Diana's Travel Chania Crete
The beginning of Samaria Gorge
One of the most famous places to see on Crete is the Samaria Gorge, Europe’s largest gorge. This National Park is 13kms long with unbelievable natural beauty. The gorge is rich with many endemic flowers & herbs with crystal clear spring water flowing from the mountains. – you can even refill your water bottles with it (at specific points).
The average walking time through the Samaria gorge is 4-6 hours & is on a foot path with rocks & along the river bed. It is mostly downhill (particularly steep in the beginning). Starting at 1,250m height amongst the White Mountains (Lefka Ori) the path winds down the mountain & into the depth of the gorge, to the narrowest point which is 2m wide!
There are rest stops & toilets throughout the gorge & places where the fresh spring water runs to refill your water bottles.
At the end of the park, the remaining final walk (3kms) is in the sun. You can get a ride on a minibus for 2 Euros (payable locally), if you don't want to do the last part.
Agia Roumeli village is where you can enjoy a swim in the Libyan Sea or have lunch one of the many tavernas. From here there is a ferry that takes you to Sougia village, where the coach is waiting for you at the harbour & you drive back over the mountains to the north coast to the place where you were picked up.
The guide on the trip will give you information on the coach & you are free to walk at your own pace. The guide follows the group to ensure everyone comes out at the end & he/she is there if you need any assistance. The guide tells you where to meet at the bottom & it is a hassle free trip.
Itinerary - The trip starts with an early pick up from the nearest point to your accommodation (between 05.30 -06.30) and drive through the mountains passing the plateau of Omalos.
Arrival at approx. 07.30
- The guide collects the entrance fees & he/she issues your tickets
- You will stop at Omalos at one of the tavernas to get a coffee / very simple breakfast and then you are taken to the start of the gorge at the "wooden stairs". There is another shop at the starting point as well selling fruit/sandwiches/drinks & walking sticks.
-The walk should take at least 6-7 hours (if walk slowly & look around to enjoy)
There are toilets and rest stops as well as rangers all the way through.
- Once finished, ample time for a swim in the Lybian Sea and/or have lunch at one of the many tavernas in Agia Roumeli
- Meet the guide to collect ferry tickets. (the guide will tell you where & at what time before you start walking)
- 18.00 the ferry boat leaves for Sougia
- Coach ride from Sougia to the north coast.
- Arrival back at the pick-up point at approximately 20:00-20.30
Note: If you suffer from a heart condition, high blood pressure, breathing problems, weakness of knees or other knee disorders, vertigo, or pregnant women- THE SAMARIA GORGE IS OFF LIMITS TO YOU, for your own safety! This is not an easy walk. It’s 12miles/18kms of sometimes very steep and rough terrain. The heat is also a factor that you must keep in mind. Hiking boots are the best, but trainers with good grip will do. Just don't wear new shoes!