Samaria Gorge National Park

Samaria Gorge National Park

Samaria Gorge National Park
4.5
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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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  • HKRRaph
    Kingston-upon-Hull, United Kingdom57 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Loved it
    Awesome place. It’s rocky and mainly downhill so not sure why people are complaining at that. Views are stunning and nothing like anywhere I’ve been before. It’s around 10 miles but all demographics of people were doing it whilst I was there. There are toilets and water fill up points along the route. I did it in trainers which was fine but if you have walking boots then that would be better. Village at the end of the walk is nice. Definitely worth a visit
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 26 May 2023
  • minesh1303
    Andalucia, Spain25 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Hard trek mostly downhill rewarded with great views at the bottom. Recommend starting at the finish!
    Hard trek mostly downhill but great views at the bottom. Recommend starting at t.. First off: the previous reviewers did an excellent job of informing me of the logistics of getting to and from the gorge. Kudos to you all and many thanks! To the business at hand let me open by saying I am 50+ and an owner of an active breed of dog and classify myself as being fitter than most and regularly do more than 10,000 steps a day. I found this trek gruelling. Why? We started at the top and for the majority of time (or so it felt) you are descending and though you may think that's easy...think again! You will be so busy looking down ensuring you have planted your foot soundly and averted yourself from slipping/ turning your ankle that you rarely get a chance to look around and admire the scenary though most of the descent is in amongst the trees at this stage. Plus you have other trekkers in and around you so no time to pause, stop and look up! It soon becomes a grind as this stage feels never ending. Upon reaching the bed you are rewarded by amazing sights where you can pause/rest and admire the amazing formations but this is towards the middle / end of the walk. Summary: if you are over a certain age/ limited in time/don't want a gruelling hike through 30c+ in summer then I strongly suggest getting a ferry to Agia Roumeli and then walk up 2.5km to the finish point (think you may be able to get a €2 bus trip up there) and then go ahead and enjoy the rather flat walk along the river bed and enjoy the truly stunning sights. Go up as far as you like and then head back down. Ps. We were aching and walking funny for two days after and so spoiled those two days. If you are going to do the climb down then I recommend you have a chill day after by the pool or beach! It's not a cake walk by any stretch but the views are superb and worth it (I think). All the best.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 1 July 2023
  • Marcos T
    Nicosia, Cyprus184 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing adventure
    Hiking the Samaria gorge was the focal point of my 2 week visit to Crete. With this review I will basically try to guide travellers on how to complete the hike on their own without spending the 50+ euros needed if you do a hike through a travel agency. First, you have to spend a couple of nights in beautiful Chania city. Then get up very early and go to KTEL station (KTEL is the public bus company). Try to get the 05.00 or the 06.15 bus to Omalos, the place where the hike starts. At the bus station buy a round trip ticket. You have two options for the return to Chania. Either via Sougia or Sfakia. I chose Sfakia which seems to be less busy. The round trip Chania to Omalos and Sfakia to Chania ticket cost me 14,50 euros. The trip to Omalos takes about 65 minutes. Once there you buy an entrance ticket (5 euros) and off you go. I started the hike around 07.30. I had 3 brakes of around 10 minutes each. Along the way there are many resting points with potable water. I finished the trail through the NP around 12.30. At the end of the trail they will check your ticket so keep it handy. From the exit point until the village of Ayia Roumeli, where you will take the boat to Sougia or Sfakia, it is an extra 2 km. Overall, including the final 2 km it took me 5 1/2 hours to complete the trail. When you arrive in Ayia Roumeli walk to the village center, where the boat company has a small office and buy the boat ticket to Sfakia or Sougia. The ticket to Sfakia cost me 15 euros. After that I had about 4,5 hours to burn (the boat leaves around 17.30). There are restaurants around to have a bite or you can rent an ombrella and a beach bed at the beach and spend your time there. The boat trip to Sfakia takes about 1 hour (with a short stop at Loutro village). When you get to Sfakia you walk about 200 meters and catch the bus from a square up a small hill. I got back to Chania around 21.00, tired but happy that I finally completed this long standing adventure. Overall it cost me 34,50 euros to plan and execute the whole thing by myself. If you are nature lover this trip/adventure is a must.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 23 July 2023
  • Vicky596
    Bonn, Germany81 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing gorge
    Amazing hike from Omalos to Agia Roumeli. I highly recommend hiking boots for the trip, and to bring at least a couple of liters of water. There will be the possibility to refill the bottles along the way, however it is always good to have some. It gets really crowded and hot during the summer, so I recommend to start when the path opens at 7:00. I would not recommend this trip to absolute beginners or people with mobility issues. The path is around 13 km, of which the first part is steeply descent, the second part can be difficult in few points. Better if you bring trekking sticks, sunscreen, and a hat. Towards the end the gorge doesn't have shadows or water for more than 2 kms. Overall it should take 6-7 hours depending on your pace. Follow the instructions and recommendations of the rangers. It is an amazing trip, I can't wait to come back in the future!
    Visited July 2023
    Written 23 July 2023
  • CLAIRE
    England, United Kingdom49 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing walk
    My favourite part was reaching the end!! Haha Its a brilliant hike but it takes it out of you. Defo need good footwear...plenty of water n snacks. The views are fantastic and breath taking. It's definitely worth a visit. Be prepared for sore legs the day after 😊😊😁👌
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 14 August 2023
  • AaronH1991
    Kinrooi, Belgium63 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Gorgeous piece of nature with a lot of wildlife.
    Beautiful place to visit and a must see when you're on Crete. A lot of sheep and goats cover the area as well whom make you laugh with there tree-climb skills as well. Beautifully shaped rocks and scenery.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 13 September 2023
  • lwill_26
    Scottish Highlands, United Kingdom23 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Hike both ways.
    As we were staying in Agia Roumeli for the week we decided to hike up the gorge then back down again. Started at 0715 and it took us 8hrs 20mins. We're fairly fit but certainly not athletes so if you're also used to regular uphill uneven terrain hiking, this is a totally manageable and much better way to experience this stunning Gorge. We had the whole place to ourselves until we started to meet the downhill bus trip hikers around 0930 ..... but as they were going in the opposite direction to us, it still felt like we were just doing our thing and not bothered by the masses. Rangers were great and donkeys on hand if you get injured or don't walk fast enough to get out before the Park closes at 6pm. We kept a good pace though as we didn't want to get donkey'd out!! Brought own sandwiches with us but there's plenty water available for refills at regular water spots or from the gorge water itself. Really tough 2km at end of the route in, totally uphill, last bit is very steep, but extremely manageable if you're fit. Best day out and we were so chuffed with our accomplishment. The Rangers seemed to have radio communicated that there was a couple doing both ways and were so encouraging when they spotted us. Also the ticket guy at Agia was fab when we got back after our long day and seemed really chuffed that we'd managed it, marking our times on our tickets as a souvenir! Highly recommend going against the flow and doing what we did to experience the best of this stunning gorge.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 18 September 2023
  • nicoletraveler
    Arnold, Maryland91 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful Location, Tough Hike
    We hiked Samaria gorge in late September during a visit to Chania. As a middle aged hiker, I found it difficult and challenging, but doable. I suggest hiking boots, not flip flops or sneakers. The ankle support was useful. I also used hiking poles for balance, especially for the many stream crossings. The trail is very well marked, I think you'd have trouble getting lost. The trail descends steeply over the first few miles, but is very rocky and uneven through the entire gorge. The old churches and abandoned villages were fun to explore. The friendly park rangers with helpful advise were stationed in several places. There were also rescue donkeys. Yes, you read that right. If you get hurt, they use a donkey with a wooden saddle to get you out. There are spring water sources in the canyon, but the first three were dry when we were there. I'd start with 2 liters of water, just in case the other sources aren't available in the first half of the hike. Also, bring lunch and snacks, since nothing is available in the gorge. There are several restrooms, but bring your own TP. After the hike, there is a bar with the best fresh squeezed orange juice you will ever have. There is also a local beekeeper who sells honey produced in the gorge which has a very unique flavor. Be prepared. You will have a great time and avoid the rescue donkeys!
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 26 September 2023
  • Voyage36151781724
    3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Hiking the Samaria gorge.
    Fabulous hike. Amazing guide, Sofia. Incredible beauty and history. Highly recommend with awareness that this is long and steep with a possibility of falling rocks. A level of fitness is very important. It's 16k/10+ miles.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 11 October 2023
  • travel1234
    76 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful scenery
    We did the gorge walk, was beautiful amazing scenery and worth doing. Need to take good walking shoes and lunch, there are regular wc and water breaks along the walk. Transport back to the car (ferry and bus) has to be booked in advance when you start the walk.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 14 October 2023
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MsAnnaNOLA
New Orleans, LA121 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Friends
This hike is not for the faint of heart. My husband and I hike whenever we can but we are from the flat lands of south Louisiana. He is a gym rat so he had no problem. I had been laying off the gym before we went because of an injury so I was a little out of shape. It started out great but after Many hours of the same. It was pretty grueling. By the time we got to the pretty gorge part I was just ready to be off the trail and be assured we would not be missing the ferry. It took us 7 hours. Way too much hiking. We should have ferried in and just hiked from the bottom. I planned it because I wanted to do it all. We stayed in Sougia, which I was grateful for as when we got off the ferry we simply walked to our hotel instead of getting on a 1 plus hour bus ride. We had a rental car from a local company for most of our time. So we stayed in Sougia. You can do this by bus, there is one bus there in the morning and one out in the evening. There are plenty of taxi/shuttle busses to the gorge in the morning as well as the one bus to Chania also goes to the gorge. We had three people, we paid 50 Euro for a private van to the gorge. The bus ride from Sougia is 7 Euro per person. Mainly we did this to get ahead of the crowds. We were among the first on the trail, but soon the groups caught up with us. We were being passed by people and that was a little annoying. If I had stopped for every person I would never have made the ferry because I was going slow as to not be injured or fall. I had one hiking pole I brought from home and had tall hiking boots. I still struggled. I met a woman on the trail in casual tennis shoes, she said it was torture and so did her teenaged boys. It is rocks the whole way. Very few places of no rocks. Truly if you are contemplating this do take it seriously and make sure you are prepared. I am writing this on Tuesday afternoon. The hike was Friday, I am still sore!!!! I struggled going up and down stairs for the first two days after. I am rating the experience as very good. I did like the hike I am glad I did it. I am glad we did it independently. We don't like being at the mercy of a group. We could just as easily done it from the bottom, It would have been much shorter and much more pleasant.
Written 21 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Discover797933
21 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Solo
Wonderful thing to do. I would say go early as our trip didn't get us there until 11am and it's hot. Mainly down hill and take a leckie stick.
Written 21 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sarah E
7 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
It is beautiful no doubts about that. But if you are an avid hiker and enjoy being in nature away from people this is not the hike for you. I went late May and it was crowded, although about a little over a third of the way in we did manage to finally pace ourselves ahead of some enough to not be hiking with people. But I'm not sure during peak summer you would be able to do that. We were lucky because we heard that loud teenagers and people had caused some rock fallings in the back and going over the numerous little bridges would get bottlenecked with a short line. It was also warm, 82 degrees but we started early so didn't reach heat until towards the end, and the first half has a lot of shade with forests and trees so that's nice.
We did the hike with as part of a tour group that arranged all the travel logistics, bus ride, ferry, bus ride and it did make it smoother especially the bus ride back to Chania. And also allowed us to start soon right after park opening. 16 km hike from beginning to the seaside town at the end. There is an option to stop short 3km and take the minibus back to the seaside town for 2 euros but who knows how often it runs so we just kept walking and didn't see it pass us along any of the 3km.
Written 20 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jkjack510
St. Augustine, FL4 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Solo
Pros: you pay 5 euros for the hike, but they have fresh water every few miles to refill your water bottle. I thought I would have to carry all my water from the beginning. So it’s nice not to have the weight on your back

Cons: This hike was too long for what I saw. Also is a very long day-hike takes 6-7 hours, then you wait for the ferry, then take an hour long ferry, wait for the bus, drive home

Conclusion: I would do another shorter gorge hike
Written 17 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Karen G
Oregon2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
Samaria Gorge, offers a breathtaking hiking experience through one of Europe's longest and most impressive gorges. Spanning 16 kilometers, this trek takes you through stunning landscapes, from towering cliffs to lush greenery. The well-marked path, although challenging, rewards hikers with unparalleled natural beauty and a sense of adventure. Ideal for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers, Samaria Gorge is a must-visit destination for an unforgettable outdoor experience !!
Written 16 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Alison R
16 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Friends
This is brilliant, enjoyed the challenge of a 6 plus hours hike through this fantastic gorge. It was a long tiring day, very early 6am pick up (from Chania with local travel company). If you get the chance hire a walking pole (approx 3 euro) it is a real help. Recommend wearing trail or hiking boots, trainers are fine though. I'm not super fit, as long as you are prepared to have a long walk on steep descents and rocky terrain you will be fine. Take plenty of snacks and refill water bottles, at the few resting stops along the way. It's an amazing experience, a real high when you finish and lovely hour long ferry ride at the end.
Written 14 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Aliette D
19 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
The Samaria gorge and canyon were on my list of things to do. So, we went 2 days ago. I knew it was a hard long walk ( 13 kms + 3 kms to walk to the village) but I didn't know that it is actually a challenging, long and slow walk going down not up or rarely, on mainly rocks, slippery ones often, stepping stones or dodgy kind of wooden bridges. You have to watch every of your steps. Amazing and beautiful but tough and I consider myself fit. I am glad I was wearing walking shoes with grips and not trainers. Glad also that it wasn't a rainy day as it would have been even more difficult. It was a hot day but there are water fountains and toilets every few kms. I felt sorry for very young kids and toddlers and people who for whatever reasons were struggling to keep up with the walk. Our guide explained that last year they decided to paint some rocks with black and yellow paint to direct people to the right path which is good because sometimes it wasn't obvious which way to take. Still, we thought they haven't painted enough rocks for directions. We started at 9 am and were in the village by the ferry for 4. We took about 4 short breaks. It was very very busy and we are only in May. Stopping at the abandoned village a gentle goat approached me, obviously used to humans. She was after my sandwich. She didn't want anything else, only my sandwich. Anyway, to summarise: That was some walk!
Written 5 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JJJourneys
Singapore, Singapore2,508 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Friends
I joined a guided tour to Europe’s second longest gorge hike, but I will mostly be talking about the gorge itself here. Do note that the hike is not for the faint-hearted; if you have existing health conditions, it is best not to risk attempting this hike. I am of average fitness, and managed to complete this hike in 6 hours, which is about the average time if you are a novice hiker like me. Having a hiking stick on hand could be quite helpful, especially since the terrain is very rocky, and in some cases, slippery too, and a wrong step can quickly put you in a bad ankle situation. The earlier part of the hike has a lot of steps going down as well, which can be steep, so be careful. There will also be certain points in the hike (middle and towards the end) where you have to do mini river crossings. Wear good walking/hiking shoes for this trail, and ensure that you have enough food too. There were a few rest stops along the way; there will be toilets there and spring water (safe to drink) to refill your bottles. Be sure to keep yourself hydrated and energised along the hike and you will be fine! Do not forget to enjoy the view along the way as well, everywhere you look is a postcard worthy scenery in itself! Definitely worth the tough terrain. Entry to the park was 5 euros; keep the ticket stub to show the staff at the end.

If you are here on guided tour, note that it will be a very early start. I started the journey from Heraklion, so I had to get up at 5 am to make the meeting time at 6 am. The journey to Samaria takes about 4 hours (literally the other side of the island), and we only started the hike around 10 am or so, and ended at 4 pm. The guide will provide you a general time to meet for different rest stops, so if you stick to the times given, you should be fine. This is necessary because you have to make it to a town by the coast called Agia Roumeli (a 2km walk in itself) in order to catch a ferry ride to Hora Sfakion, where the buses will take you back to your accommodation. The ferry is typically the last ferry for the day, so you have to make it regardless in order to avoid additional costs of finding accommodations. All the best, and most importantly, enjoy this hike of a lifetime!
Written 30 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jayne B
Worthing, UK21 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Couples
Wonderful experience but don't look up whilst walking...stop to take in views xx very steep in places. There's a boat ride to take you back to pick up area. There are no road routes back. Breathtaking views. X
Written 26 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gabby B
Toronto, Canada3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Friends
We decided to do down and back in one day. A couple of things to know : gates going down close at 1 pm and the gates at the bottom to go up also close at 1 pm. In addition the park gates close at 6 pm. If we knew about the times, we would have started much earlier - we had no time for pictures or really any rest - we had a 20 min lunch break. And we missed time at the beach as we had hpoed for. Neverthelesd, it was a great hike but a tough one, specifically the 3 or so miles at the top, which is basically a steep incline all the way up. We only met one other person doing the down and out. Most prefer just down, enjoy the beach and then ferry and bus to their final destination.
Written 14 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Samaria Gorge National Park - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024) - Tripadvisor

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