Located in the fascinating National Park of Samaria, Crete, Samaria gorge is the most popular and most attractive site. Samaria gorge is visited almost every year by hundreds of thousand tourists. Its beauty and realistic natural site are the reason for its popularity.
Samaria gorge is located in southwest Crete island in the central heart of Chania, covers up to 5,100 hectares. In the peak month of August, there are almost 3,000 people who visit Samaria Gorge in Samaria national park daily.
Not only in Crete, but in the whole of Europe, it is the most popular and the longest Gorge, forming the longest distance for a hiking trail that begins in Andalusia, Spain, and Weeds in Cyprus.
Samaria gorge is designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In this complete guide of Samaria Gorge in Crete, you will get all the information you ever wanted about this Gorge.
Basic information about Samaria Gorge
The smart GorgeGorge is located in the national part of Samaria, Crete, surrounded by white Mountains. It is the most populated world’s biosphere reserve containing up to 450 different plants and animals. This Gorge is 16 km in length, and its width is almost 150 m at its widest spot and 3m at the narrowest. It begins with Xyloskalo containing an altitude of almost 1200 m and proceeds further downward until the sea level in the Agia Roukeli and the Libyan sea village.
In the national park, there is an extensive and vast Museum of Natural History of Samaria Gorge. This museum gave all the ancient history abot the Gorge. The museum enables you to explore more and more things about Samaria Gorge.
Opening time of Samaria gorge Crete
The Gorge of Samaria in Crete is mostly crowded from 1st may till the 15 of October. However, its opening and closing also depend upon the weather of Crete island. The Gorge operates from 6 am to 4 pm on moist, and it usually closed on the hot, burning summer days to ensure the visitor’s safety.
The best time to visut the Gorge is when the weather is mild, not too cold or not too hot. It would be best if you crossed the Samaria gorge in May and September to enjoy its beauty without being tired by summer.
The last allowed entry in George is at 4 pm. If you enter the Gorge at 4 pm, then the authority allows you to walk through the Gorge only about 2 km, either from the top and back or from the bottom and back. Hence, nobody in the park can stay overnight.
Visit the Samaria Gorge
If you desire to have a relaxing and non-hectic Gorge tour, you must go through an organised tour rather than public transport. So, you won’t be roaming here and there helpless because of less knowledge about the Gorge. The organised trips are way better because they facilitate you in picking you from your hotel and then dropping you back.
The better option is to choose an organised tour, so you dont have to walk throughout the Gorge. You enter the Samaria gorge and have an appointment in the Agia Roumeli.
However, if you take a mode of public transport to visit the GorgeGorge, it will be a very hectic day. Few people also take the public bus from Chania that heads to Omalos in the morning. The journey time is about an hour. Moreover, it is not feasible to take a hire car if you plan to walk the whole gorge length to get back. You would have to make the return 16 km hike. You can also get a taxi from Chira Sfakion.
Necessities to take with you while visiting Gorge
Although Samaria gorge is a beautiful place with plenty of exploring sites, it is still a very hectic and tiring place. You cannot enjoy the gorge walk if you dint take the necessities with you.
Well, here are things you must have to visit the GorgeGorge:
Wear light clothes but do not forget to carry a jacket for the morning.
Good walking shoes
Sunscreen to avoid sunburn
A light snack to keep up good energy level
Plasters for the blisters
Swimsuit if you want to dive into the sea to refresh yourself.
Hiking at Samaria gorge
As discussed earlier, Samaria Gorge is usually famous for its high hiking activity ratio. Most of the people come there to experience the gorge hiking. Samaria gorge provides the longest route of approximately 18 km in Europe. It descends dramatically from the omphalos plateau into the Agia Roumeli village.
The hike across the Gorge is not something like a Sunday stroll, which can be taken lightly. In the spring, hiking becomes even more dangerous and tiring because of roaring rivers. On a hot summer day, the hike can take all your energy and stamina. So, you should not consider it a piece of cake.
There are a lot of people who hike through it quickly. However, some people can get injured as well. So, mules and helicopters are standing to rescue if anyone is injured.
Wildlife of Samaria Gorge
Inside the Gorge, you may see the several wildlife inhabitants referred to as Kri-Kri by tourists. Otherwise, they are known as Agrimi, Capra aegagrus. This wildlife is basically will goat or ibex. The national park was created to protect that wildlife.
The firest in Samaria has a variety of plants and trees, including cypress and pines. There are hundreds of species of wild animals such as reptiles, snakes, and many more. Moreover, almost 400 varieties of birds have been observed in the National Park.
Samaria gorge is the longest in Europe, which is primarily famous for its hiking. However, hiking is not accessible for everyone through it. It requires all the necessities and hard work. So if you want to visit the beautiful Gorge and want to hike, it is important to have all the required things to enjoy the hike properly.