INTERESTING TO KNOW:
We start our journey with a coach ride through the heartland of western Crete and reach the famous plateau of Omalos which is surrounded by the splendid Lefka Ori (White Mountains). Just 38km from the town of Chania and we will have reached a height of 1250 meters above sea level. It is here that we come across Xyloskalo (wooden Step) where the path of the world famous Samaria Gorge begins. Opposite, the wild mountain of Gigilos (Rotten) stands tall peaking at 2080m in full view
The Samaria Gorge houses rare fauna and flora and has therefore been proclaimed a national park for its preservation. The national park has an entrance fee of €5 per Adult. Children under 15years old are permitted free of charge.... The gorge of Samaria is the longest in Europe at 18km long. Its width ranges from between 150m to 3m at its narrowest point. Six hours should see you through in comfort and leave you time to take photos along the way -as you will certainly want to do. There are no particular difficulties as it gradually makes its way down toward sea level. Be sure to wear strong and comfortable footwear. NO SANDALS!
The initial descent is as breathtaking as you could wish, zigzagging 600m down where you reach a picnic area at the bottom. Here you will find a river, a trickle in the summer but a rush of wild water in winter. A tiny stone church, Agios Nikolaos, stands beside the river, which you cross and re-cross under the eucalyptus and chestnut trees. Stupendous grey corries curve away to the east as you approach the abandoned village of Samaria under giant cliffs near the halfway point. Its few houses were evacuated in 1962. It was always a resistance centre. The Turks never managed to take it, and it proved to be a nest of vipers for the Nazis during WWII. There are fountains here and picnic tables under the trees. Across the gorge is the little church of Ossia Maria built in 1379, after which both village and gorge where named.
Now comes the drama. The gorge deepens and steepens into sheer rock walls, the sides falling together until you can almost feel them snap shut. Thick bands of white quartzite and black rock writhe along the cliffs overhead. Even the chatterers fall silent under the spell of this overwhelming place. At last the path, twisting over the pebbles, threads its way through the famous sideroportes, or iron doors, rocky walls less than 3meters apart that tower well over 300m into the sky.
Throughout the entire length of the gorge there are streams and springs with fresh mountain water that is fine to drink. You know you've made it through when you reach the port village of Agia Roumeli. Here we will meet up at the Taverna Kri Kri' where we will arrange the boat tickets. At the Tavern you can enjoy lunch and if you have made it through the gorge in ample time you may get a chance for a swim in the crystal clear fresh waters of the Libyan Sea. The boat leaves for Sougia and we are back at about 20.00.
- Our bus picks you up from your hotel early in the morning and brings you up to Omalos plateau where you can enjoy breakfast before you start the hike.
- You will be accompanied by our professional mountain escort who speaks English , German and Greek . Our escort will be there to explain all the necessary information about your hike and provide you the tickets for the entrance and ferry boat.
- Entrance fee : 5€(until 15years old free of charge) , Ferry fee : 10€ ( Sougia ferry) . Those have to be paid to the guide upon arrival .
- After your breakfast you enter the Samaria Gorge. Each one of our clients walks on their own pace and our guide will be at the end of the group to help out if you need him.
- When you reach the end you will see the village of Agia Roumeli. A meeting point is arranged to get your ferry tickets from our escort. You have time for a swim and lunch.
- At about 17:15 the boat leaves and brings you to Sougia(one hour boat trip).At Sougia our buses are waiting for our guests to bring them back to Chania( About 20:00 return time in Chania).For the other areas such us Platanias ,Agia Marina etc the bus needs a little more time.
- This trip is not suggested for people with heart problems, elderly or pregnant women!!