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kcixcy

Active member
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?
 
I've done this walk a few times and can say that the gorge becomes more interesting towards half way through to the end of the walk. So, if you are starting at the "land" end then you do have to do the whole walk. If you start at the beach end you probably have to still walk half way up and half way back. You are probably better off just doing it one way and when you get to the beach you can take a ferry back.
It all depends on how fit you are. I did it in my 20s and I didn't plan at all, I even didn't have walking shoes, just flip-flops. So, young and fit it's an easy walk in the beautiful natural environment with lots of fresh water springs along the way - bring a water bottle to fill up along the way.
I'm a lot older than that now but I still feel that I could do the walk but would need to make sure I have prepared with correct footwear, water, maybe a bit of food, etc. But still doable. It's a long walk but not a challenging walk in terms of the terrain.
It's up to you. You have to gauge your level of fitness. If you are ok walking for hours in a park at home, then you should be ok walking the Samaria Gorge.
Good luck! Let us know how you go!
 
No, you don’t have to walk the entire gorge. From Sfakia, you take the ANENDYK Ferries to Agia Roumeli. (Ferries also leave from the southern ports of Paleochora and Sougia.) “The Iron Gates” is the iconic photo of the Samaria Gorge and it is quite doable from Agia Roumeli. I don’t remember exactly how long it took, but there was plenty of time to walk, take photos, interact with the goats that greeted us (They especially love you if you’re carrying any kind of snack!), have a superb fish lunch, and catch the afternoon ferry back to Sfakia. Leaving Chania, Sfakia can be reached via public bus and the bus schedule is geared to the ferry schedule.(KTEL Chania)

Sfakia itself is also a convenient base; from there you can explore the incredible beaches of the South Coast and also drive up to the mountain villages like Anopoli. There are taxi boats that will take you to pristine beaches, better than the Sfakia town beach. Depending on when you go, be sure to catch any festivals that might be happening in either Sfakia or Anopoli; an experience like no other!

 
No, you don’t have to walk the entire gorge. From Sfakia, you take the ANENDYK Ferries to Agia Roumeli. (Ferries also leave from the southern ports of Paleochora and Sougia.) “The Iron Gates” is the iconic photo of the Samaria Gorge and it is quite doable from Agia Roumeli. I don’t remember exactly how long it took, but there was plenty of time to walk, take photos, interact with the goats that greeted us (They especially love you if you’re carrying any kind of snack!), have a superb fish lunch, and catch the afternoon ferry back to Sfakia. Leaving Chania, Sfakia can be reached via public bus and the bus schedule is geared to the ferry schedule.(KTEL Chania)

Sfakia itself is also a convenient base; from there you can explore the incredible beaches of the South Coast and also drive up to the mountain villages like Anopoli. There are taxi boats that will take you to pristine beaches, better than the Sfakia town beach. Depending on when you go, be sure to catch any festivals that might be happening in either Sfakia or Anopoli; an experience like no other!

Here’s a description of the Gates:
“One of the most showstopping parts of hiking Samaria Gorge is a stretch of the trail referred to as “the Gates.” This aptly-named part of the impressive hike denotes a slightly claustrophobic but impressive area where the sides of the gorge close in, leaving a gap of only four meters (13 feet) for hikers to slip through. This creates a lasting effect on those who navigate it, particularly as the gorge walls also reach straight up to 300 meters (980 feet) along this stretch.”

Either way you choose to do it, it will be a full day trip because the last part (ferry from Agia Roumeli and bus back to Chania) is the same. The Samaria Gorge is beautiful start to finish, so I think that it really depends on how much hiking you want to do and in what kind of weather. Summer temperatures can get very hot.
 
I know, I’m giving far too many replies, but you could also consider the shorter (3-4 hour) Aradena Gorge hike if you decide to base yourself in Sfakia for a few days. My photo was taken from the South Coast ferry. This gorge ends at Marmara Beach, near the lovely village of Loutro. You won’t be lacking for photo ops in the Prefecture of Chania…..or places to hike!
 
My sister and I did the whole Samaria Gorge hike - starting at the top and hiking to the bottom, to the beach. We shopped a bit in the village where I bought some delicious honey, then I fell asleep on a beach chair in the beautiful sunshine. The constant downhill didn't feel great on my knees but it was fine. At the time I think I may have been 39. My parents did some of the Aradena Gorge hike while sis and I were at Samaria and they loved it. Chania area is magical, I was only there for 5 nights during that trip and it wasn't enough!
 
I am leaning towards taking the ferry to the village and hiking in just a bit from that way - from what I understand, this is where all the best views are anyway?
 

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