In southwest Crete in Chania region, you’ll find the breathtaking Samaria Gorge. Designated as a National Park in 1962, it’s now a world Biosphere Reserve. The 16km gorge is one of Europe’s longest canyons, and a walk through it is unforgettable. With its soaring cliffs and narrow passageways, it’s a place of rare, raw beauty. Some of the trees found in the gorge are over a thousand years old and have been witness to some incredible events in Cretan history.
Hikes through the gorge usually begin at a height of 1230m, just south of the village of Omalos, ending up by the sea at Agia Roumeli on the Libyan Sea. It’s steadily downhill all the way through some of the most beautiful scenery to be found anywhere in Greece.
During April and May, the valley is alive with wildflowers, and you may even spot the endangered wild goats leaping across the rocks. You’ll pass deserted farmhouses, walk by cool streams, and a deserted town. The gorge is open to walkers from May to October.
It takes on average between four and six hours to walk the gorge, and it’s great to take your time to enjoy the stunning scenery.
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