Samaria gorge

Details

DURATION

8 hours

DIFFICULTY

Difficult

GROUP SIZE

2 - 6 persons

SCHEDULE

Every Wednesday

TYPE

Small group

PICK UP TIME

07:00 (Depending on your hotel)

PICK UP PLACE

Hotels in Rethymno district

Price List

Highlights

  • Walk past towering cliffs, sweeping views, and uniquely Cretan flora and fauna
  • End up at the Libyan Sea in the town of Agia Roumeli
  • Enjoy the flora and the endemic plants of Samaria
  • Witness disused windmills, ruined castles, and secret WWII shelters
  • Hike through the longest gorge in Europe in a small group
  • Enjoy a full Cretan lunch in a local restaurant

ITINERARY

Every Stop a Unique Experience

The biggest gorge in Europe

The biggest gorge in Europe

The hike begins at the trailhead and park entrance booth beside Xyloskalo restaurant, at an elevation of 4,035 feet, beneath the austere limestone peak of Gingilos. The trail ends by the shores of the Libyan Sea in the coastal village of Agia Roumeli. Between the two points are 10 miles of descending trail, gradually decreasing in gradient as it goes.

After admiring the mountain views atop the trailhead, you’ll descend a steep switchback built in Ottoman times and bordered in the steepest parts by a handrail. You'll pass the tiny Agios Nikolaos chapel. The hairpin turns last for almost two-miles, at which point your knees will be thankful because the gradience gets easier and the valley merges into the gorge properly.

The trail now goes over the river, which is usually reduced to a stream by the early summer months. It’s a good place to rest and enjoy a snack. A short way down you’ll reach the abandoned settlement of Samaria, whose inhabitants were relocated after the park’s creation in 1962. Today the stone structures serve as a medical clinic and lodgings for researchers.

You’ve now reached the half-way point. Beyond here, the valley takes on massive proportions but soon narrows dramatically into a passageway known as the "Gates of Samaria." Barely eight feet separate the canyon walls on either side—walls that soar upward some 1,000 feet.

At Km 14 (yellow markers are posted every kilometer, and rest stops are numbered along the route) you’ll exit the gorge and arrive at the outlying buildings of “old” Agia Roumeli, located up-valley from the coast about a mile. Your arrival is announced by a café serving fresh orange juice, chilled beers, and ice-cream. If you feel exhausted, we can stop here.

If you choose to continue down, look on your right for the ruined hilltop castle, which is accessible by a side-trail. We will continue to the coastal hamlet of "new" Agia Roumeli, which most hikers reach around midafternoon covered in sweat and dust. Relax a bit on the black-sand beach and soothe your feet in the warm and crystal-clear waters—this is one of the best places to do so in Greece.

What’s Included

Hotel pick up and drop off (Only Rethymno district)

English or French speaking guide

Local driver/guide​

Transport by air-conditioned car​/mini bus

Guidance through the hike trail

Exploring the gorge of Samaria

Reach the village of Agia Roumeli

Lunch in a local restaurant

All taxes, fees and handling charges​

Lots of adventure and laughter :)

ADULTS145 EURO P/P
CHILDREN (3 - 12)

50%

INFANTS (0 - 2)FREE
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