Samaria Gorge National Park

Samaria Gorge National Park, Sfakia: Address, Phone Number, Samaria Gorge National Park Reviews: 4.5/5

Samaria Gorge National Park

Samaria Gorge National Park
4.5
National Parks • Canyons
About
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.
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4.5
3,338 reviews
Excellent
2,318
Very good
701
Average
195
Poor
56
Terrible
68

Mark P
Isle of Wight30 contributions
Aug 2020
Not much to add from previous reviews other than our experience. Sturdy trainers or hiking boots are a MUST. This is a very physical walk and some parts are not shaded so would not recommend for children, 13 years and older should be fine. We saw a few younger children flagging by halfway. The first steep 3k are the toughest, be prepared for achy legs for a couple of days after! Although it is busy to begin with, it is possible fairly quickly, and certainly by the halfway 'Main' stop, to find your own peaceful 'slot' and pace. The views around each bend are just stunning and very different as you descend. The whole experience is a treat for the senses from the tinkle of goat bells and the buzz of insects to the smells from trees and shrubs. The bay at the end has a beach (to the right) which is small black shingle and gets very hot so beach shoes are needed. Changing huts and showers are also available for free. We stopped at Maria's (just passed the first restaurants) and loved the fresh orange juice and excellent value fresh sandwiches. The ferry was busy on the way back, struggling with social distancing and the general reluctance to wear face coverings (although this was checked by the boat staff). Do not sit at the back if you are not a smoker! All in all a great day and a highlight of Crete. We booked through Splendor Holidays (found via Google), they picked up even at our remote hotel (around 5.30am) and dropped by back around 9.00pm. Total cost was 43E per person including all tickets. We are relatively fit 40 somethings and did the walk in 4 1/2 hours with a couple of short stops.
Written August 25, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Oxfordgirl M
Oxford, UK12 contributions
Oct 2021
Really excellent day out. Left the north of the island near Chania on a coach c 5:30am, started the hike as the gates opened at 7:30am. Lucky to be in the first group as apparently 1600 people did the journey that day (mid October). Beware - they will close the gorge in the event of suspected bad weather/heavy rain. The first part is hard going on the knees, but it gets easier. Being near the front we were lucky not to be too held up by people stopping much or taking photos and therefore were at the beach by midday having done it at a good pace. Note there is nowhere to buy food in the National park/during the hike but plenty of places at the end - lots of restaurants and a supermarket and a beautiful beach to have a recovery swim while waiting for the boat to take you back to Sougia (c1h, €10). There are taxis there to take you back to the start of the gorge if you drive yourself and left your car (€10). The excursion coaches will also meet you there. Beware your calves will hurt the next day!
Written October 16, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

loubylou641
Beverley, UK28 contributions
Sep 2021 • Couples
Well worth the effort, you really do need decent trainers/shoes track is very stony, sharp rocks underfoot. The scenery is stunning but it's a long way & takes around 5 hours, highly recommend it if you are fit enough. Very hot when we went so take hat, suncream & water plus food. There is a small bus you can take for the last 2km to the beach once out of the national park area, the swim was heavenly after our trek. We travelled with Klados all very organised & efficient.
Written September 20, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kacper S
Warsaw, Poland29 contributions
Aug 2020 • Couples
Samaria in a car is currently (August 2020) a whole day trip and there is no guarantee of coming back to the parking.

First you drive to Xyloskalo - no matter when you start, you come back at dawn, around 20:00. Choose your parking wisely: one is for 5 EUR, the other one free of charge, but supposedly buses turn around on it.

Then you walk (which btw. is awesome) down the canyon and then you come to Aija Rumeli where you are stack till 17:30 - the only ferry back goes at that time (direction Sougia)

In Sougia buses await travelers. BUY YOUR TICKET ONLINE. Otherwise rush from the ferry to a ticket box behind all buses, where you can buy tickets. If you are lucky, you will get to the first bus. If less lucky, you will stand in the second bus. I saw at least 5 people left behind at the bus stop for there wasn't enough room for them in both buses.

Bus departed at 19:10 so we got to the parking in Xyloskalo around 20:30. It starts getting dark - watch out for goats and try to drive behind someone.

Written August 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Harald Gracholski
Cologne, Germany6,786 contributions
Oct 2020
While hiking has always been popular among outdoorsy people it certainly has relieved a strong hype among broader parts of the general, urban community. With this in mind locations such as New Zealand, Patagonia or Canada have been riding this wave and tours of their great walks are typically booked out months in advance. There certainly is a good reason for this run on hiking reservations, as the places mentioned surely are spectacular, there really is no reason to look this far for a dose of nature's best. The Samaria Gorge in my opinion is one of those spots that easily compete with mother nature's other masterpieces, as it truly has it all. Mountains, trees, rivers full of clear and drinkable water, plenty of sun and a day at beach for those brave enough to finish the 6-8h trail. As a European citizen was I not aware of this islands beauty and strongly urge everyone visiting to stop by and enjoy the view.
Written February 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

flymea
Estonia12 contributions
Jul 2021 • Family
The grand place with breathtaking views. Good shows are highly recommended. It is possible to go through in walking sneakers. Almost all the way you must be careful and watch attentively under your feet. Walking speed should be above average, especially if you want to make some photos and not be trailing at the end of a group. Believe that you'll want to make photos 😉

The way is not easy, but doesn't require superhuman efforts. But I'll advice you not to go with small children, because some endurance is needed (teenagers are ok)

In Samaria, lives cretan endemic goat, kri-kri. We were lucky to see him about 5 -7 km from the entrance.

If you haven't serious health problems, I'll highly recommend you to visit Samaria. This place you'll never forget 🙂
Written July 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Emma I
3 contributions
Apr 2021
We were driven to the top of the mountain from Palaiochora by coach. (bear in mind a 6 am start) There we paid 5 euros for entry and just started walking, The first hour is quite tricky - I was wearing trainers and slipping all over the place! However, the views are insane; worthy of reminding us how tiny we are in the face of nature.

We walked 2-3 hours down, crossing streams and walking through lovely trails between the trees. Eventually we got to the village of Samaria which was a gem in itself. We sat there for lunch (you need to bring a packed lunch!) and enjoyed interacting with the goats!

It took about another 2 hours to reach the gorge itself, which again was worthy of the hike! It took us a while to figure out a smooth rhythm of walking (you want to look up and admire, but you also need to look down so you don't trip over a rock!) There a fresh streams there which you can actually drink from too!

At the end of the gorge there is a fresh orange juice stand and a bus to take you to ag. roumeli. Be prepared dish out some extra cash for the ferry back (we paid 40 each just to go to Palaiochora!).
Written August 17, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Marie Roos
Belgium237 contributions
Aug 2020 • Couples
Awesome experience and one of the most beautiful places to go hiking. Do wear good shoes, have sun screen with you, bring some snacks and a water bottle that you can fill along the way. If you’re traveling with an organized operator, be aware that you leave Heraklion at around or before 6h in the morning and that you’ll be back at or after 22h.

Be aware that the first couple of kilometers were quite steep and for the people who are afraid of heights or aren’t the bravest people, including myself, it can be quite challenging to get down. When we were there, mid august, it was cloudy and we even had some rain. After the walk we took a dive in the Libyan sea and took the boat back. We didn’t have much pain in the muscles that day. The day after though, we did have pain in our calves and getting up or using stairs was quite challenging (in our 30s, used to walking on flat terrain and to run for 8k). We wouldn’t have missed it in the world though!
Written August 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Madalina_Alexandra
Bucharest, Romania47 contributions
Sep 2020 • Friends
The nice: if you have a good condition and the right equipment, the hike is beautiful. Some of the views, especially in the middle of the gorge are amazing.
For most of the gorge, there are resting stops with water springs every ~45 minutes so 0.5l is usually enough, except for the last bit, after Samaria Village - last stop before the main part of the gorge, make sure you refill there.
There is a bus doing regular rounds for the last 2 kms to the village which can save you some energy. The village of Agia Roumeli is really beautiful in the evening and morning, there aren't many people there but there are many shops and tavernas and lodgings. The sound of the waves on the pebbled beach on the eats side is amazingly relaxing
The bad: it was the highest covid risk for my trip to Crete. The first problem is the ferry to Sougia. They now only have 1 ferry per day, at 17:30. With so many people on board and no one making sure that people keep a distance ir wear masks, it was impossible to be safe. The same thing also happened on the bus back to the gorge, where we left our car. The couple behind us were not wearing their masks and kept talking and laughing loudly and no one said anything. But you can at least take a taxi there instead, there are a few well appreciated companies in Sougia. You can also take a speedboat taxi from Agia Roumeli but they are not always available due to the weather.
I was also bothered by the lack of information. First, no one knew about the ferry schedule (outside of the 17:30 one which most people take). Online it said there is another at 11:30, when I asked at the entrance of the gorge when buying the tickets they didn't know, the bus driver for the last 2 kilometres also thought there was another one in the morning, etc.
Then, there were no signs on the path. Now don't get me wrong, you definitely cannot get lost. The path is for most parts very visible and when it's uncertain and you take the wrong path you discover it quickly. But they could still save you the effort with some simple signs in a few places. Then, there is also no information to how much you travelled (estimated time to the end of the route) which could save you from trying to hurry too much or being too late for the ferry.
Overall, if I had to do it again, I would probably choose another, smaller gorge (there are more than plenty in the area), especially in corona time.
Written September 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Olga
London, UK38 contributions
Jun 2021
We loved this stunning gorge. We couldn't find any reviews about people who had walked up, so here is our experience. We walked down the first day we got to Samaria and it took us 5 hours with breaks. We were very surprised to see people wearing inappropriate shoes and clothing - please wear proper, hiking shoes, this is not a walk in the park! Also please do not swim in the river, which is used for drinking water!! The walk is initially quite steep and the ground is pebbly / rocky so do watch you feet and step down carefully. If you are reasonably fit, then it's really not hard as you are going down most of the day. It can get very, very hot so we recommend starting early. There is fresh water at various stops along the way. We then stayed at Agia Roumeli and enjoyed the beautiful beach and surrounds there. On the following day, we walked up the gorge to get back to our car. People were looking at us like we were crazy the whole way, they couldn't understand how we could be walking up :). As long as you start early to avoid the heat of the day (we started at 8 am), the walk is not bad at all assuming you are reasonably fit. We actually walked up faster than we walked down (about 4.5 hours). We found the last 2 km the hardest because they were the steepest and by that stage the sun was well above us. We highly recommend this stunning walk, whether you choose to go up or down and would recommend an overnight stay in Agia Roumeli.
Written July 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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