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MyCretaCab - Samaria

Distance from Heraklion: 176 km

Distance from Chania: 38 km

Activities: Hiking

Visit: May 1 – October 31, opens at 7:00. Due to adverse weather conditions, the gorge may remain closed at times. You are advised to contact Xyloskalo at 2821067179.

Amenities: Since there are no shops in the gorge, you should have your own food and water bottles, which you can refill from the gorge springs.


Samaria Gorge, the most famous gorge for hiking in Europe, is a part of the European E4 path and has two natural entrances, north (42 km from Chania) on the Omalos plateau and south of the coastal village of Agia Roumeli in Sfakia. Its length is about 15 km and the descent takes about 5-7 hours, depending on your pace. The imposing Portes (or Iron Doors) is the narrowest point of the gorge where the high-steeped walls are 100m high and just 3 meters wide. This is considered the most impressive spot of the gorge, though it is quite dangerous in the early morning and evening hours in summer (all hours in winter) because of the landslides that happen due to sudden changes in temperature and the crossing of kri-kri, an endangered wild goat, on the rocks to find food. In 1962 it was declared one of the first National Parks in the country and since 1981 it has been included in the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves (MAB: Man & Biosphere) in order to pinpoint and protect valuable places for man and the rest of the biosphere.

If you are lucky enough, you can take a glimpse of the “wild goats” as the locals call them and “Kri-Kri” as the tourists call them. The “Kri-Kri” wild goat is an endemic species on Crete and you will most likely see some in the village of Samaria, as they often get close to the last houses in the village. The flora and fauna in the Samaria National Park are extremely rich. In the gorge you will find unique species of plants and animals that are protected by international conventions.

The trail is not considered especially difficult for someone familiar with hiking, although everyone can walk through it as long as they do not have any severe health problems. The most tiring part of the route is the last 3 km and to cross it you need a pair of suitable shoes.

Visitors describe the experience in the gorge of Samaria as a unique one, as it brings them closer to pristine nature with the huge rocks and small streams with the crystal clear waters. Everyone goes at their own pace paying a lot of attention and surely the unique natural beauty of the route will reward you.

Regulation of Operation of the National Park of Samaria and useful information on hiking the gorge can be found here

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