Early morning at Chania central station, a crowd in hiking boots and backpacks was waiting for the bus. I was surprised to see so many people, driven by the same goal. All were about to conquer the longest in Europe Gorge – Samaria, 17 km.
Our journey started from the top of Samaria National park, Xyloskalo going all the way down to the sea. We paid our entrance fee of 5€ at the main gates, and joyfully started our hike. At 10 in the morning the temperature was +36. The path was quite steep with huge, slippery stones lying underneath our feet. I caught myself thinking that the first kilometer I never lifted my head up, to admire the nature. First stop by a water point. Quick refreshment of hands and face and the journey continues. When planning your trip to Samaria Gorge, make sure to bring along your food, as there are no places to buy anything. Water is not a problem. You can refill your bottle at many potable water points along the way.
A few kilometers down there is a picnic area and shade! Suddenly you become aware of how many people walk along with you. They do not seem to be exhausted. When you are tired and hungry and your feet won’t walk, having such companions is a great motivation to keep going.
When you reach the midpoint of the Gorge, which is approximately 7 km, you meet more people, you hear stories of how beautiful the other half is, you kill all the procrastinating feelings inside you, top up your water bottles and continue going.
The road is breathtaking. Nature has shaped its landscapes incredibly beautifully, and each step awes you. When you start hearing the noise of a river, you begin anticipating the views that await around the corner. Indeed, it is a beautiful scene and the temperatures drop significantly by the water. The atmosphere is incredibly charged, your whole body is filled with power. You take your feet out of the most cold water, put on your shoes and continue walking.
At some point, you start realizing that there is not much left of your grand journey. The scenes become more and more beautiful and despite the tiredness, you try to remember the surroundings.
When finding yourself at the Exit gates, be ready to show your ticket. Feelings of great satisfaction and happiness are overwhelming your body. You have done it! You just walked 17 km of beautiful Greek nature.
- I can recommend this trip ONLY to people who are physically fit. It is not an easy journey, regardless if you hike from the top down, or from the bottom up.
- Your feet and legs will hurt in the next couple of days or so.
- Only hiking boots or sport shoes must be worn.
- Sunscreen and hats are strongly recommended.
- Snacks and water bottles to be brought in advance, as there are no shops in the area
- You can hike Samaria Gorge from 1st of May until 15th of October.
- There are only 2 possible ways to get here. Arriving to Agia Roumeli village by ferry boat and hiking all the way up, or arriving by car or bus to Xyloskalo and descent your way down.
- Both options restrain you by time. The ferry leaves at 17:30 from Agia Roumeli and the bus leaves after 19H from Xyloskalo.