Samaria Gorge, The Main Hiking Trail of Crete
The excursion through Samaria Gorge is definitely one of the must-do’s during your visit in Crete, especially for the travellers who are passionate about active tourism & sports. Though, even if you are not a fan of hiking, taking on Samaria tour is a great way to bring in some diversity to your vacation in Crete switching it up between the days on the beach. And who doesn’t want to burn some calories after the gastronomic experiences Crete is so famous for!
Samaria Gorge is 16 kilometres of unique wild Cretan beauty that usually takes 8 to 4 hours to go through (though smaller routes are also available), depending on your endurance and the hiking speed you prefer. Though we advise you to take your time, stop for breaks in different resting points and enjoy the fascinating views and over 450 species of plants and animals.
The National Park of Samaria is open from May to October, however, it is always a good idea to check as the dates and times may vary due to the weather conditions. To do that, call +30 2821045570 or visit their official website for further information.
To visit Samaria Gorge, you can either take a public bus from the central station in Chania (KTEL) or choose an organised tour. We highly advise the second option, as usually, Samaria excursions start as early as 5-6 AM (if buying a tour, you will be picked up from your hotel), the difference in price is very small and, last but not least, after the hike, you will be too tired to commute back to your hotel.
Mountain Omalos is the starting point for the classic route, where you will be dropped off and start your hike. While trailing through the gorge, imagine that you are actually crossing the island from the North and coming out in the South coast, from the Mediterranean to Libyan sea. Isn’t it awesome? Once you finished your hike and arrived at the Southern shore, you will have some time to relax, take a swim and enjoy some fresh seafood in the charming village of Agia Roumeli.
Here are a few important tips for those who are planning to visit Samaria Gorge:
- Make sure to wear comfortable sneakers and grab along some plaster for the possible blisters.
- Bring a few light snacks and a water bottle. You will be able to refill it in the crystal clear mountain springs.
- Grab along a hat and strong sunscreen.
- Do not forget your swimsuit – the moment you arrive at the end of the trail, you will want to dive right in.
- Wear a light sweater for the chilly morning and even more chilly air-conditioned bus.
We hope you will find this information useful and you will enjoy your hike in Samaria Gorge of Crete! Just make sure not to plan anything active for the day after, as you might want to rest the whole day 😮