One of the main attractions in the picturesque nature of Crete is the Samaria Gorge, sometimes called the 'Gran Canyon of Europe'. One of the longest trekking gorges on the continent, it is truly exceptional and captivates many hikers.
The gorge is part of the European E4 trail and has a length of 16 kilometres. It stretches along the majestic Omalos plateau west of the imposing White Mountains to the blue Libyan Sea. Right at the exit of the gorge is Agia Roumeli, a charming harbour town.
Vertical to the Samaria Gorge run many smaller gorges that can only be walked with extensive equipment. However, you do not need any special hiking equipment for the Samaria Gorge. However, you should wear sturdy shoes to explore this top sight safely and comfortably.
The official length of the gorge of 16 kilometres refers to the walking distance from the settlement of Omalos north of the plateau to the village of Agia Roumeli. You enter the gorge at the northern entrance, which has an altitude of 1,250 metres there. From there you head south to the shores of the Libyan Sea in Agia Roumeli. A hike of about 13 kilometres through the Samaria National Park awaits you. Another three kilometres are required to leave the park from Agia Roumeli. So your total hiking route is 16 kilometres.
How much time you need depends, of course, on your own pace. You should allow between four and seven hours, which is why you should plan a day trip to visit the Samaria Gorge. Some holidaymakers even come to Crete just for the impressive gorge.
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