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“How hard is it?”

Samaria Gorge National Park
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Full Day Tour to Samaria Gorge
Ranked #1 of 10 things to do in Sfakia
Certificate of Excellence
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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.
San Francisco
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“How hard is it?”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 6, 2013

Before we went, I read a lot of Tripadvisor reviews and was unsure about how hard or easy it would be. From my perspective, being from California and in my mid-fifties, it was a long but easy walk. If you have hiked Yosemite, this is easier than the hike from Half Dome down to the Valley. It is all downhill. The trail is very well maintained. Unlike Yosemite, here are very few difficult long steps down. But there are many sections with loose rocks on the trail so you have to watch your step. Running shoes or hiking boots are recommended. We saw people wearing sandals and I'm sure they regretted it by the end of the hike. We went on a Sunday in September and there were only 800 hikers. I can see how being there on a day with 2000 hikers would be a pain. It was only crowded at the beginning. The toilets are not as bad as described in other reviews. They are typical hiking trail toilets. There is plenty of water at the springs. We saw quite a few of the Kri-kri goats in the old village of Samaria. Our hotel arrange a tour bus. It picked us up at 5:45 am and we got home at 9:00 pm. So it is a long day. When you get to Agia Roumeli, don't stop at the first bar you see. Head on down to one of the ones on the beach and enjoy the view. Carry flip-flops with you because the beach is all rocks and tough on your feet, but the water feels great after a long hike. The hike is beautiful and totally worth it.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank Cmac1111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level Contributor
54 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Take good shoes with you and enjoy very beatiful views”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 6, 2013


This is very nice place, walking is quite easy. Of course it quite long way down, so better to be little used to walk that long distance. This is definitely worth of visiting.

When we walked this with my wife, there was families with children and older couples. So this is suitable for everyone, keep only speed slow.

There are wonderful views... There was also little goats jumping these cliffs.

Visited November 2012
Thank Sakari L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new york
Level Contributor
188 reviews
53 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“Totally worth every step”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 6, 2013

Hiking through the gorge was probably the best thing we did on our trip to Greece. You will not regret this hike, even if you are sore afterwards! The views are stunning - photos dont do it justice. You will be sore for a few days after the hike so plan accordingly!

Getting There: We went through a tour group since driving ourselves seemed really complicated. You can also take a bus from Chania but then you have to get to the bus station really early. The tour made everything much easier. Cost for the tour was 24 euro plus 5 euro for admission and 10 euro for the ferry ride at the end. Hiking the gorge is a long day - about 14 hours including all of the travel time. The bus picked us up at 6am at our hotel. The ride from Chania to the gorge was about 1.5 hours.

There is a small coffee shop at the entrance to the gorge where you can get snacks, use the bathroom,etc. It was cool in the morning, which we tried to enjoy since we knew it was going to be super hot later in the day (we went in July). This is also why it's good to get an early start, especially in the summer. The tour guide gave us a map and we had until 4:30 to meet him for our ferry tickets. That was the great thing about the tour - we didn't have to stay with the group or the guide, we could do our own thing and go at our own pace.

The hike takes 4-6 hours and the park closes at 3pm. The hike ends at Agia Roumeli which is on the Libyan Sea. All we could think about was getting there and getting in the water! From the other reviews we read, we knew the first part of the hike was going to be steep and rocky - it definitely was. Slippy rocks, lots of pebbles, very uneven terrain. This pretty much held true for the entire hike until the last few km. We took our time to make sure we were safe, and we had to keep reminding ourselves to stop and look around at the gorgeous views. There are rest stops throughout the hike and all have spring water available so you can fill up your water bottle. Bring snacks to eat along the way! For shoes, many people were wearing sneakers which was totally fine. Some had hiking shoes on, my friend thought she would have been too hot if she had worn hers. In the middle of the summer, it gets really hot on the hike so I can't imagine wearing hot, heavy shoes the whole time. We saw people wearing hiking sandals, but given all of the pebbles, I wouldn't recommend that.

Once you get through to the last km, it's very easy and flat. There is also an option to take a van to the ferry area but if you've already walked this far...however, there's also a bunch of animals over there (fenced in) and it smells terrible. Really awful.

The best moment was when we finally got to the beach and could jump in the water (bring a swimsuit)! The beach is black sand and quite rocky, but the water feels amazing after the hike. There are many restaurants on the beach for lunch and post hike beers. The ferry left around 5:30 and took an hour or so to get to Agia Skafion which is where all the buses depart from.

Visited July 2013
1 Thank ecamin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
107 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Well worth the aching limbs!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 5, 2013 via mobile

We booked through a travel agent in Chania as the weather was promising to be cloudy and so a day by the pool was unlikely! It was €35 although we came from Chorafakia and so a taxi ride added at €20 at 540am to the covered market meeting place in Chania. We did not bring warm weather clothes to Crete or particularly strong shoes. I had a thin jumper and trainers and although it was raining the whole way there it had stopped by the time we got to the entrance to the Gorge. The cafe at the entrance sells all snacks, waterproofs etc if you need them. We had a rucksack but took the minimum weight in it. A few snack bars, chocolate, sunscreen, lip salve and water. I wore my swimmers underneath so I could swim later. We did not have any proper hiking gear and no sticks. I am a walker, my husband definitely isn't! He didn't complain once! The golden rules were to stop if you needed to do anything, from taking a photo to having a drink. Don't look back as it is so easy to trip on the rocks and stones on the pathway. A good rule as it would totally ruin the walk if you twisted your foot for a sip of water! There are loads of different people on the hike so obviously many different levels of speed, age and fitness. The only thing I think that some people forget on their quest to get to the end so a few manners whilst passing would be appreciated at times!! You need stamina but I wouldn't say massive fitness levels... Most people do it in 4-4.5 hours but who cares if you love it and it takes longer! There are decent pit stops but only linger for a few minutes otherwise your legs start to get stiff.The spring water is beautiful so fill up your bottles at every opportunity. Loos are available along the way too. It is serene and rugged, quiet and peaceful although I hate the clicking of those damn hiking sticks!! Every KM is posted on a rock to keep you going! I was really impressed at the lack of any rubbish. Little shrines of rocks all over the place , apparently to pray for strength along the way! Fire stations at every turn... Their biggest fear in the Gorge as a fire would sweep through without mercy and there is no escape. You can smoke but only at the rest points with special ash trays. Yesterday there were 600 walkers throughout the day... At it's busiest there are 1600! The Gorge is closed if the temperature goes above 40*. It was perfect yesterday.. Started at 6* and got up to about 23* by the end.we started walking at about 8am and were in the crystal clear Libyan sea by 1pm with stops all through the gorge.There are tavernas at the end of the walk on the beach.... The fresh orange juice and fresh fruit with yogurt and local honey was elixir to me!! The little goats appear along the way and the only rock we saw falling was one they had disturbed! Our tour leader said that the only real casualty she had this year was a teenager who had got sunstroke as she had not been drinking along the way. We had heard that the summer heat made it very difficult. It was well worth the effort and the aching bones and tired muscles! A long day but the ferry ride at 5.30pm is a brilliant way to see the coast line and a great ending. Don't be put off by anyone, take your time and you'll love it! NB. To make us laugh, and perhaps a guide as to what not to wear... Amongst our coach load were a party of Italian Prada wearing tourists in wedges and a smattering of leather jackets and bling.... They did not start the walk!!

Visited October 2013
1 Thank Ochre999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rome, Italy
1 review
“Samaria is amazing!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 5, 2013

Ive been to Samaria a few days ago, and i cant forget how wonderful was that place! We hiked for 16 km, starting very early in the morning, from Omalos going down to agia Roumeli. Perfect shoes will be needing. Like hiking shoes or runner shoes. Bring foods and water :).. Youll get easily hungry on this adventure.. And a dslr camera for great pictures... This is a tough experience but youll enjoy the fresh air and the view:)

Visited October 2013
Thank Ilovekrissy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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