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Things to do in
Samaria Gorge National Park

Our most recommended things to do in Samaria Gorge National Park

From Chania: Full-Day Samaria Gorge Trek Excursion

1. From Chania: Full-Day Samaria Gorge Trek Excursion

Embark on a full-day guided trip to the Samaria Gorge from Chania. Arrive in Omalos in the heart of the White Mountains, and enjoy breakfast before trekking along the longest gorge in Europe — 4,000 feet above sea level.  After breakfast, enter the Samaria Gorge. Walk at your own pace with your English speaking guide at the end of the group to help out if you need them. Hike over rocks and stones, through a forest of thousand-year-old trees and along a river, passing by fresh-water springs along the way. Enjoy views of Crete’s most beautiful mountain range and see mountain goats roaming in the wild. Feel the exhilaration of challenging yourself with a long hike. At the end of the trek, visit the village of Agia Roumeli, where you’ll find a number of taverns, bars, and shops. Enjoy some free time to take a swim or have some lunch. A meeting point will be arranged so you can collect your ferry tickets from your guide. Late in the afternoon you’ll board a boat that will take you from Agia Roumeli to Sougia, where the bus will be waiting to transfer you back to the starting point about 7.30 PM.

From Chania/Rethymno: Samariá Gorge Guided Hike with Pickup

2. From Chania/Rethymno: Samariá Gorge Guided Hike with Pickup

Embark on a guided hike in the Samariá Gorge on a day trip from Rethymno or Chania. Get your daily dose of exercise, enjoy the panoramic views and take a swim.  Discover the longest gorge in Europe, an area of stunning natural beauty. See its many flowers and herbs and the crystal-clear spring waters that flow from the mountains. Following an early morning pickup from the nearest point to your accommodation in Rethymno or Chania, travel through the mountains passing the plateau of Omalos. Arrive at some wooden stairs at the start of Samariá Gorge. You can opt to start the walk straight away or get some breakfast at the taverna before you begin. Hike for approximately 6-7 hours and experience the magnificent landscape on a 16-kilometer walk. Once you have finished the hike, there will be ample time for a swim and lunch at a taverna in Agia Roumeli.

From Rethymno: Samaria Gorge Full-Day Trek with Pickup

3. From Rethymno: Samaria Gorge Full-Day Trek with Pickup

Take a day trip from Rethymno to set out on an outdoor adventure into Samaria Gorge National Park. Hike at your own pace with a guide over rocks and stones, through a forest of thousand-year-old trees, along a river, and by fresh-water springs. Keep an eye out for mountain goats roaming in the wild. Begin your full-day excursion to Samaria Gorge with pickup and a drive to Omalos, in the heart of the White Mountains, where you can enjoy breakfast before you start the hike. Challenge yourself with 18 kilometers of walking over rocky terrain. Be accompanied by a mountain escort who speaks English, German, and French. Get briefed about your hike and get your tickets for the entrance and ferry boat from your escort. These fees have to be paid to the guide upon arrival. After breakfast, enter the Samaria Gorge. Walk at your own pace as your guide will be at the end of the group to help out if you need them. At the end of the trek, visit the village of Agia Roumeli, where you’ll find a number of taverns, bars, and shops. Enjoy some free time to take a swim or have some lunch. A meeting point will be arranged so you can collect your ferry tickets from your guide. Late in the afternoon, board a boat to go from Agia Roumeli to Sfakia, where the bus will be waiting to transfer you back to the pickup point.

From Heraklion: Samaria Gorge & Agia Roumeli Hiking Day Trip

4. From Heraklion: Samaria Gorge & Agia Roumeli Hiking Day Trip

Take a hike through Samaria Gorge with pickup in Malia and Heraklion. Trek through this impressive gorge, known for being the longest in Europe. Make a stop at the Plateau of Omalos, admire the mountains of the gorge, and take an unforgettable journey through Cretan nature. Get picked up in the morning from your designated pickup point and head towards Omalos. Once there, make sure you have all the equipment and take the chance to buy some supplies before entering into the gorge. Begin the trek, and feel the impressiveness of the longest gorge in Europe. Take in the surrounding views of the White Mountains, admire the small river that runs through it, and catch sight of the Cretan wild goats, commonly known as Kri-Kri. At the exit, find yourself by the Libyan Sea in the village of Agia Roumeli. Explore this beautiful and isolated village, nestled between huge rocks and the expansive sea. Enjoy a relaxing and refreshing swim at the beach, and have some lunch in a small local tavern. Later, embark on a boat that takes you back to Chora Sfakion. There, catch the bus that returns back to the resort.

From Heraklion, Agia Pelagia, Malia: Samaria Gorge Day Trip

5. From Heraklion, Agia Pelagia, Malia: Samaria Gorge Day Trip

Your full-day excursion to Samaria Gorge begins with pickup in Heraklion and a drive to Omalos, in the heart of the White Mountains. Enjoy breakfast before setting out on your challenging 10-mile (17 kilometer) hike. The trek will take you over rocks and stones, through a forest of thousand-year-old trees and along a river by fresh-water springs. Along the way, you’ll have spectacular views of Crete’s most beautiful mountain range, and you are also likely to see mountain goats roaming in the wild. You will be accompanied by a professional mountain escort who speaks English, German and Greek. Your escort will be there to explain all the necessary information about your hike and provide you with the tickets for the entrance and ferry. After your breakfast you will enter the Samaria Gorge, where you can walk at your own pace as your guide waits at the end of the group to help you out if you need them. At the end of the trek you’ll visit the village of Agia Roumeli, where you’ll find a number of taverns, bars, and shops. You can enjoy some free time to take a swim or have some lunch. Late in the afternoon you’ll board a boat that will take you from Agia Roumeli to Sfakia, where your bus will be waiting to transfer you back to the starting point.

From Georgioupolis: Roundtrip Transfer to Samaria Gorge

6. From Georgioupolis: Roundtrip Transfer to Samaria Gorge

Explore the famous Samaria Gorge on a trip along the northern coastline of Crete and through the White Mountains up to the Omalos Plateau. Samaria Gorge became a National Park in 1962 and today, it is the last natural refuge for the Cretan goat species known as Kri-Kri. Depart early in the morning and board a coach which will pick you up from your hotel. After a comfortable drive, arrive at the plateau of Omalos for a small break before heading to the entrance of the gorge. The start of the hiking trail through the gorge is at a height of 1200m. On the route, pass by rich vegetation and through the tall rock walls known as the "Iron Gates". Fill up your water bottle at one of the springs in the gorge. At the end of the 17km walk, reach the Libyan Sea. There, at the beach of Ayia Roumeli, enjoy a refreshing swim or sit at one of the taverns until a ferry takes the group to Chora Sfakion where the bus will be waiting for you to return you back to your hotel. 

From Chania : Full-Day Samaria Gorge Hike

7. From Chania : Full-Day Samaria Gorge Hike

The Samaria Gorge is the jewel of the White Mountains; hidden in the southern part of the prefecture of Chania, it is the largest gorge in Europe, with a length of 18 kilometres, and the most visited trail in Greece. The gorge trail starts at Ksyloskalo (Omalos plateau, 1,227 metres above sea level) and, after following the river bed, ends at the coastal village of Agia Roumeli. It is a very pleasant walk, not strenuous, with many changes of scenery and a varied environment, and it is excellently equipped with signals and signposts that eliminate the risk of getting lost. It is important to remember, however, that although the whole route is not difficult, there are certain sections that require more attention. Your day starts after we pick you up from a designated pick up point (which can be outside your hotel or as close as possible). We then drive to the Omalos plateau and stop for breakfast (optional). After breakfast we drive to the entrance of the Samaria gorge called Xyloskalo and start the walk. The walk usually takes 4 - 6 hours and you will be able to admire extraordinary rock formations, many endemic plants, flowers and animals, the most famous of which is the Cretan wild goat called "Kri - Kri" (or Aegagros as it is called in the local dialect). Everyone will walk at their own pace without the need to keep up with a group, if you need anything feel free to ask your guide - mountain escort who will also enter the gorge with you. At the end of the walk you will find yourself in the remote village of Ag. Roumeli, where you can cool off and enjoy the beach. You will also be able to sample the local cuisine by having lunch in one of the local taverns. The tour ends after taking the ferry from Ag. Roumeli to Sougia and board our busses back to your hotel (or the designated pick up point you had in the morning).

From Agia Pelagia, Heraklion, or Malia: Samaria Gorge Hike

8. From Agia Pelagia, Heraklion, or Malia: Samaria Gorge Hike

Stop to purchase a hearty breakfast in Rethymno on this full-day Samaria Gorge excursion. Begin your trek at Xiloskalo, where you'll enter the vast, 18-kilometer canyon. Hike along a path that follows the route of the ancient Taras River. Admire the caves that formed a natural shelter for the Cretans in war times and now are home to wild goats. See the abandoned village of Samaria before reaching the Iron Gates, 3 kilometers before the end of the gorge. Rest and enjoy lunch (at your own expense) at the small fishing village of Agia Roumeli. Cool off with a refreshing swim in the Libyan Sea before boarding the ship that takes you back to the village of Sfakia.

From Rethymno: Samariá Gorge Full-Day Hike

9. From Rethymno: Samariá Gorge Full-Day Hike

Embark on a guided hike in the Samariá Gorge on a day trip from Rethymno. Get your daily dose of exercise, enjoy the panoramic views, and take a swim. Following an early morning pickup from the nearest point to your accommodation in Rethymno, travel through the mountains, passing the plateau of Omalos. Arrive at some wooden stairs at the start of Samariá Gorge. You can opt to start the walk straight away or get some breakfast at the taverna before you begin. Experience the magnificent landscapes on a 16-kilometer walk. Discover the longest gorge in Europe, an area of stunning natural beauty. See its many flowers and herbs and the crystal-clear spring waters that flow from the mountains. Once you have finished the hike, there will be ample time for a swim and lunch at a tavern in Agia Roumeli.

Heraklion: Samaria Gorge Guided Hiking Day Tour

10. Heraklion: Samaria Gorge Guided Hiking Day Tour

Join us on an ultimate hiking experience of the Samaria Gorge. This is one of the longest gorge and the most beautiful in Europe. Our activity starts at 05:30 in the morning from Heraklion areas with a pick up point close to your hotel or your hotel. The gorge is located at the south of Chania Prefecture in southwest Crete. It was created by a small river flowing off the White Mountains (Lefka Ori). The gorge is 13 km long, starting at an altitude of 1,250m at the northern entrance (Omalos), and ending at the shores of the South Cretan Sea in Agia Roumeli. One of the most impressive mountain regions of Crete. After 2 two hours drive we arrive at the entrance on the plateau Omalos of the White Mountains. The entrance of the longest gorge in Europe (11 miles) lies at 4000 ft. You have the option to enjoy your breakfast on the top of the mountain close to nature and the fresh air before you start your activity. The hiking starts from Xiloskalo, we step over rocks and stones down the gorge, through a fantastic forest among thousands of years old trees, along a little river and fresh-water springs. The walk is partially difficult. It lasts approximately 5-6 hours and you need absolutely good shoes- mountain boots or, at least, strong trainers. The path follows the route of Taras, a river with gurgling, lucid water. It gave its name to the ancient town which was located at the end of the gorge. On the way, we can get a glimpse of the caves that formed a natural shelter for the Cretans. In war times and now they are the natural habitat of the well-known wild goats, or kri-kri, as they are also called. Halfway we come across the village of Santa Maria, which was abandoned by its last inhabitants in 1962. Three kilometres prior to our exiting this majestic gorge, we reach the Iron Gates (Sideroportes), the narrowest spot of the route, just a few meters wide, but 300 meters high – an amazing contradiction that can cause nothing but awe. At the end of the gorge, we reach the Lybian sea and the village of Agia Roumeli, where you can relax and enjoy swimming and after a meal at the local taverns, before you join the group to take ferry to Chora Sfakion, where our bus waiting to take you back to your original pick up point, arriving approximately at 21:30 at night after unforgettable day experience that you will remember for the rest of your life.

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What people are saying about Samaria Gorge National Park

Overall rating

4.6
(3,103 reviews)

My husband doesn't like driving on mountainous roads, so I decided to book a couple of private tours. The first one was this Imbros Gorge Transfer. It doesn't include a guide through the gorge so I didn't expect to get to know our guide very much. However, our guide, Apostolis, was extremely knowledgeable about places to go in Crete and the history of Crete. He took us to a beach that we requested and then offered to take us to an unofficial WW2 Museum, which my husband found fascinating. We would have never heard about this museum otherwise. We really enjoyed talking to him as we learned so much. With the remaining time, we were hungry so he took us to one of his favorite tavernas and it was excellent and reasonably priced. After this tour, we knew we wanted our other tours to be with this guide.

I would recommend this hike through the Samaria Gorge to everyone, if you are somewhat fit. We walked the hike in sneakers and it was quite doable. However, I think that the risk of injuries is a lot less with good walking shoes. The bus journey to and from Malia took a long time, but in my opinion the hike was worth it. Nice guide and pleasant bus driver who, despite only speaking Greek, still tried to show the sights along the way. We went at the very end of the season, so it was not super busy in the gorge and the temperature was also a lot better. All in all, highly recommended!

Magnificent day in 5 points: 1. The car (a Discovery 3) is ultra comfortable. 2. The program, visits, breaks are perfectly balanced 3. The meal is delicious, you are given a superb welcome and time to savor. 4. Giannis, our super friendly guide/driver, drives very smoothly and tells lots of interesting information and fun anecdotes. 5. The scenery is breathtaking and would have been impossible to experience on our own. Don't hesitate to book. Next time in Crete, I will do the other activities offered by this company.

This tour lived up to expectations, in no small measure due to the efficiency, friendliness and knowledge of Olga, the tour guide. The excursion is multi-faceted, the ride is comfortable and the scenery, food and history remarkable. Highly recommended.

Amazing service! Great tour with Holga! Highly recommended!