Samaria Gorge is a natural wonder located in the western part of Crete, Greece. Spanning 18 kilometers, it is the longest gorge in Europe and a popular destination for adventure seekers and nature lovers.


Hiking through Samaria Gorge is a thrilling adventure that takes visitors through towering cliffs, narrow passages, and stunning landscapes. The trek begins in the village of Omalos, where hikers descend a steep incline to the bottom of the gorge. The trail then follows the course of the river, which has carved its way through the gorge over centuries. Along the way, hikers can admire the lush vegetation, ancient rock formations, and rare species of wildlife, including the Cretan goat, the Bearded Vulture, and various birds of prey.

A wooden bridge over a small creek at the Samaria Gorge.
A wooden bridge over a small creek at the Samaria Gorge. Image by bigfoot from Pixabay


The Samaria Gorge is a natural habitat for a wide range of flora and fauna. It is home to over 450 species of plants, some of which are endemic to the area. The gorge is also home to the kri-kri, a rare subspecies of wild goat that can only be found in Crete. The kri-kri is a symbol of the island and has become a popular attraction for visitors to the Samaria Gorge.

Hikers crossing a bridge at the Samaria Gorge.
Hikers crossing a bridge at the Samaria Gorge. Image by Tina Bierhoff from Pixabay

“The Iron Gates”

One of the most challenging parts of the hike is the climb up the famous “Iron Gates.” The Iron Gates are a narrow passage in the gorge where the cliffs rise over 300 meters on either side, creating a stunning and awe-inspiring experience for hikers. The climb up the Iron Gates requires some effort, but the view from the top is well worth it.

Agia Roumeli

At the end of the trail, hikers reach the village of Agia Roumeli, where they can relax on the beach, swim in the sea, and enjoy a well-deserved meal. From Agia Roumeli, visitors can take a ferry to Hora Sfakion, where they can explore more of the island or return to their accommodation.

Best time to visit

Overall, the Samaria Gorge is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Crete. It offers a thrilling and challenging adventure through one of the most beautiful natural wonders in Europe, and an opportunity to experience the unique flora and fauna of the island.The best time to visit Samaria Gorge is from May to October when the weather is warm and dry.

Experience Crete’s diverse beauty:

Hike the breathtaking Samaria Gorge, marvel at Balos Beach’s turquoise waters, and explore Chania’s historic charm. Wander through Platanias Village and Rethymno’s old town, uncovering picturesque streets and Venetian architecture. Unwind at Preveli Beach’s palm-fringed oasis, delve into Melidoni Cave’s rich history, and immerse in Anogia’s authentic culture. Bask in Elounda’s luxurious coastal serenity, admire Vai Beach’s unique palm forest, and escape to Nisos Chrysi’sunspoiled paradise. Crete offers stunning landscapes, cultural richness, and relaxation at every turn.