Nothing quite compares to the natural splendor of this destination. In the heart of Crete’s only national park, the gorge winds its way down from the majestic White Mountains to Agia Roumeli on the azure Libyan Sea in the far south of Chania Prefecture. Samaria Gorge is Europe’s longest at sixteen kilometers and one of the most awe-inspiring in all of Greece. The hike down from an altitude of 1,230 meters altitude is a challenging one, but doable by even novice hikers at a slow pace.
Visitors to the gorge will discover an Eden-like world of rare species of flora and fauna. Make sure to wear good quality hiking or running shoes, and take plenty of drinking water is always recommended for hikes on Crete, even though many springs emanate from the gorge’s cliffs along the way. First-time hikers are often amazed by the diversity and geology of the canyon. Even its dimensions are unique. At its widest point, the gorge is 150 meters, and then at the point known as Pórtes (also called “Iron Gates”), the cliff walls narrow to only three meters. The trek takes between six and eight hours, and the terrain is sometimes very rugged and challenging, without being perilous.