The Samaria Gorge, with its 18 km length, is the longest gorge in Europe. This gorge is part of the Crete White Mountain National Park in western Crete. Like the other Cretan gorges, the Samaria Gorge is a riverbed and in the wintertime it is full of water. This spectacular gorge is open from the beginning of May till the end of October and sometimes from the beginning of April, provided there has been no heavy rain in the previous months. As the Samaria Gorge is the most famous gorge, you may rest assured that there will be crowds of walkers but it is, however, a "must" for nature lovers.
The rule for this gorge is:
you must wear the right clothes and shoes for walking and hiking. The Samaria Gorge is the home of the Cretan ibex (antelope) the "Kri-Kri". The gorge is situated in western Crete. The starting point is Xyloskalo, which is situated in the Omalos tableland. In the gorge you will find the most famous Cretan herb the "DIKTAMNUS". In earlier times, a young man who wished to make his feelings of love known to a young woman would present her with a stalk of Crete Diktamus. This herb is used to make tea; Diktamus tea has a bitter taste, you have to add Cretan honey, not sugar! You can use this tea if you have stomach ache or a headache. The Samaria Gorge - Path is mainly downhill.
You have to bear in mind that the beginning of the walk starts from an altitude of about 1200 m so even in the summertime it will be cold at the beginning.
Impressive rocks and springs will follow you the entire length. Before you arrive in the village of Agia Roumeli, the famous "Sideroportes" (Iron Gate)is at the southern exit of the gorge where the rock wall rises 300 metres on either side of the passage, only 3 metres wide.
At the end of your tour you arrive in the car-freee south coast village of Agia Roumeli where your guide hand over the tickets for the ferryboat to the seaside village Sfakia or Sougia. In Sfakia village your bus awaits the hikers to take them back to Chania.You have to imagine that this gorge is like a one way street; it is impossible to walk the Samaria Gorge downhill (18 km) and then back uphill (18 km) as the gorge is open only during the day.
We recommend to purchase this excursion as a package directly in our website kreta.com. In our menu you´ll see "Crete Day Tours" where the hiking tour through the Samaria Gorge can be booked. Our pick up points are in the west coast. For visitors staying at the East or South-Coast it is much more easier to book a overnight in Chania to make this tour much more comfortable. We can offer an arrangement for you including an overnight in Chania. You´ll be picked up from your hotel very early in the morning and will be brought back in the evening.
Booking-Advice from the travel-professionals Kreta.com
Our booking system works like a shopping cart system. Later, you will see all the selected services in the cart system, so you have also the possibility to book the package easily like a round trip including all services for your summer happiness on Crete.
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