Samaria Gorge National Park, Sfakia

4.4
Must see · National Park · Canyon
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Featuring a dramatic feature of Crete's landscape, Samaria Gorge National Park serves as a major tourist attraction and a protected biosphere reserve, famous for sheltering the extremely rare kri-kri goats. Each year nearly 200,000 people walk through the national park's famous gorge, which starts at an altitude of 1,250 m (4,100 ft) and ends on the shores of the Libyan Sea. To avoid the worst of the crowds, start your hike as early in the day as you can. You cannot camp overnight in the gorge, so you must complete the 16 km (9 mi) hike in a single day. To discover the gorge in the company of other hikers, join a guided excursion through the park. Put Samaria Gorge National Park at the forefront of your travel plans using our Sfakia trip builder.
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Samaria Gorge National Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
3,459 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Honestly it's been 40 years since I hiked this so my review is probably not appropriate. But it is a lovely, challenging hike. 
    Honestly it's been 40 years since I hiked this so my review is probably not appropriate. But it is a lovely, challenging hike.  more »
  • An excellent long walk with some difficult sections. A long down hill to start but once you get to the valley floor it is not flat underfoot like some guides suggest. Sensible shoes area must. It is.....  more
    An excellent long walk with some difficult sections. A long down hill to start but once you get to the valley floor it is not flat underfoot like some guides suggest. Sensible shoes area must. It is.....  more »
  • This was a struggle for me from start to finish. My husband loved it, I just wept under my sunglasses and fell on my derrière loads of times. Our guide caught up with us the third time I had fallen... 
    This was a struggle for me from start to finish. My husband loved it, I just wept under my sunglasses and fell on my derrière loads of times. Our guide caught up with us the third time I had fallen...  more »
Google
  • The Samaria Gorge is absolutely stunning, you'll be treated to many breathtaking views. We came by rental car, which is perfectly doable as long as you arrive at the trail head early (we started the hike at 8:30). As noted in other reviews, the hike is strenuous, mainly downhill so very demanding for your lower body. Invest in a good pair of (preferably hiking) shoes. It is said to be a 13 km hike, but others with trackers revealed that it was actually an 18 km hike. Many parts of the hike offer shade, but definitely not all. It is recommended to bring a hat/cap and sunscreen. We completed the trail in 6 hours, including several breaks. At the end of the trail you can either walk to Agia Roumeli (+/- 2.5 km) or make use of the shuttle service (€2,00 p.p.). Once there you can purchase the ferry ticket to Sougia (€11,00 p.p.), the ferry leaves at 17:30, boarding starts at 17:00, so you'll have free time until then. In Sougia you have several options to get back to Omalos (Samaria Gorge Parking): public bus, minivan (€10,00 p.p.), taxi (approx. €130,00). We thought it was absolutely worth the trouble and sore muscles. Our biggest advice: check several reviews/blogs to come as prepared as possible.
  • Incredible hike. Nothing too technically challenging, but it is an endurance hike with some steep elevation (mostly downhill, maybe 15-25% incline at the start for about 3km). Once finished with the downhill section, it’s mostly flat along the sides of the canyon until reaching the Iron Gates. Bring a water bottle, but you don’t need a big one - there are a surplus of spots to fill up water on the way (the river is safe for consumption, and the first half has water springs too). Sunscreen and a hat are mandatory as there is very limited shade. Some highlights include the village of Samaria half-way through, stunning views at the trail head, and a defining trek as the canyon narrows towards the end. Bring euros for the shuttle at the end and the boat to return to the main cities. The town the gorge opens into has great authentic food, so be prepared for a good meal. The full hike took about 4 hours and 15 minutes for myself. My tracker said it was about 22km total, with about 1100 metres of descending and 400m of ascending. Lots of up and down throughout.
  • First of all, please remember that the track is not the easiest. Therefore, it is better to think a little in advance about everything you need to take with you for hiking (it is better to take less, but the most necessary and useful). Especially it is very important to pay attention to Your special sport shoes. For us this experience is one of the most unforgettable in our life. The views are incredible and breathtaking. 💚🤍 However my advice not to plan anything special for the next day, because your legs will hurt despite your physical preparation. I also advise you to take a bus for 2 euros from the end of the route direct to the beach. Since there is absolutely no shadow along the way, this will be your best investment. You can buy a ticket in the restaurant. I wish you a pleasant trip☺️
  • Amazing Hike, even for the inexperienced. It's about 13km long and takes 6-7hours including rest periods. Make sure you take some food and you have bottles you can fill up. There will be lots of spots along the way you can get water from the natural stream or rest stops where the water runs from a natural 'tap'. The views from start to finish are outstanding. The decent at the start is the most challenging part if heights make you nervous. When you make it to end there will be a bar etc - I would move straight past this and get the shuttle bus (2 euros each) down to the beach and have a drink there instead. Take your swimming gear so you can go and have a swim in the sea before you get your boat back, your body will thank you for it!
  • Stunning view and experience on Europe’s biggest canyon. Wear proper shoes and try to get there early (opens at 7). May/June or September would be the best period to hike.

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