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Samaria gorge

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Samariá Gorge is in southwest Crete and is a beautiful nature reserve, home to several rare animals and plants. The gorge itself is just under 10 miles (16 km long) and is both picturesque and a reasonably challenging hike, ideal for holiday-makers who want to do something more than lying on a beach. The best way to visit is with a group tour who will help to arrange transport so that your day runs smoothly.
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Tours & day trips

Book your transfer to go for a hike through majestic Samaria gorge.
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From Chania: Full-Day Samaria Gorge Trek Excursion
4.6starstarstarstarstar half(2082)
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From Rethymno: Samaria Gorge Full-Day Trek with Pickup
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From Chania/Rethymno: Samariá Gorge Guided Hike with Pickup
4.5starstarstarstarstar half(753)
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From Georgioupolis: Roundtrip Transfer to Samaria Gorge
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4 tips for visiting the Samaria gorge

Samaria-Gorge | Flickr: François Philipp CC BY 2.0
Bring good footwearImportant on the stony path are especially correct, already worn hiking boots, ideally ankle-high. Other mandatory equipment is sunscreen and plenty of water!
Hiking in Crete | Flickr: I C CC BY-SA 2.0
Note the sightsInformation boards along the trail point out abandoned windmills, bunkers, farmhouses and castles - so keep your eyes open for such man-made monuments as well.
Protect natureLeave nothing but footprints when hiking. Garbage must be disposed of in the designated containers.
Pack toilet paperIn case there is no toilet paper at one of the rather simply equipped toilets along the way, it is worth having a roll in your backpack.
Samaria-Gorge | Alistair Young Flickr: CC-BY 2.0

Samaria Gorge: Hiking in the southwest of Crete

A natural monument: Europe's second largest gorge is barely 13,12 feet wide at its narrowest point, the Iron Gate, with 1,968.5 feet high rock walls on both sides!
Transfers and day tours to the Samaria Gorge are offered from Chania, Rethymno or Heraklion - the packages differ in part, it is worth looking carefully when booking online. The hiking trail starts at about 3,937 ft (1.200 meters) at the restaurant Xyloskalo near the summit of Gingilos and leads to Agia Roumeli. Experienced hikers need about 3 to 4 hours for the stony path, but to fully appreciate the landscape should be allowed at least 5 hours to a full day.
Kri-Kri | Flickr: Shadowgate CC-BY 2.0

UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Samaria Gorge

The unique flora and fauna of the rugged, chalky mountain landscape awaits with 14 animal species native only here, such as the Cretan mountain goat Kri-kri (Capra aegagrus cretica) or bearded vultures. Trees such as cypresses, pines and plane trees occur here in large numbers.

General information

opening hours

The gorge opens to the public from 1st May until 31st October each year, from 7 am until 4 pm. Visitors can walk along the length of the main footpath if they arrive within the specified timings. Special licenses are required to walk beyond the main footpath, otherwise, visitors can walk as far as they can before their arrival time allows.


It costs €5 to enter Samaria Gorge, visitors under the age of 15 can enter free of charge.


Samariá Gorge
Agia Roumeli 730 11


Official site:

how to get there

The entrance to Samariá Gorge is located in Omalos, and you’ll walk through the gorge until you reach Agia Roumeli. Public buses can be taken to Omalos from Chania, and it’s best to leave your car in Chania so you don’t have to return to Omalos once you reach the other end of the gorge. From the other end of the gorge, you can take a ferry to Hora Sfakion, Sougia, or Paleochora. Once you get to these places you’ll be able to take a bus back to Chania. Alternatively, you can take part in a day trip that will handle all the transportation for you.
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