Samaria gorge is the second most visited tourist attraction on Crete (following the Minoan palace of Knossos) and by far the most popular walk. It is the longest one in Europe and it’s an area of stunning natural beauty. Rare flora and fauna have survived in this area and are protected.
The mountains that have formed it are wild, high and steep. One will pass through forests of ancient cypresses and pines and descend between vertical cliffs. The path starts from Xyloskalo (near Omalos) in the White Mountains at an altitude of 1230 meters and comes to an end at the village of Agia Roumeli at the Libyan sea. Walking through the gorge usually takes roughly 5 hours (excluding the breaks).
Samaria gorge is about 60km far from Vlamis Villas. The recommended way to access it is by bus. The public bus departs from the central station in Chania called KTEL.
As a full day is required, you are kindly advised to pick the first bus early in the morning. This will take you to the entrace of the gorge, where you will pass through the gorge and will end up at Agia Roumeli. From there a ferry departs at a certain hour in the evening and takes you to the next village (Chora Sfakion or Sougia), where you will take the bus back to central station. Don’t worry about missing the bus as the driver always waits for the ferry to arrive.
– In winter the gorge is closed to visitors, due to danger posed by water and falling stones.
– The Samaria gorge has traditionally always opened to the public at the beginning of May. Although, the opening dates of the gorge vary, if the weather is bad, or repair work from heavy winter is taking more to restore the path.
-Samaria gorge is not just an easy stroll. The path is 16km long and although it is maintained and in good condition, it is quite stony and also steep at times. Wear appropriate hike shoes.
– Make sure you have enough water with you and a snack.