The National Park of Samaria Gorge is located in South West Crete in the prefecture of Chania. It involves a 16km hike and is one of the longest gorges in Europe. The spectacular gorge boasts magnificent flaura and fauna and has been characterized as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO.
The start of the walk at xyloskala (the wooden steps) is just beyond the Omalos plateau, high up in the White Mountains ‘Lefka Ori’ at an altitude of 1250m. The gorge is normally open each year from May 1st to October 31st, dependent on the weather. It is closed in the winter due to the mountain river running through that makes it dangerous and mostly impassable.
Allow a good 5 to 6 hours for this long walk. Good strong footwear is essential, preferably with ankle support as the footpath is hard and rocky underfoot. Also remember to carry a small supply of water which can be topped up en route from the many springs in the gorge.
The walk ends at the Libyan Sea at the small coastal village of Agia Roumeli.