SPECIALS/EVENTS IN THE AEGEAN SEA
SAMARIA GORGE (CRETE)
A nature experience of a very special kind: Hiking in the Samaria Gorge, the Grand Canyon of Crete!
Samaria Gorge on Crete: Located in the southwest of the Greek island of Crete, the Samaria Gorge (Φαράγγι της Σαμαριάς) is one of the longest gorges in Europe (17 km long). It goes from over 1200 m of altitude almost from the center of the island to the Libyan Sea. It is one of the touristic highlights of Crete and is hiked by 300,000 people a year. The gorge is bordered by up to 600 m high vertical rock walls, which allow at the narrowest point of the gorge, the so-called "iron gate", a passage of only three to four meters.
The Samaria National Park was established in 1962 to preserve the unique fauna and protect rare birds of prey, such as the bearded vulture, and the Cretan wild goat Kri-Kri. Hiking in the Samaria National Park means admiring rare animal species, as well as wildflowers and orchids in their full bloom.
Hiking through the canyon is an indescribable experience, but also a physical challenge: you have to go 17 km and overcome about 1,200 m of altitude. The starting point of the hike is in the mountains. The gorge entrance can be reached by bus or car. There's no way to break the nearly 7-hours hike in the gorge, but the effort is worth it: unique natural spectacle, flora and fauna in untouched beauty and sensational motifs are guaranteed.
At the end of the march, you will reach the village of Agia Roumeli by the sea on the south coast of Crete. There are numerous taverns to fill your stomach and quench your thirst, as well as a beautiful beach for refreshment. So, take your bathing suit along with your hiking boots! The hike through the Samaria Gorge is perfectly combinable with your biking holiday on Crete.
Open every year from 1 May to 15 October (it is however weather dependent)
Entrance fee: 5 euros per person