Villas in Crete, Villa Chania, Villa Kreta, Rent Crete Villas, Vacances Crete Hotel Villas in Crete, Villa Chania, Villa Kreta, Rent Crete Villas, Vacances Crete Hotel
tel:+30 28210 90760 +30 28210 90760
Suomi
info@thehotel.gr +30 28210 90760

Kreeta > Chania > What to see > Samaria gorge

Samaria gorge

Samaria Photo 2The Gorge of Samaria is situated in the National park of Samaria 43 km from the city of Chania in the White Mountains in West Crete. It is the second most popular tourist attraction in Crete (after the Minoan palace of Knossos) and by far the most popular walk. It is estimated that more than a quarter million people walk through the Gorge every year from the beginning of May to the end of October. The Samaria Gorge is an area of stunning natural beauty, passing through forests of ancient cypresses and pines.

According to the Greek mythology, one of the Titans cut the land with his knife to create the Gorge, while Zeus placed his throne on the top of the mountain Gygilos and raced his chariot on the nearby mountain plain when he got bored with the disputes and intrigues in Olympus. The Gorge of Samaria is 16 km long (the longest Gorge in Europe), starting at an altitude of 1250 m (at Xyloskalo at the end of Omalos village) and taking you all the way down to the shores of the Libyan sea in Agia Roumeli through the narrow Sidesportes or "Iron Gates" (rocky walls that rise up to 500 metres with only 3 meters wide). Next to the entrance of the Gorge, "Xyloskalo", there is a tourist pavilion with a view of the majestic mountain of Gigolos, at the altitude of 2,083 meters.

The walk through the Gorge from "Xyloskalo" down to Agia Roumeli (17 km trek) will take you anything from 3 to 5 hours of walking time (excluding the breaks) if you are a fit walker; otherwise it can take up to 7-8 hours.

Gorge 2   Kri Kri 1   Agia Roumeli 1

If you are lucky enough you can see or even meet the famous Kri-Kri (Capra aegagrus cretica) or some of the rarest birds of Europe; the lammergeier, the golden eagle, the Hieraaetus (Bonelli's eagle) and the griffon Vulture.

A few hundreds meters far from Xyloskalo there is the Church of Agios Nikolaos, a small stone church, hidden among huge cypress trees. It is believed that the Sanctuary and Oracle of Apollo are hidden under the Church.

Moreover, on the 7th km of the walk down to Agia Roumeli the derelict village of Samaria is located. It was abandoned in 1962 when the area was designated a National Park. Next to the village there is the Church that was dedicated to Saint Maria of Egypt and from which the Gorge and the settlement were named after.

Gorge 1 Forest 1 Entrance 1

The Samaria National Park is open from the beginning of May to the end of October from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day. From 3 p.m. to the sunset visitors are allowed only to the first two kilometres of the path from both entrances (Xyloskalo and Agia Roumeli). There are public means of transport (buses-KTEL next to the famous square '1866') going to Xyloskalo during the morning.

In Agia Roumeli you can get one ferryboat returning to Hora Sfakion and thentake an evening bus returning to Chania. From Agia Roumeli you can also get a ferryboat going to Sougia or Paleochora but there will be no bus returning to Chania the same day. If you are not alone and you do not like the idea of a bus you can share a taxi to Omalos; it costs about 40 Euros.

Useful Tips:

Wear strong shoes Use a back sack to carry a bottle of water and fruits Have some light food (sandwich) with you Take your time to admire and 'feel' the Samaria Gorge

Samaria Church 1 Samaria Lake 1 Samaria 5

Samaria Walk 3 Samaria Walk 1 Samaria Walk 4

Holiday Rentals We Recommend

  1. Casa Rustica in Kreeta, Chania, Maleme

    Casa Rustica

    in Chania, Maleme, from 180 / night

    Casa Rustica is a brand new 2-bedroom Villa with a lovely private pool, designed with the life experience of the kind owner. A sea view private pool with a children corner, in a plot planted with olive trees, a wineyard, and cypress trees is available to explore. The Villa is located on top of a hill, 6 km from Maleme shingle beach.  More...

  2. Villa Olive in Kreeta, Chania, Voukolies

    Villa Olive

    in Chania, Voukolies, from 100 / night

    Villa Olive on kaunis, perinteinen kahden makuuhuoneen villa. Se sijaitsee vehreässä ympäristössä, oliivipuiden katveessa, Voukoliesin perinteisessä kylässä noin 30 kilometriä Haniasta lounaaseen.  More...

  3. Roxani House in Kreeta, Chania, Meskla

    Roxani House

    in Chania, Meskla, from 46 / night

    Roxani House is a hospitable 2-bedroom House in the peaceful village of Meskla, in an area with very beautiful landscape, that is ideal for trekking in the local gorges and total relax. The house has two bedrooms and two shower bathrooms and it can accommodate up to 7 guests.  More...

  4. Villa Piedra in Kreeta, Chania, Maleme

    Villa Piedra

    in Chania, Maleme, from 189 / night

    Villa Piedra is a brand new, traditional 2-bedroom villa with a lovely private pool, in the small traditional village of Manoliopoulo. It's a stone-built villa beautifully located on top of a hill about 8 km from the shingle beach of Maleme and 21 km from the beautiful town of Chania.  More...

  5. Klironomos Art Villa in Kreeta, Chania, Agia

    Klironomos Art Villa

    in Chania, Agia, from 120 / night

    Klironomos Art Villa is a lovely 5-bedroom villa with a private garden situated in the small traditional village of Alikianos, 12 km from the picturesque town of Chania and 10 km from the famous sandy beach of Platanias and Agia Marina.  More...

  6. Villa Athina in Kreeta, Chania, Stalos

    Villa Athina

    in Chania, Stalos, from 147 / night

    Athina Villa on perinteinen, kuvauksellinen kolmen makuuhuoneen luksusvilla, jossa on lämmitettävä uima-allas. Se sijaitsee Staloksen merenrantakylässä, kaksi kilometriä hiekkarannalta ja yhdeksän kilometriä Haniasta länteen.  More...

  7. Villa Thermal Waters in Kreeta, Chania, Paleochora

    Villa Thermal Waters

    in Chania, Paleochora, from 76 / night

    Villa Thermal Waters is a traditional 3-bedroom villa with a private round pool of 14 sq m with thermal water in the peaceful village of Temenia. The wonderful sandy beaches of Paleochora and Sougia as well as the Saint Irene's Gorge can be found within a 15-20 minutes drive.  More...

  8. Greenscape Villas in Kreeta, Chania, Agia

    Greenscape Villas New!

    in Chania, Agia, from 160 / night

    Greenscape Villas are two similar 3-bedroom detached villas, one next to the other and each one with a private pool and maisonette-style in the peaceful village of Vatolakkos. Traditional cafes and a lovely tavern are found in the square of the village, only 1 km away.  More...

  9. Arch Studio in Kreeta, Chania, Maleme

    Arch Studio New!

    in Chania, Maleme, from 31 / night

    Arch Studio is a cozy studio in the peaceful traditional village of Psathogiannos, about 10 km away from the lively village of Platanias and 19.5 km from the picturesque town of Chania. A few taverns can be reached in the nearby villages within a few minutes drive.  More...

  10. Casa Di Verde in Kreeta, Chania, Platanias

    Casa Di Verde

    in Chania, Platanias, from 280 / night

    Casa di Verde is a stylish 3-bedroom Villa with 2 bathrooms and a private pool, placed in a lush garden among orange groves in the tranquil village of Patelari, a five-minutes drive away from the sandy beach of the nearby town of Platanias.  More...