge begins at Xyloskalo on the Omalos plateau 1200 m. high. Beautiful trail, not too busy on October 22nd. Certainly a bucket-list-worthy hike. - I had a pretty bad tour bus experience with KTEL. It was created by a small river running through mountains, and today it is by no means small anymore. If you have an opportunity to do this hike, I highly recommend it. That said, scenery is spectacular and I don’t regret walking down. If possible, wear well-broken-in shoes and test them first by going down a steep hill and see where any unexpected pinch spots seem to be. If you head out of the state park and walk (or catch a van ride down) 3km to the port, there is the most gorgeous water I’ve ever seen. Beautiful views, the old settlements were a wonderful diversion from the trail. It was a gift to my self. More shade than I thought, but we started at 8AM from the top. Nous l’avons faite tranquillement avec des pauses de 10h00 à 15:30. Watch out for goats! Get up early!! Expect to be stepping on/between rocks the whole time. Samaria Gorge is a paradise for biodiversity — home to 450 species of Cretan flora out of which 70 are endemic meaning that they grown only in a gorge. The terrain is rocky which may make it challenging for those not used to those conditions. If you do choose to take a tour bus, try to book your stay in Crete in Chania or somewhere closer to the trailhead so you won’t spend as much time traveling. Hidden in the south part of the Chania district, it is the biggest gorge in Europe, covering an area of 18 kilometres in length. It’s a gong show the crowd trying to get on the 5.30 ferry! The hike starts at 1,250 m height and goes on for about 16 kilometers until the Libyan Sea in Agia Roumeli. It’s not too difficult - it’s entirely downhill (don’t trust the AllTrails altitude guide, it’s way off). Overall, I loved this experience and hope to return again someday :), wow, belle randonnée, facile a suivre. Because of popularity it is a very busy trail (at least when I hiked mid-August). It was very cold and wet early in the morning when the bus arrived at the park entrance, though the weather quickly warmed up and it ended up being a lovely day! “The Samaria Gorge is in southwest Crete in the regional unit of Chania. © 2020 AllTrails, Inc. Tous droits réservés. Dramatic gorge walls after the old Samaria village halfway down. The gorge has a length of 16 km, starting at an altitude of 1,250 m., in Xyloskalo and ending on the shores of the Libyan Sea in Agia Roumeli. Journée longue mais à ne pas rater si vous aimez marcher. The Samaria Gorge is a favorite trail for hikers on Greece's Island of Crete, which can be completed in 6-8 hours. The Samaria Gorge on Crete is one of the most beautiful places in Greece, weaving legends and guarding secrets throughout the centuries. There’s an undeniable raw beauty to the canyon, with its soaring cliffs and needlenose passageways. While ridiculously congested in the height of summer, the 10-mile hike through the Gorge of Samaria can be a Cretan highlight. Easy enough walk but you are occasionally sharing the trail with donkeys. 2k walk to the beach from there. We were on one of the first busses to arrive. The most challenging part is right at the beginning of the walk, in the first 6km of the trail, with a couple of steep downhills followed by two demanding hikes. In this complete guide to hike the Samaria Gorge in Crete, you will find all the information needed to walk Samaria as easily as possible. From Chania, Crete you can take a bus ride that will get you to the trail head in the morning. Book a full-day Samaria gorge hiking tour or the 'Samaria lazy way'; either way, this private hiking tour in Chania will be one of the best things to do on your holidays in Crete. Rouméli is a favorite trail for hikers on Greece 's Island of Crete, which was set by... 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