If you are the type of tourist who loves nature and trekking, the gorge of Samaria is a must for you to visit. It is located on the southwest part of Crete, south of Chania. Not only it is the longest gorge in Europe, but it is full of breathtaking natural views. You will reach the entrance passing through the Omalos plateau. After that, your walking starts and it will end at the village of Agia Roumeli, where you can relax by eating on a lovely greek tavern and/or by swimming on its lovely beach. Then you can enjoy a one-hour boat trip back to the village of Sfakia, the revolutionary village, where you will start your way back to your place. The whole tour of the Samaria gorge offers the visitor opportunities to admire the wild side of nature on Crete. From the views of Omalos plain, the highlights of nature and history in the gorge to the calm coastal village of Agia Roumeli, your eyes are going to be amazed by the end of this full day. A tour not to be missed.

Enjoy breathtaking views
From high altitude to sea level prepare to be amazed.

Feel the nature
Arguably the most important national park of Crete.

Challenge yourself
It's just a hike through the longest gorge of Europe.

Swim in crystal clear waters
If you still have the energy a dive in Agia Roumeli beach is recommended.

Boat trip from Agia Roumeli
The relaxing part of the adventure.

Before arriving at the entrance to Samaria gorge, you will have to pass through the Omalos (plain) plateau. The plateau is located 38 km south of Chania in the center of the mountain range of Lefka Ori (White Mountains). There you can make your last preparations before entering the gorge of Samaria. There are a few small traditional restaurants, where you can find all sorts of snacks and fruit to keep with you during the hike. You can also find sports shoes and trekking buttons, in case you feel you are going to need them.

The entrance to the gorge is located only 5 km away from the plateau and it is called Xyloskalo (wooden stairs). The altitude there is 1250 m. It is really fascinating to think that the hike will be a descent from the mountain to the sea level on foot, from that altitude. The view of the gorge from the entrance is breathtaking, an ideal opportunity for photos.

The gorge of Samaria is 13 km long, but after the hike, you will have to walk another 3 km to the village of Agia Roumeli. Luckily, there is a shuttle bus for the last 2 km that can take you straight there (optional). The first 4 kilometers of the walk are the most difficult ones by far, due to the steep descent. After that, the path gets quite easier to walk, but it is still a long distance. There are plenty of resting points, providing fresh drinking water springs, WC facilities, and smoking areas. There is also a nameless river, that keeps appearing and disappearing during your walk through the gorge. Around the 4th km, you are going to find the resting point of Agios Nikolaos (Saint Nicolas), named after the old chapel dedicated to Saint Nicolas worth a visit. At the middle of the walk, you are going to find the old village of Samaria, which nowadays is uninhabited and has become a resting point. This is due to the relocation of the inhabitants in 1962 when the gorge was declared a natural park. The old houses still remain and are used by the wardens of the forest. There you may see the “Kri-kri”, the Cretan wild goat protected in the gorge, trying to get some food. A little further you will see the small church dedicated to Osia Maria (Holy Mary), from which the name Samaria comes from. The next big resting point is called Christos (Christ), offering plenty of shade. Right after that point, you will see the most impressive part of the gorge, the famous “Portes” (gates), which is the narrowest (3 m) and highest part (350 m) of the gorge. After 1,5 km you are going to be at the exit, where the ticket checkpoint is located. There also some shops with small souvenirs and refreshments, for the last few kilometers. You will walk through the old village of Agia Roumeli for 1 km and then you can continue walking to the new village or take the bus.

After this long walk, the arrival of the village of Agia Roumeli will be a paradise. A small village with plenty of traditional taverns/pensions, friendly, authentic people and a lovely beach. You are going to have time to eat and/or swim in the refreshing waters of the Libyan sea. From this village, you can take the boat to Sfakia and enjoy a one-hour boat trip admiring the view of the gorge, Agia Roumeli and the residence of Loutro, from where the boat passes. The village of Sfakia is the place where the most famous revolutionary on Crete, Daskalogiannis, was born. Arriving there, start your way back to your hotel/house passing by the Imbros gorge and the Askifou plain, points of natural interest and beauty.

Bring with you
  • Sport shoes or walking boots
  • Hat
  • Sun protection lotion
  • A bottle of water that you can refill from springs in the gorge
  • Camera
  • Swimming suit
  • Light snack
Food and drink availability
  • Ιn the resting break on the way to Omalos
  • In Omalos
  • In Agia Roumeli
  • On the boat to Sfakia
WC facilities
  • Not on board of the bus
  • Ιn the resting break on the way to Omalos
  • In Omalos
  • In Samaria gorge
  • In Agia Roumeli
  • On board of the boat