Samaria Gorge Crete
Here Iíve compiled a few tips and information that you should consider if youíre going to walk through the gorge.
The question of logistics is an important consideration.
There is no road between the start and the end of the
hike. If you left your car at the entrance, youíll then
have to drive for hours back to the north coast in order
to pick it up. For that reason, itís better to do the walk
with either public transport or an organised tour.
Prices for organised tours are in the same price range or a bit more, the only difference being that the tour operator has bought all the tickets for you. Itís probably better to get a tour from your base; thereís daytrips from all of the bigger resorts Ė even as far as Malia and Hersonissos Ė but these will obviously start even earlier. If youíre moving onto another destination after youíve walked the gorge, there are also ferries departing Agia Roumeli to Loutro, Sougia and Paleochora. From Paleochora and Sougia you can do the Samaria Gorge with public transport, though ferries are not daily.
There are not many watering holes, so be sure to take
plenty of water with you!
Map Samaria Gorge Crete
Description of the hike
The Samaria Gorge is 19km long, on a rocky track which
winds around the terrain, making it longer and harder than
a road the same distance would be. Once again, do not
underestimate the distance, even if the Greeks (not
notable walkers themselves) tell you itís no problem.
After one and a half hours of walking, youíll reach the
small chapel of Agios Nikolaos, which is the first big
resting place, where you can stop to take a picnic by the
beautiful spring there. Three hours in, youíll come across
an abandoned village called Samaria. Here youíll usually
find water, and quite often some first-aid personnel, a
helicopter landing field and toilets. After the village,
the most interesting part of the gorge begins.
After one more hour, youíll reach the end of the gorge. Altogether the walk through the gorge is at least five hours (plus breaks). There are two tavernas at the end of the track. To get to the port to catch a ferry and to Agia Roumeli is another 2km walk from here.
This small village is packed to the rafters with tired, hungry and thirsty hikers from 2-5pm. There are dozens of restaurants and some supermarkets here to cater for the clientele, and prices are pretty high. After the last ferry leaves in the evening, Agia Roumeli is a quiet village. Some houses rent room, and the restaurants are nicer without the big crowds. A nice place to stay is the Pension Oasis. If youíre walking the Samaria Gorge uphill, it makes a lot of sense to spend the night before in Agia Roumeli.