For locals it is known as Farangas or Great Gorge, Samaria Gorge is a 15-kilometre hike that winds through one of the longest and most striking gorges in Europe. The Samaria Gorge is the recognized natural site and symbol of the island of Crete. It holds a unique and distinguished position in Cretan, Greek and Mediterranean history.
The Story of Samaria Gorge
Samaria Gorge is a World Biosphere Reserve and has been a National Park since 1962, located in the southwest of the island of Crete The Samaria National Park delimits the core of the Lefka Ori. The path of the Samaria Gorge from the north to the south entrance is 15 km long. and its width is 150 m at its widest point and 3 m at its narrowest. Visitors set out from Xyloskalo, on the edge of the Omalos Plateau, cross the Cretan countryside vertically, and end up at the village of Agia Roumeli on the Libyan Sea. From there they can distinguish, on the edge of the horizon, the tiny island of Gavdos, the southernmost point of Europe.
Depending on your fitness condition, the duration of the hike varies between 4-8 hours. It is advisable an early start in order to avoid as much of the midday sun.
The trail is clearly marked with kilometer posts dotted along the route. Friendly and knowledgeable rangers are positioned to offer guidance. Along the gorge there are water stations for refilling and toilets.
The Samaria Gorge usually operates from April until the end of October depending on the weather, from 6am till 4pm. The most preferable months to hike on the gorge are from April to June, avoiding the summer heat and the rainy autumn weather.
What to carry with you : Hat, appropriate shoes for walking, sun cream, refillable bottle of water, energy snacks, small first aid kit, light clothes, a light jacket , towel and swimsuit.
In case you need a medical attention, contact a ranger.
Smoking is not allowed anywhere in the park and lighting fires is prohibited.
Dogs are allowed only on a leash for the all time.