Samaria or the Samaria Gorge is one of the main sights of Crete. Every tourist who visits Crete will have heard of this beautiful gorge or soon will. The locals call it the “Farangas” or “Great Gorge”, both in admiration at its beauty and to differentiate it from the many other, smaller gorges of Crete.
The Samaria Gorge is in west Crete, in the White Mountains. It is the longest gorge in Europe, with a length of 18 kilometres.
The gorge starts at Xyloskalo (1227 m. above sea level) on the Omalos Plateau and runs down to the seaside village of Agia Roumeli on the south coast of Crete
Samaria is not a simple stroll for those unused to walking.
Anyone can go down the gorge, as long as they have no serious medical problems, but you must be prepared for very stiff legs the next day.
A good pair of hiking shoes is a must, as well as sunblock and a hat.
The most tiring part of the walk is the last 3 km before the exit from the National Park. Here there is often another ticket control to make sure no-one is left in the gorge overnight, either because they have had an accident or because they want to.
The landscape at the exit from the gorge is dry and arid with no shade. If you have started your walk in the early morning, you will reach this point in the early afternoon, when the heat of the day is more obvious.
Be patient, because just another hour’s walk away is Agia Roumeli with its inviting beach.