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“Fantastic Walk But Not Easy” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Samaria Gorge National Park

Samaria Gorge National Park
Lefka Ori (White Mountains), Sfakia, Crete, Greece
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Full Day Tour to Samaria Gorge
Ranked #2 of 6 Attractions in Sfakia
Type: Canyons, National Parks, Outdoors
Activities: Hiking
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Attraction details
Owner description: Believed to be one of the most scenic national parks in Europe, this gorge stretches more than 10 miles to the south coastal region and offers many hiking trails.
Top Contributor
183 reviews 183 reviews
43 attraction reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
174 helpful votes 174 helpful votes
“Fantastic Walk But Not Easy”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2012

We were picked up at 5.30am in Rethymnon & dropped off at 8.15pm, so it is a long & tiring day but well worth it. We started the walk at 8.20am & the actual walk took us 4hours 40mins plus 1hour of rests & it was a lot harder than we thought it would be, as the first 4km is downhill on rough ground. In fact there is not a lot of smooth ground to walk on as you are either walking on rough terrain, dry river beds or rickety bridges. However the experience was great & the scenery was beautiful. We started off as a group but you soon split up, as people go at their own pace. October was a great time for the walk, as I would not like to do it in July/August. There are 3 main stopping places and plenty of spots to fill your water bottle with fresh water. There are no facilities to buy food in the gorge so take your own. We got to the taverns & beach at 2pm & as the ferry was not due to depart until 5.30pm, it was a long wait even though we did have lunch at a taverna & a sleep on the beach. We wore trainers, which were fine but I would say that all of the serious walkers had boots on. A one hour ferry ride & then you board your coach to take you back to the hotel. The price of the trip quoted by travel shops does not include the gorge entrance fee or ferry fee, so allow an extra 15euros per person to cover this, plus lunch at the end of the walk. A great day out.

Visited October 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Edinburgh, United Kingdom
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“No staff around when they were needed”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2012

We hiked the gorge recently - October is a good time of year to do it, not too hot or busy. We often had the path to ourselves and didn't see anyone else for quite long periods of time.
We didn't do an organised excursion. We got useful information from a very helpful lady at the tourist office in Chania - they have an A4 sheet which gives you the times and prices of al the modes of transport you will need for the day. Don't be shy about being near the front of the queue to get on the bus in Chania - the last couple of people had to stand to Omalos.
It may have been because it was late in the season - we were told we were there on the last official day of the season, but if you need help it may not be as easy to get it as you may think. I tried to get assistance for another walker who was struggling and it was a challenge. At a rest station there was a mule tied up, but no park ranger! No one answered our shouts. At the end of the trail there were several men in the hut, but none of them seemed to understand any English. It took a lot of assertive pointing back up the path before someone got the message and set out up the trail. But by that time the person was nearly at the end of the walk.

Visited October 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Great experience!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2012

Beautiful and strenuous, often steep downhill walk, see the other reviews. Do bring swimming gear to cool of in the sea at the end of the walk, the beach has showers so you can travel home very refreshed. Do take a bus tour even if you promises yourself never to go out with a group again. Why?
- in the gorge you don't walk with your group, everyone goes his own pace and you meet up at the boat at the end.
- the trip starts high up in the mountains and from the village at sea you take the boat to another pretty secluded village. From there it's hard to get back to your car if you left it at the start: it's 40 km's, a taxi will cost you almost as much as tour tickets for 2 persons.
- it is possible to do this trip with public transport from Chania, but that's hardly cheaper and your busses may wel be crowded with fellow group tour haters.

One warning: unless you're an experienced downhill walker: expect horrible muscle pains for several days after this tour. I'm was training for a 15 km run with hills myself but still got severe muscle pains the first 2 days after the hike, and moderate ones for another 2 days after. So at least don't lan another hike shortly after this one. And start the trip if your doubting the condition of your knees or legs.

Otherwise: a hike not to be missed!

Visited October 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Sussex
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Proper exercise so bring proper shoes!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2012

Samaria gorge is great. Booked with an agency (go into nearest town), as worked out reasonably cheap. 32 euros, then PLUS to 5 euro park entry and 9.5 euro for the boat ride back to Hora Sfakion. You can use busses but if your hotel is a way away, much easier to go on a group coach.

Coach usually stops at a taverna for breakfast - extortionate costs for truly awful coffee and an over priced bun. bring your own!

Once there, guides will let you wander down at your own pace and then they bring up the rear. Our guide, Ingrid, was superb. Gave us lots of information on the coach and was safe and sensible. It can be a dangerous place (rock falls, heat exhaustion and broken ankles) so we were told how to take care. A warning - only way out, apparently, is on a donkey! Don't fancy that with a broken leg!

Gorge stunning in the middle and lower sections. Last 3km is dull but you can take the 1.50 euro minibus to the end if you really want. Personally I would not bother. Aparently, the 'lazy way' to do the gorge is to trek UP from the sea to the iron gates. You do not get the entre feel for the place but it is an option.

Top of the gorge can be chilly/windy, so have a light jumper...but you WILL peel off layers as you descend. Don't need to take too much water as there are top-ups from taps along the way - the water is cool and lovely! DO wear a hat and sun lotion.

Samaria deserted 'village' is the half way lunch stop. It is a bit hectic and crowded so suggest you walk on and find a rock to sit on further down the path.

It is an 11 mile trek. It is NOT an afternoon stroll. We saw nutters in sandals and fashion trainers and people who looked like they only walked after Xmas lunch. Because it is predominantly downhill you will experience stiffness in parts of your body you never knew you had! You must wear proper shoes and be reasonably fit, otherwise you will walk like an (very) old lady for the rest of the week! If you use sticks, make sure they are collapsable - only the first 3km is really steep and then they get in the way...mostly of other people!

Take swim wear for the end of the walk. Go to the taverna right on the beach where the sunbeds are free if you buy a beer.

Calves get a hammering - in a perfect world you would have a sports massage at the end of the day!

This excursion should be on your 'to-do' list. Apparently gets REALLY busy during peak season - a bonus that when we did it (October) there were only 130 people in the gorge (normally ALOT more!).

Visited October 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Splended day out”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2012

Really nice gourge walk - took us five hours with stops for lunch, water top-ups, loo visits and 90 photos. Boots and two walking poles recomended. Only 300 or so people in the gorge the day we did it, and that still felt too many sometimes.

We looked at doing the bus-from-Chania independant travel approach, but decided to go with a travel agent. Klados Travel were brilliant - on time pick-up in the morning, well driven coach, George the guide was very informative - and inclusive. We really do recomend you spend £25 with this company. It turned what would have been a good day into a great one.

Visited October 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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