Samaria Gorge

National Park - Chania Crete


Please read this first


  • Follow the instructions, of the forest Rangers, the Firefighters, and also the ones written on the signs along the way,  especially the ones referring to the falling of rocks.
  • Hiking is only allowed along the main path.
  • Do not stray from the main path for any reason.
  • A lot of attention must be given to fire issues. Inform the  forest Rangers, and Firefighters immediately for any sign of fire. Smoking is only allowed in the rest points.
  • Knowing that you are entering in this area with your own responsibility, make sure to have all the necessary equipment as described below, as well as your medication if necessary. Report to the guards any health issue you may have.
  • Walk through the gorge slow with some stops.
  • Spend a lot of time in observation if you wish.


Lighting fires Hunting and fishing in the Park
Camping Pets without a leash
Picking flowers Throwing stones
The removal or destruction of nests The disposal of rubbish in places other than those provided
Destruction or damage of Geological formations Smoking anywhere other than the rest points
Possession of weapons and traps Excessive noise
Swimming in the streams The consumption of alcohol
Samaria Gorge

Samaria Gorge lies inside Samaria National Park,  and it is an UNESCO Biosphere Reserve located in the White Mountains of Crete.
It is named after an old village located inside​, which was abandoned in 1962, when the area was declared a National Park, mostly as a refuge for the endangered Capra Aegagrus Cretica, also known as Kri Kri.
The starting point is at Xyloskalo at an altitude of 1250m, ending up at the coastal village named Agia Roumeli.
The most famous part of the hike is the place called "Gates" or "Irongates". where the two sides of the gorge are 4m apart with a height of 500m.

The hike

Samaria gorge’s length is approximately 13km plus 3 more km to the beach where you end up in Agia Roumeli village. It takes up to 5 – 5 ½ hours the most in a slow pace, based also at the number of your stops along the hike for resting/photos, and your fitness. 
The hiking time mentioned above is in accordance to an average fitness condition, a slow pace with 4 to 5 stops at the most for some pictures or some rest, and the recomended hiking shoes. Time management is always up to you.

Route and Stops
Xylosakalo - Entrance
1. Neroutsiko - 1700m 40'min
2. Sykia - 1200m 25'min
3. Ag. Nikolaos - 900m 25'min
4. Vryssi - 900m 20'min
5. Prinari - 1100m 20'min
6. Samaria - 1200m 25'min
7. Perdika - 1100m 15'min
8. Christos - 3100m 70'min
9. Exit - 1800m 45'min
Agia Roumeli - 3000m 70'min
Difficulty level

It is a medium difficulty level hike. It’s downhill and steep at first since you start at an altitude of 1250m, but once you reach the bottom it looks like it’s fla​​t. At some points there are sharp stones along the trail so you have to be careful. Stay on the trail at all times and do not deviate.

Do you need hiking equipment

Hiking shoes and socks are recommended. You can also use training and gym shoes but be careful of the sharp stones along the trail since you need hard soles. With everything else (flip flops, sneakers etc.) you will end up hurting your feet a​nd sometimes missing your boat to your destination. Walking sticks are helpful for your balance.

Best time to start

The official opening hour of Samaria gorge is 7.00am. Keeping in mind that it takes 5 hours to walk all the way it’s better to plan an early start in order to avoid the heat during 12.00-3.00pm. You will also have to consider the driving time from the place that you stay, up to the entrance of the gorge. From Chania which is a 45km windy road it usually takes up to 1 hour.

Samaria Gorge tips

You should take into consideration the length of the hike, the difficulty level, your equipment, your fitness, and also your friend’s/family that will be hiking along with you. Take water with you. There are springs along the way but you should ask first at the entrance because by the end of the summer most of them dry up. 
Keep in mind that there is a coffee shop at the entrance of the gorge and after that only at the end. So last minute water, coffee or snacks only there since Samaria gorge is a National Park and there are no shops inside. 
There are toilets along the way.
Mobile phones have no signal. 
Once you’re inside should anything bad happens notify immediately one of the Park Rangers or Firefighters that are along the way.  
A hat, a swimming suit (because at the end your will be by the sea), sunscreen cream, and sunglasses are recommended.