Hiking the country is among the best ways to explore it. However, once you start doing it, it becomes highly addictive. Greece, with all it’s beautiful beaches and seaside resorts, is very also a very attractive hiking destination.
From the first time I visited Crete, I fell in love with this gorgeous island. Sparkling blue water, white sandy beaches, local villages, canyons – there is just so much to explore.
Still, every time I’m thing back to my trip, Samaria Gorge walk is the first thing I remember. This clean, untouched path between high cliffs, fresh mountain air and pristine beauty stays in memory for decades.
So here is Samaria Gorge from Chania tips for beginners – thing you should know before your visit in order to make the walk more enjoyable.
Where is Samaria Gorge walk?
The trek starts at an altitude of 1230m the settlement of Omalos and is 16 km long, ending at the village of Agia Roumeli. So it’s not an easy hike, most people will cover the distance in 5-7 hours.
For the first 3 km you will be climbing down the stairs, then the path will be more even with huge walls of stone surrounding you at all times. The path itself is stony and difficult to walk on.
The gorge is open from May until October – opening times vary depending on the weather. The park is closed on rainy days due to rock falling danger.
In the Bag – what to pack for this day trip?
The Samaria Gorge from Chania hike is quite long, so we recommend packing some snacks. You would also need water bottle, don’t bring a large one – you can refill on the way.
Make sure to cover your head and bring sunscreen – the sun is very bright here. Comfortable hiking shoes (preferably with ankle support) are a must, because the path is uneven at times.
At the end of the hike you will have some time for a refreshing swim, so make sure to pack your swimsuit.
Samaria Gorge from Chania Tour vs. Self-Organized
We went with a tour because it was much more convenient. You get picked up at the door of your hotel, transferred to the starting point, a guide will accompany you throughout the trip, ferry is pre-booked and the bus awaiting you for the return journey.
The price for such trip (depending on where you are staying) runs around 35-70€. It’s certainly possible to do this on your own as well.
If you are staying in Chania(closest city), take a bus to the starting point in Xyloskalo. Once you finish the trek, catch a ferry from Agia Roumeli to Sougia or Hora Sfakion, where you can the catch a bus back to Chania.
Make sure to leave the boat among the first passengers, in order to secure a place on the bus. Alternatively, you may try to find a guided tour bus and speak to them about dropping you off in Chania (in case they have empty seats available).
Refreshing after long hike
Once you reach the end of the Samaria Gorge from Chania hike, an award is waiting for you on the coast – cute village with outdoor cafes, restaurants and shops.
Wait no longer – soak your tired, blistered feet in the clean blue water, go for a refreshing swim or just sip fresh orange juice on a terrace – you’ve deserved it!
The place is so relaxing, you can forget there is such thing as time! Soon, the ferry will come and pick you up for a return journey back to your hotel.
Samaria Gorge walk tips for beginners
- First and most important – be careful under high cliffs, try to avoid stopping just below them. Falling rocks are a serious danger, even though the gorge is open for visitors, it doesn’t mean that it’s 100% safe. In fact, the gorge is closed during rainy days for exact same reason. So, make sure to watch out. For the same reason – avoid speaking loudly or shouting.
- Drink plenty of water. The heat will dehydrate you very quickly. Don’t worry about running out of water – there are plenty refilling opportunities along the way.
- The first 3 km are the hardest and most dangerous. Walk slowly, while getting used to the path and steep steps. If you would like to enjoy the view, just stop for a moment, don’t try to look around while walking. It’s too easy to twist your leg and get hurt.
- Take short breaks, rather tan longer ones. The reason is simple – your muscles may start to stiffen if you rest for long. The trek is quite long in itself, so make sure you are ready and fit to make it through.
Have you been to Crete? Did you also hike in Samaria Gorge?
You might also like:
Spring is around the corner and so is the hiking season. Even though you can easily hike in winter months, if cold is not your thing, flying to warmer locations may be a good plan. The best thing about this kind of holiday – you don’t need much to start! Usually you’ll be good with solid pair of boots and a good backpack. Day hikes are a fantastic way to explore National parks, lakes and forests.
Greece is such a lovely country, that once you visit it, you fall in love with it forever! Crete is no exception. This amazing, rich in history island is a fantastic combination of food, culture and scenic beaches. It truly has something for everyone – families with kids, young party seekers, hikers and senior folks. Here is our top 8 Fun Things to do in Crete, Greece!