An unforgettable hike

Posted on November 5th, 2019 by Despina Sivaropoulou

Crete, the largest Greek Island in the Med offers so much for its visitors, and especially those who love to hike!  The White Mountains’ National Park is the only national park in Crete and has the most spectacular hiking routes.  It centres around the Samariá gorge, at an altitude of 1,200m and continues down to Ayia Rouméli, on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding slopes and a number of smaller gorges branching off from it, Samaria Gorge forms the whole of the area designated as a national park, a status that offers protection to over 450 species of plant and animal, 70 of which are endemic to Crete. In the prefecture of Chania (also written “Hania”), the Samaria gorge is the longest in Europe (total length 16km), and one of the most impressive gorges in Greece. It starts from Xylóskalo, at an altitude of 1,230m. The width of the gorge is 150m at its widest point and 3m at its narrowest.

The National Park that houses the gorge is open from May to October; in the first and last few weeks of that period it may close if there’s a danger of flash floods.

Getting there
There are excursions to the Samaria gorge from the most cities and resorts on the island. You can even trek through the gorge under your own steam.