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Samaria Gorge
Samaria Gorge

Samaria Gorge

Old National Road Chanion-Kissamou, Lefka Ori

The Basics

The Samaria Gorge hike is a favorite among walkers and a must-do for adventurers in Crete. A steep stone pathway with wooden rails leads down to the trailhead on the gorge floor; from there, the path continues between sheer limestone canyon walls, known as the Iron Gates at their narrowest point. Often more than 1,000 hikers hit the trail each day in summer, so it’s best to start early in the morning before the crowds arrive. The simplest way to manage the logistics of getting to and from the gorge by far is to join a walking tour from Chania, which includes hotel pickup, transportation to the trailhead on air-conditioned bus, and the ride back from Chora Sfakion. Ferry tickets for the trip between where the trail ends and Chora Sfakion are not included in Samaria Gorge tours.

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Samaria Gorge Hiking from Chania
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Samaria Gorge Hiking from Chania
star-4.5
$44.00 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Incredible
This was an incredible but tough walk. So worth it though. It would have been complicated to arrange all the transportation ourselves, so I think this trip represents good value for money. The guide was also excellent, he made sure everyone was looked after. The coach driver was also very experienced and skilled.
Tanya_G, Jun 2022

Recent reviews from experiences in Heraklion

star-4
Bus was late, and then...
John_M, Jun 2022
Samaria Gorge Hiking from Chania
Bus was late, and then there was debate about passenger numbers, so we ended up arriving an hour later than planned. So more heat. But a great walk once you’re there.
star-4
Beautiful day
jocelynebrisson77, Jun 2022
Samaria Gorge Hiking from Chania
Loved the gorge very beautiful. I found there wasn't much interaction or opportunity for interaction with guide or other guests
star-5
Challenging and very rewarding
Kelley_B, Jun 2022
Samaria Gorge Hiking from Chania
Beautiful and awesome views from inside of the canyon. The hiking was exceptionally challenging. I’ve had lots of hiking experience but found the technical part a part of this as tough as any, without ropes of course. Our guide and our driver both did an excellent job.
star-5
A must do for hikers visiting Crete!
Daniel_L, Oct 2021
Walk through Samaria Gorge
Helen was an excellent knowledgeable and friendly guide who made us feel welcomed on our trip to Samaria Gorge. The experience itself was breathtaking with beautiful views all around the gorge. We would highly recommend it for anyone visiting Crete but be warned the walk is not easy and a good pair of walking shoes are essential. We were very happy with the price compared to other providers and would not hesitate to book with Altino Travel again.
star-5
Great
Elaine_F, May 2022
Samaria Gorge Hiking from Chania
Excellent trip , long day . Guide Mia looked after big group very well 19 km in total , beautiful beach for swimming at end of hike , definitely worth bringing swim gear.
star-5
Must-do in Crete
Meghann_M, May 2022
Walk through Samaria Gorge
Unfortunately, Samaria was closed the day of our trip due to a recent landslide. The company quickly pivoted and took us to a smaller, but very close nearby, gorge and we got to have our hiking experience just the same. What I would add for anyone booking this trip (and I recommend you do) is to know that this trip is very comparable to many of the other Samaria excursions on TripAdvisor, despite there not being very many details in the listing. There are two stops for coffee/food, one on the way out to the gorge and one on the way in, so you don't have to be worry about opportunities to eat. We also visited a beach after our hike. Also, it is a very long day. We were picked up at our resort in Hersonissos at 5:25 am, so be mentally prepared for that.
star-5
Splendide
Cecile_E, Sep 2021
Samaria Gorge Walk: full day from area Hersonissos
It's a amazing experience.the beautiful place. The wall is a little hard but worth it . The guide is excellent.
star-5
A must do in Crete
Gareth_J, Sep 2021
Samaria Gorge - Semi Private Hiking Day Trip from Chania, with max 10 onboard
Spectacular scenery, the gorge is beautiful. Long walk 12.2 miles great sense of achievement with lovely swim at the end followed by a cold beer
star-5
Wonderful!
Tania_C, May 2022
Samaria Gorge Hiking from Chania
Well organized trip and wonderful guide, Orestis. We really appreciated that we could go at our own pace (my athletic 18 year old son did the hike in less than 2.5 hours, but it took me 3.5 hours). We spent a lovely afternoon on the beach after having a wonderful and quiet lunch and chatting with the pleasant owner, George, of Pension Paradise. We also really enjoyed the ferry ride back. The driver was excellent - we were REALLY thankful he knew how to drive those roads well.
star-5
Tough but definitely doable.
Cyd_S, Sep 2021
Samaria Gorge - Semi Private Hiking Day Trip from Chania, with max 10 onboard
The challenge of a downhill 9 mile hike over rocks then a 1.5 mike walk to a nifty beach and excellent taverna was definitely memorable! Guide Sofia watched over us quite well-worth it all to have comfortable drive down and back with competent driver and fewer people than a horde crammed into a large bus.
star-5
Worth the pain
Miks_K, Jul 2020
SAMARIA GORGE: One of the most important in Europe From Rethymnon
Be prepared to be tested physically and to feel calf pain the next day/days; however, the hike is picturesque and worth it.
star-5
Go for it!
Jim_M, Jul 2021
Samaria Gorge - Semi Private Hiking Day Trip from Chania, with max 10 onboard
Tough walking Samaria Gorge but the travel company was great. Sonia very knowledgeable about the walk and Crete generally. Air Conditioned Mercedes small coach was luxury. Driver was very good.
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Things to Know Before You Go

  • Take sturdy footwear, a sun hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, a full water bottle, and food to complete the 4- to 6-hour hike safely.

  • Stick to the trail! If the going gets too tough, there are park wardens on donkeys to rescue you.

  • Overnight camping is not permitted in the gorge; this is a day hike only.

  • Some walking tours from Chania do not include the national park entrance fee..

  • Because of the rough terrain and length, this hike is not recommended for young kids or those who are not in good physical condition.

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How to Get There

Most visitors join an organized Samaria Gorge tour, though it’s possible to reach the trailhead independently via the towns of Omalos or Agia Roumeli. Public buses run to the head of the gorge at Xyloskalo from Omalos, and Agia Roumeli connects to Chora Sfakion by ferry.

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Trip ideas

How to Spend 3 Days in Heraklion

How to Spend 3 Days in Heraklion


When to Get There

The shallow stream on the valley floor runs with clear water in spring; in summer the riverbed rocks become stepping stones, and hikers can revive with a refreshing dip at the Agia Roumeli beach at the end of the trail. In any season, the hike takes most of the day, so hit the trail in the morning.

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Flora and Fauna in the Samaria Gorge

The Samaria Gorge is known for its lush wildflowers in spring and summer. And hikers may catch glimpses of rare kri-kri—wild goats—perched on the cliff tops and birds of prey circling in the sky above.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to Samaria Gorge?
A:
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Heraklion?
A:
As well as visiting the Samaria Gorge, check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: