Hike the Samaria Gorge – take the challenge!
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.
The National Park was declared a nature reserve in 1962 and in 1980 it was proclaimed to be one of the greatest areas of nature, full of wild species, rich in flora & fauna.
The trail leads south through a wonderful terrain and exits at the Iron Gates (the narrowest point at 1 meter wide). A further 2 km takes you to the south coast and the Libyan Sea in Agia Roumeli, where there are several tavernas and a black sandy beach.
With a privately organized excursion, you usually get the benefit of an earlier start so you finish the walk before the intense heat of the afternoon. In addition, you have a private guide to assist your family in case of any problems (you can all walk together at your own pace).
How to get there:
Your personal driver will pick you up early morning bus from your hotel and take you to Omalos, where the gorge starts. The gorge ends up at Agia Roumeli. From Agia Roumeli the boat takes you to either Chora Sfakia or Palaiochora, where your driver will waiting for your return journey.
Families should know
- Average walking time for the gorge is 4-6 hours and is not suitable for very young children
- The initial descent is steep and hard on the knees, and you do need to be very fit and suitably attired
- This walk is NOT recommended for people with health problems (such as heart disease, breathing problems, weakness), or with weak knees/pregnant women/small children/physically disabled
- DON’T FORGET: a small bottle of water that can refilled in the gorge; swimwear & towel; camera; good hiking shoes or sturdy comfortable shoes or trainers; flip flops for beach as sand can be hot; snacks for during the walk; money for entrance, boat ticket; food & drinks
- If you do not feel fit enough to walk the gorge and you have a hire car it is still worth the drive to f Omalos to see the spectacular entrance to the gorge. The is also some beautiful scenery en route
- You may also want to consider the ‘lazy way’ by taking the boat from Chora Sfakia to Agia Roumeli, then walk part of the gorge from the end. It is a couple of kilometres before you actually arrive at the gorge (you can take a bus, actually!) but it is still interesting to see the Iron Gates, the narrowest point of the gorge, even if you don’t venture any further
Kids will love
- Clambering over the boulders in the gorge
- Drinking water from the fresh water springs
- The narrowest point – the Iron Gate
Parents will love
- The beautiful scenery
- The magnificence of the gorge
- The finishing line!
Best season to visit
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