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Active member
I am thinking of putting the Samaria Gorge on my Greek Bucket List but I feel like I need more information. In my research, I can see that one should start at the top, hike down, and then allow some time to explore the village at the end and get something to eat, maybe even sit at the beach. So, this seems like an all day thing? It seems totally doable and I am in decent shape, but I am nervous and need more information.

Are there any guided tours that will take me through the process?
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There are tours that leave Chania via bus on the Omolos Road and drop you off at the head of the gorge. I am not sure if any guides accompany you through the gorge; that might depend on the tour you choose. The hike of approximately 16 km takes an average of 4 -7 hours, depending on your fitness and the number of stops you make. When you reach the end, the village of Agia Roumeli, you’ll definitely want to have a swim and something to eat at the seaside tavernas. The tour includes a ferry ride from Agia Roumeli to Sfakia; where the bus meets you for the ride back to Chania. This is definitely a full day excursion, but well worth it.

If you want to do a shorter hike, you can take a bus or your rental car to Sfakia, Sougia, or Paleochora and take the early morning ferry to Agia Roumeli. Some people hike the gorge from the sea to the Iron Gates; a much shorter distance….but remember that you’d have to double-back to catch your return ferry from Agia Roumeli.

If you do either day trip by yourself, just be sure to research the bus/ferry schedules ahead of time so that you don’t get caught over-night in Agia Roumeli (though I can think of worse problems - it would be beautiful!)


New member
So my friends did this hike, not I. Don’t think they would do it again. It was not easy hiking, a lot of loose rocks to walk on. They were required to wear hard hats due to possible falling rocks. They were pretty exhausted and sore after the day. Good luck.


Active member
This is some very good information. Dionasia, I heard the same thing from some other hikers. Deborah, thanks so much for your thoughtful response! After reading this feedback I am considering hiking through the gorge from Aqia Roumeli and then doubling back after I've had my fill. I had someone tell me to make sure I sit at that beach before I leave and buy some honey! Seems like this plan is more relaxing and gives me the most out of the experience.
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I think that you’ve made a good choice. A swim on Crete’s southern coast is always very special. When my daughter was very young, we went to the Iron Gates only from Agia Roumeli. Hiking in Crete always involves navigating some loose stones and yes, goats above you can cause some falling rock - but you’re more likely to encounter some very friendly goats (especially if you’re carrying snacks) on the shorter path to the Gates! If you have a rental car, you can always take separate road trips to the village of Anopolis (above Sfakia - a fantastic drive!) or to Omolos, to get a better sense of the majesty of the White Mountains.
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I have friends who did this hike, as well. I wanted to do it! However, after reading this thread, I think I might consider heading to that village and poking around. I heard the water at that beach is very warm and the black sand is really cool. The portion of the hike that leads to the gorge when done from the other direction I heard is difficult and not very scenic. Sounds like we are better off hiking through the gorge itself for as long as we feel like it and hen enjoy the village!


Active member
I can't wait to do this plan! Thanks, all, for chiming in. I'll have a rental car so I can explore around before or after my time at the gorge.

Tourists Enter A Bus Dressed As... Ancient Greeks!

Samaria Gorge - Do I need to hike the whole thing?

I am not sure I am up for an 11 mile hike (I think that is how long it is!). Do I need to hike the whole thing to take some great photos of the gorge? I am trying to picture what it is like there.

In another thread, someone said to take the ferry to Sfakia. I Heard that you can see some of it and only hike in a short way. Is that where most of the pretty photo opps are? I also heard great things about the beach in that village!

What do you guys think?

List of foods to try on Crete

Crete is one of my favorite islands - and I plan to visit again in a few months. I thought I would make a list of some of the foods I definitely plan to eat when there.

The of you who know about the island, do you have anything to add?

  • Dakos
  • Horta
  • Cretan "pitakia" (in the turnover dough)
  • Horiatiki
  • Pizza (sounds silly, but I love eating Pizza on Crete LOL)

Crete Minoan Tour

I have been diving into Greek history and mythology from some of the ancient civilizations. One that I have been studying is Minoan, and all of that culture and history seems to be concentrated on the island of Crete.

Does anyone know of a good tour I can take that includes both the history and mythology? I would like to see the Knossos palace as well as some of the other Minoan palaces on the island. I know there is more than one, with Knossos being the largest...

What is Cretan Cuisine Like?

As I have been researching Greek food, culture, and recipes I came across information about the cuisine of the island of Crete, which looks to be a bit different than the rest of Greece. Is my impression true? Here are some of my observations:

** The food is ultra fresh and most people eat seasonally. I know, this is typical of all of Greece, but the climate on Crete makes the food supply pretty diverse so it stands out with this island

** The cuisine seems to have had influences from various places through the centuries, both because of various groups occupying Greece, such as Venetian and Ottoman, and also because of trade and its location - the island is pretty far south

** There are some interesting and unique food specialties, like dakos, koukouvagio (some type of salad), and other food items...

So, when traveling to Crete it looks like the cuisine is a big part of those travels. What do you guys think? Any other advice you can give? I think I might go to Crete in the near future to explore these ideas.
Share and discuss your Crete photos, questions and experiences!

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