Samaria Gorge

The Samaria Gorge the most famous hiking gorge in Europe is located in southwest Crete in the regional unit of Chania. It was named after the abandoned village of Samaria which, in turn, took its name from the village’s ancient church, Óssia María. It has been one of the first National Parks of Greece since 1962 .

The gorge is 15 km long, starting at Omalos mountain ending at the shores of Agia Roumeli. The walk through Samaria National Park can last between 5 to 7 hours depending on your walking pace. The most famous part of the gorge is the stretch known as the Gates aka “Iron Gates”, where the sides of the gorge close in to a width of only four meters and soar up to a height of almost 500 metres. There are several other endemic species in the gorge and surrounding area, the most famous of which is the rare kri-kri (Cretan goat), which is largely restricted to the park and an island just off the shore of Agia Marina.

The Samaria National Park is open to visitors from 1 May to 31 October. It is forbidden to light a fire, camp, overnight stay, cut flowers, hunt, fish and swim in the streams.

The gorge ends at Agia Roumeli and visitors are transported by boat to Sfakia from where the bus route Sfakia-Chania takes them to Chania. For more information, please visit: