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“Simply a must do in Crete”

Samaria Gorge National Park
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$77.62*
and up
Full Day Tour to Samaria Gorge
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$72.05*
and up
Samaria Gorge Tour from Chania - The Longest Gorge in Europe
Ranked #1 of 12 things to do in Sfakia
Certificate of Excellence
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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.
Reviewed September 24, 2013

The gorge is great. Well worth every bit of time. Beautiful views on every step you make.
Good, comfortable shoes is a must(better be closed). There is mostly a shadow but do bring sunscreen and a cap. Water is also needed ,although it can be found on the way.
We finished the track in four and a half hours including making photos and stopping to eat 3 times. Most people do it in 5-5.5, the slowest 6-6.5

You should also plan your journey to the start of the track and from the end of it.
The start is at Omalos and the end is at Agia Romeli(I am talking about full track of course, although there is a possibility to shorten it).
There are 3 ways to perform this(You should keep in mind that Agia Romeli is only accessible by sea and the only afternoon boat from Agia Romelli is at 17:30):
By tourist bus. By public transportation. By car.
1) Tourist bus is not a problem. They will drop you at start and wait at the place to which the boat from Agia Romeli arrives.
2) Public transport - there is a morning bus from Chania to Omalos and from Sougia to Omalos as well as the evening bus transportation from every city that has sea connection with Agia Romelli.
3) Car - this is the option that we used so I will elaborate more on that:
If you have 2 not fully populated cars - you have less problems. Just bring 1 car to Omalos and 1 to Sougia so when you go back by sea to Sougia you would be able to go in 1 car to Omalos. Omalos is on one of the ways to Chania anyway.
If you have only one car I think the best option(and that's what we did) is to go to Sougia to catch the morning bus to Omalos at 6:50AM. Leave the car at Sougia and take in when you come back by sea.

4  Thank Dmitry B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 22, 2013

This is a "must do" in our opinion. The walk itself is not that difficult if you are reasonably fit, but because it is long and steeply downhill you feel it the next day- and the day after.
Wear comfortable shoes (can be done with a good pair of hiking sandals), hat, sunblock etc. There is a good supply of water all the way so just an empty bottle. There is a minibus that takes you out of the park to the ferry for a couple of euros when you are done, or you can walk anothe couple of kms (we took the minibus :-) )
We had a nice lunch at the Taverna in Sfakia afterwards.

1  Thank Liora V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 21, 2013

My wife and myself walked the Samaria Gorge on Sept 17th. We had planned to do it before going to Crete and pretty much knew what to expect, we even took our hiking boots. They were needed. the walk is challenging due to the roughness under foot. It really hammers the soles of your feet and leaves you in no doubt the following day that your calf muscles have been well and truly exercised.

However, the scenery in the Gorge is worth the effort and pain. It's simply fabulous. The views from start to finish are stunning and spectacular. We took plenty of bottles of water, but our guide on the bus (Thomas) advised us to take just one small bottle each and refill it regularly from the springs and streams within the gorge. The water is crystal clear and perfectly ok to drink.

The end of the walk brings you to the turquoise Libiyan Sea and a chance to soak your aching feet. For me, the Samaria Gorge was the highlight of our holiday in Crete. It's a tough challenge but absolutely worth it. Just remember to wear good footwear, the soles of your shoes or boots being the most important thing.

1  Thank Alan_Bateson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2013

I'm always up for a challenge, so this was a must do while I was in Chania with a friend.
We shopped around for what seemed like the best deal in terms of an organised tour (I didn't want the risk of public transport!), and organised a ~6am pick up from our hotel in town.
We arrived at the top of the gorge around 8am, grabbed a quick drink to wake us up - espresso for my friend, fresh orange for me - and started the walk around 8:30am.
It was nice to start so early as it wasn't too hot, and although there were plenty of people around (another couple of coaches arrived about the same time as us) there was always enough space to go at your own pace.

The first couple of miles are TOUGH - a steep descent down very rocky paths that are stepped in places, but very slippery in others. Every time we paused to take a photo or a mouthful of water, my legs felt all wobbly! But soon we got to the flatter part and happily stomped along.
The terrain is challenging throughout - dry river beds, ladder-type bridges over the river where it's still running, scree... - so I think decent shoes are a must. I was in Gore Tex trainers with a rugged sole which were fine, but I did see people skipping down in Birkenstocks and plimpsoles!
The scenery is fantastic, and particular highlights are the abandoned village as well as the "iron gates" at the narrowest part. It's hard to stop for a good photo though, as there's often a line of people behind you. I did see someone carrying a tripod though, so I guess people do it...!

The bottom part of the gorge is more exposed, but we really only felt the sun after the end of the gorge before the exit from the national park. From there, we figured that we'd just done the hard bit, so we might as well walk in to the village. It really wasn't very far, and was an easy walk after the gorge!

We found a nice restaurant a bit before the village, and had a lovely lunch of fresh tomatoes, feta and local bread. There are also some shops in the village selling delicious honey from the gorge.

A swim in the Libyan Sea is definitely in order, and there are plenty of bars offering 2 sun loungers, a parasol and 2 drinks for €5. However, the black sand is SCORCHING hot, so you might want to pack some flip flops just to get into the sea and back. (I had to sacrifice my socks to the cause, but that worked ok if I ran out of the sea really fast and did a really inelegant flying leap back on to my sun lounger!)

The ferries back to the buses are very full, so board early to get a good seat. The scenery is lovely though, and it's a nice way to end the day. The scenery on the bus ride back to town is also amazing - having seen the sun rise over one side of the island, we just about saw it set on the other.

The worst part of the whole hike was the next day. OUCH. Going up stairs was fine, going down was an absolute disaster. But I suppose that's your souvenir! Make sure you stretch. A LOT!

But overall totally worth it - an amazing experience, and definitely worth an early start.

3  Thank coolcaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2013

fabulous long hike to the ending on libyan see.we started with bus from AgiaMarina to Omalos.
a beautiful george. it took us 5 ours to walk the 13 km.

Thank Ulla S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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