Information about Samaria Gorge
Samaria gorge is located 43 km from the city of Chania, this is the longest gorge in Europe, measuring some 18 kilometers and renowed for its awesome beauty. At some points the passage is just 3 meters wide and at times the steep sides rise to a height of 600 meters. The gorge is cut by a stream which flows between the highest peak of the White Mountains and Mt. Volikas. Hiking down the gorge is permitted from May to the end of October, depending on the weather. At the entrance to the gorge, at Xiloskalo there is a tourist pavillion with a view of majestic Mt. Gygilo (alt. 2,083 m.). On leaving the gorge one encounters the village of Agia Roumeli, where one can take a launch to Hora Sfakion and catch a bus back to Chania. The road from Chania to the entrance of the gorge traverses picturesque lowland and mountain villages. At the village of Omalos and the Omalos mountain range one will find rooms for rent and a number of tavernas.
Hiking through Samaria Gorge is considered one of the ‘must-do’ experiences of Crete, which is why you’ll almost never be without company. In peak season, up to 3000 people per day tackle the stony 16 km-long trail, and even in spring and autumn, it’s rarely fewer than 1000 hikers. Samaria is also home to the kri-kri, a rarely seen endangered wild goat. The gorge was made a national park in 1962 to save the kri-kri from extinction. You are unlikely to see these shy animals, which show a marked aversion to hikers, but you might spot golden eagles overhead.
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