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kosta_karapinotis

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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Deborah

Member
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!)
 

Dionasia

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.
 

kosta_karapinotis

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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Deborah

Member
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!
 

kosta_karapinotis

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.
 

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