The Samaria Gorge in Crete is one of the longest and most beautiful mountain gorges in the world. A very popular tourist attraction.
We went there on the day the gorge was opened for trekking - May 1st. We got there by regular bus from Chania to the final stop Omalos. The bus schedule must be checked at the bus station in Chania. They depart strictly on schedule. The basses are modern and comfortable. The views along the way are wonderful. From the Omalosa plateau, a well-equipped downhill trail to the bottom of the gorge begins.
To say that there were many trekkers in Samaria would be an understatement. I have never seen anything like this in the mountains, even in the Alps. But this, of course, is due to the beauty of this unique place, and the relative ease of passage.
From the beginning of the trail from the Omalos plateau to the end of the trail at the ferry pier in the village of Ayia Roumeli - 25 km, as shown by our navigator. No special training or special equipment is needed. Any more or less physically healthy person can easily pass this most beautiful route in a day. However, quality mountain shoes are a must. We saw girls in slippers on this route. Their successful passage of the route is a matter of personal luck. Calluses and chafing on the feet are inevitable in the wrong shoes. Much more serious injuries are possible, due to slipping of the legs on the stones. Trekking in this canyon, although relatively simple, is by no means a walk in a city park. The sun in clear weather will bake a good part of the way, so when choosing clothes, you need to take this fact into account, and do not forget also a hat, glasses and sunscreen.
And I recommend using trekking poles in the mountains. These useful and very light pieces can be stowed in a backpack when they are no longer needed. And along the way, they are indispensable helpers.
The descent into the Samaria Gorge starts from the Omalos Plateau and ends at the village of Agya Roumeli. From Agia Roumeli, most tourists take the ferry to villages with a developed bus service. Few go in the opposite direction, that is, from Agya Roumeli they rise to the Omalos plateau. This is much more difficult, since the ascent there is constant, and in the second part of the path it is quite steep. It's easier to go down.
On the trail, every few kilometers, resting places with benches are equipped. Drinking water is also plentiful along the route. Equipped water closets every 5 km. There are toilets both in front of the trail and below. So you won't have to climb the bushes.
We sailed back, along with most of the tourists on the ferry from Agya Roumeli to Hora. From Hora, by regular bus, docked in time with the arrival of the ferry, we reached Chania. Agya Roumeli is a charming village, when the ferry leaves with most of the tourists, it’s just paradise there, I guess. Beautiful deserted beaches, many cozy, authentically Greek, so cute and inexpensive cafes, mountains in the background. If we didn't have pre-paid and luxurious apartments in Chania, we would have spent the night in Agya R., and sailed to Chora on the next morning ferry. But unfortunately, I had to sail away with a crowd of other tourists immediately after descending from Omalos.
The ferry sails very slowly, and you can safely admire the views. From Hora, three basses go to Chania at once. In two of them there are tourists who have bought return tickets in advance. We are sent to the third bass with the same dummies, who are without return tickets, which is in the wings. We pay the driver there. Our driver is very funny, he constantly makes some jokes in English, we laugh all the way. Road with beautiful views, by the way. We arrive in Chania around 21.00 in the evening. We have dinner in a cafe near our apartments, Greek salads, pies and coffee. It was a very eventful and very beautiful day, thanks to all the travel angels.
Trekking in the Samaria Gorge
Useful information and photos from trekking in the mountains of Greece
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