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Samaria Gorge Hiking (Rethymno)

Become one with nature experience the real side of Crete.

Marvel at the natural beauty of the Samaria Gorge through this self-paced hiking tour. See picturesque Cretan villages and end your experience with a swim on the Libyan Sea, in the south coast of Crete.

Highlights: Omalos Plateau, Samaria Gorge, Chapel of St. Nicholas, Agia Roumeli Beach, Sougia village

Starting point: Pickup is only conducted in designated locations around Rethymno Starting time: 05:50 am


There is no better way to experience the real side of Crete, than to traverse the island's unspoiled soil, swim in its crystal waters and stroll down its traditional villages. This hiking tour of the Samaria Gorge will give you the opportunity to do all 3 and in your own pace.

A National Park and World's Biosphere Reserve, the Samaria Gorge is a scar on the spine of Crete, but one so uniquely beautiful that you wish it never goes away. Extending 13 km long (8 miles), the ravine is home to several endemic species, with the most prominent being the goat Kri-kri, which can't be found anywhere else in the world.

Early in the morning, you will be picked up from designated spots around Rethymno via a luxurious bus and reach the starting point of your tour in Omalos Plateau around 7am. The panoramic view of the gorge from the plateau is a photophile's delight, so after short stop for pictures, you will begin descending the 600 wooden steps that will take you inside the Samaria gorge. Shadowed by the adjacent White Mountains and with plenty of drinking water to be found along the way in many natural springs, this self-paced hike will create unique memories for every traveler. Behind your group, there will always be a hiking escort to ensure everyone's safety and provide assistance if needed. 

During your hike, you are sure to come across the church of St. Nicolas, built on the ruins of an ancient temple. Just a bit down the road are the Iron Gates, the narrowest pass of the gorge, at only 4 meters (13 feet) width. The hike will conclude at Agia Roumeli, a beach at the end of the gorge, flowing to the Libyan Sea. Make sure you have some time left when you reach it, in order to take a swim in its warm Mediterranean waters.

At around 17:00 you will board a boat to the picturesque village of Sougia, where you will start your trip back to the place where you were picked up from.

What's Included

  • Pick up/drop off from designated spots around Rethymno with an air-conditioned luxury bus
  • English & German speaking hiking escort
  • All taxes, VAT inclusive

Not included:

  • Admission to Samaria (5 € per adult, children under 15 free of charge)
  • Boat ticket (11 € per adult, 5.50 € per child 5-12 years old)
  • Personal expenses, extra beverages or meals
  • Customary tips to your driver and escort

Important notes
  • Tour Duration: around 15 hours
  • Pick up/Drop off is conducted only is select spots in Rethymno. Depending on your location, you will be advised on the time and place after booking.
  • On Wednesdays the hiking escort is also fluent in Dutch. On Fridays & Saturdays the escort available also speaks French.
  • Be sure to wear comfortable hiking shoes for the trek through the gorge
  • It is advisable to bring the following items with you: sunscreen, sunglasses and hat
  • It is important to stay hydrated, so bring a bottle of water (you can refill it in the gorge's springs) and a light snack (fruits etc.)
  • The trip is not recommended for any person with a history of knee problems, high blood pressure, cardiac and pulmonary problems, pregnant women and for anybody who suffers from vertigo/fear of heights
  • You can swim at Agia Roumeli beach just after you exit the gorge so make you have a swimsuit and beach towel with you
  • Half way down the gorge lies the old village of Samaria, which has a telephone for communication with the police, a pharmacy, and two mules to transport injured persons.
  • The entrance fee to Samaria as well as the boat fee are paid with cash on the spot
  • In the village of Samaria, take a quiet walk around and you may catch a glimpse of the endangered kri‐kri. They are usually very friendly towards people!
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