Samaria Gorge

Samaria Gorge is one of the longest gorges in Europe and is the most popular hike here in Crete. Its high limestone cliffs and quaint villages create the backdrop for the perfect hiking experience.

The Samaria Trail is lined with cypress and pine trees, as well as many other species of plants and animals, which make it a landscape like no other. The gorge starts at an altitude of 1,230m and descends slowly to the new village of Agia Roumeli on Crete’s southern coast.

The first four kilometers of the gorge consist of steps, as the descent is quite steep, but there is always an opportunity for a break and to admire the view. The next part of the gorge will see you trekking next to the river, where you can enjoy the relaxing sounds as you gaze at the beauty all around you. At around 7 kilometers into the gorge, you will come across the village of Samaria, where the gorge takes its name. This village is now uninhabited since it became a national park in 1962, but the old houses are still used by the National Parks guards, and it is a beautiful place to take a rest and refuel.

The next few kilometers will take you through the river bed again, where you will have several bridges to take you over or through the river. It is this part of the gorge that is the most impressive, as it towers above you and you feel the full force of being surrounded by nature. At around 11 km, you will come to the shaded clearing of Christos, and it’s here you will find the last natural spring within the gorge. The last part of the gorge is possibly the most photographed and the most famous. Known as the “Iron Gates”, the gorge towers majestically on both sides at a width of only 3 m.

Once through the “gates,” the gorge widens, taking you 2km further to the old village of Agia Roumeli, which was destroyed by flooding in the 1950s. The final 2 kilometers of the trek will take you to the new village of Agia Roumeli and the tranquil Aegean Sea. Depending on your trekking time,  you will have a chance to swim and relax until a boat arrives and brings you to the arranged meeting point. The boat will arrive at Agia Roumeli at 5.15 p.m. and will take you to the port of Sougia, where we will be waiting to collect you from your adventures within the spectacular Samaria gorge.

Within Samaria National Park, there are many other gorges that are equally impressive, although they are lesser known. These include Imbros Gorge and Agia Irini; both of these are worth the time to hike and are equally rewarding should you choose to surround yourself in unspoiled Cretan beauty.



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