Crete
Hiking

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Our most recommended Crete Hiking

Samaria Gorge Trek: Full-Day Excursion from Rethymno

1. Samaria Gorge Trek: Full-Day Excursion from Rethymno

Samaria Gorge, the longest and likely the best-known gorge in Europe, lies 4,000 feet above sea level. Your full-day (12-hour) excursion to Samaria Gorge begins with a pick-up in Rethymno and a drive to Omalos, in the heart of the White Mountains, where you can enjoy breakfast before you start the hike. The trek will take you over rocks and stones, through a forest of thousand-year-old trees and along a river and by fresh-water springs. Along the way, you’ll have spectacular views of Crete’s most beautiful mountain range and you are likely to see mountain goats roaming in the wild. You will be accompanied by a professional mountain escort who speaks English, German and Greek.  Your escort will be there to explain all the necessary information about your hike and provide you the tickets for the entrance and ferry boat. Entrance fee : 5€ (children up to the age of 15 years old are free of charge). Ferry fee : 11€ ( Sougia ferry). These fees have to be paid to the guide upon arrival. After your breakfast you enter the Samaria Gorge. Walk at your own pace as your guide will be at the end of the group to help out if you need them. At the end of the trek you’ll visit the village of Agia Roumeli, where you’ll find a number of taverns, bars and shops. Enjoy some free time to take a swim or have some lunch. A meeting point will be arranged so you can collect your ferry tickets from your guide. Late in the afternoon you’ll board a boat that will take you from Agia Roumeli to Sfakia, where the bus will be waiting to transfer you back to the starting point.

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From Chania: Full-Day Samaria Gorge Trek Excursion

2. From Chania: Full-Day Samaria Gorge Trek Excursion

Samaria Gorge, the longest gorge in Europe, is located 4,000 feet above sea level. Enjoy a trek in the gorge on a 12-hour excursion that begins with a pick-up in Chania and a drive to Omalos, in the White Mountains. Trek over rocks and stones, through a forest of thousand-year-old trees, along a river and by freshwater springs. Take in spectacular views of Crete’s most beautiful mountain range and see mountain goats roaming in the wild. At the end of the trek, visit the village of Agia Roumeli that boasts numerous taverns and shops. Late in the afternoon, board a boat for the trip from Agia Roumeli to Sfakia, where a bus will be waiting to transfer you back to the starting point.

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Richtis Waterfall and North Coast Tour

3. Richtis Waterfall and North Coast Tour

Take a tour to Richtis beach on the far side of Mirabello Bay and trek through the forest to the stunning Richtis waterfall. After pickup from your accommodation, enjoy the beautiful scenery on the 1-hour drive to the bay of Mirabello. Leave the asphalt and travel off road down to Richtis beach, hugging the mountainside.  Park at the bottom and enter Richtis gorge to start the 30-minute walk to reach the falls. Follow a trail through the forest, listening to the sounds of birds and running water. Stop to admire the incredible waterfalls, with time to climb up the stairs to the top of the falls, take photos, or swim in the cool waters.  When you are ready to leave, head back to the beach along the same trail. During the tour you’ll enjoy a traditional lunch at a local tavern, with wine and water included. At the end of your tour, you’ll be dropped off back at your hotel in the Elounda area.

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The Samariá Gorge Hike from Chania or Rethymno

4. The Samariá Gorge Hike from Chania or Rethymno

Samariá Gorge is the longest gorge in Europe. An area of stunning natural beauty, it is rich with many flowers and herbs and the crystal-clear spring waters that flow from the mountains. Following an early morning pick-up (between 05:30 and 06:30) from the nearest point to your accommodation in Rethymno or Chania, travel through the mountains passing the plateau of Omalos. You will arrive at some wooden stairs at the start of Samariá Gorge. You can opt to start the walk straight away or get some breakfast at the taverna before you begin. Hike for approximately 6-7 hours and experience the magnificent landscape on a 16-kilometer walk. Once you have finished the hike, there will be ample time for a swim and lunch at a taverna in Agia Roumeli. Indicative Timetable: 5:20 AM ‐ 6:10 AM: Pickup 7:30 AM: First stop at Omalos Plateau 8:00 AM: Begin the Xyloskalo hike 2:00 PM: End the hike at Agia Roumeli Village Please note that this timetable depends on how fast you walk and how much free time you take to eat.

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Heraklion & Mallia: Bus Road Trip to Samaria Gorge

5. Heraklion & Mallia: Bus Road Trip to Samaria Gorge

Your full-day excursion to Samaria Gorge begins with pickup in Heraklion and a drive to Omalos, in the heart of the White Mountains, where you can enjoy breakfast before you begin your hike. The trek will take you over rocks and stones, through a forest of thousand-year-old trees and along a river by fresh-water springs. Along the way, you’ll have spectacular views of Crete’s most beautiful mountain range, and you are also likely to see mountain goats roaming in the wild. You will be accompanied by a professional mountain escort who speaks English, German and Greek. Your escort will be there to explain all the necessary information about your hike and provide you with the tickets for the entrance and ferry. After your breakfast you will enter the Samaria Gorge, where you can walk at your own pace as your guide waits at the end of the group to help you out if you need them. At the end of the trek you’ll visit the village of Agia Roumeli, where you’ll find a number of taverns, bars, and shops. You can enjoy some free time to take a swim or have some lunch. Late in the afternoon you’ll board a boat that will take you from Agia Roumeli to Sfakia, where your bus will be waiting to transfer you back to the starting point.

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From Rethymno/Chania: Imbros Gorge Hike

6. From Rethymno/Chania: Imbros Gorge Hike

Discover the Imbros Gorge, which runs parallel to the more famous Samaria Gorge. Although the Imbros Gorge is smaller, many people prefer to cross here because it offers a very different hiking experience than the Samaria Gorge. Of the 11 kilometers, 8.5 kilometers are suitable for hiking. Discover the exquisite beauty of nature in this narrow passage and learn about the stunning rock formations.  According to legend, the name Imbros was given to the village, and subsequently the gorge, because two Greek brothers chose to live here after they were banished from Imbros Island when it was connected to Turkey. For many years, the Imbros Gorge served as part of the trail that connected the city of Chania to the Hora Sfakion village. It is notable that during World War II, after the Battle of Crete was lost by Greece and her allies, many thousands of British soldiers passed through the Imbros Gorge towards South Crete in order to get to Egypt.  After the hike, take a swim in the stunning refreshing Libyan sea. Eat lunch with the locals in the taverns. 

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Samaria Gorge: Day Trip from Agia Pelagia, Heraklion & Malia

7. Samaria Gorge: Day Trip from Agia Pelagia, Heraklion & Malia

Enjoy breakfast at Rethymno, the first stop on this 17-hour Samaria Gorge excursion. Begin your trek at Xiloskalo, where you'll enter the vast, 18-kilometer canyon. Hike along a path that follows the route of the ancient Taras River. Admire the caves that formed a natural shelter for the Cretans in war times and now are home to wild goats. See the abandoned village of Samaria before reaching the Iron Gates, 3 kilometers before the end of the gorge. Rest and enjoy lunch (at your own expense) at the small fishing village of Agia Roumeli. Cool off with a refreshing swim in the Libyan Sea before boarding the ship that takes you back to the village of Sfakia.

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From Georgioupolis: Roundtrip Transfer to Samaria Gorge

8. From Georgioupolis: Roundtrip Transfer to Samaria Gorge

Explore the famous Samaria Gorge on a trip along the northern coastline of Crete and through the White Mountains up to the Omalos Plateau. Samaria Gorge became a National Park in 1962 and today, it is the last natural refuge for the Cretan goat species known as Kri-Kri. Depart early in the morning and board a coach which will pick you up from your hotel. After a comfortable drive, arrive at the plateau of Omalos for a small break before heading to the entrance of the gorge. The start of the hiking trail through the gorge is at a height of 1200m. On the route, pass by rich vegetation and through the tall rock walls known as the "Iron Gates". Fill up your water bottle at one of the springs in the gorge. At the end of the 17km walk, reach the Libyan Sea. There, at the beach of Ayia Roumeli, enjoy a refreshing swim or sit at one of the taverns until a ferry takes the group to Chora Sfakion where the bus will be waiting for you to return you back to your hotel. 

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Crete: Hiking Tour in Samaria Gorge

9. Crete: Hiking Tour in Samaria Gorge

Experience the Samaria Gorge and descend from the Omalos Plateau. Descend into the gorge, measuring 18 kilometers long, 4 by 150 meters wide, and up to 700 meters deep. The exploration will take from 4 to 6 hours.   Hike through the longest gorge in Europe and admire the beauty and diversity of nature. The smallest section of the gorge is only approximately 4 meters wide and the cliffs reach heights of 350 meters — enjoy this incredible sight. At midday, stop in the fishing village of Agia Roumeli on the Libyan Sea and relax in the taverns or take a dip in the crystal clear blue waters. In the late afternoon, take a 1-hour boat tour from Agia Roumeli, past the mighty rocks of the south coast of Crete to Hora Sfakion. A bus will be waiting there to take you back to your accommodation.

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From Agios Nikolaos: Sarakina Gorge and South Coast Tour

10. From Agios Nikolaos: Sarakina Gorge and South Coast Tour

This tour will take you high into the mountains of the Lassithi Range (or Dikti Range), offering you an abundance of stunning panoramic views. Picking you up from your accommodation at 10:00AM, you will then start your climb up through several very picturesque traditional villages, one of which you shall stop at for a short break to shop or grab coffee. You will next go off road and move on up through the Kroustas Forest to a point approximately 1,000 meters above sea level. From way up there you will be able to see both the Lybian Sea (south coast) and the Aegean Sea (north coast). You will also be able to view the stunning peaks of the snow capped Mount Spathi (2,140 meters above sea level, second highest on the island), whose north face is home of the Psychro Cave, birth place of the Greek god Zeus. The views you will encounter throughout your tour can't be beaten, and there will be plenty of opportunities to stop for photographs. Whilst in the mountains you will be taken to a traditional Greek taverna for a meze lunch with local wine, and at the conclusion of your tour, you will be returned to your point of origin.

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What people are saying about Crete

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 921 reviews

Very well organised day out, but be warned, it’s a very long day! We left our hotel at 6am and didn’t return until 8pm. The trail is doable in good runners but much more enjoyable and comfortable in hiking boots. I would recommend bringing a sandwich and some snacks like nuts and bananas. Our bus stopped off at a cafe on the way to the trail head which sold sandwiches and snacks as well as coffee and orange juice. Tomas was very helpful and gave some great guidance on rest stops and suggested times which kept us on track. We are experienced hikers so we didn’t see Tomas again until we collected our ferry tickets in Agria Soumeli. We set off at around 7:45am and reached the beach at Agria Soumeli at 1:30pm. I would strongly recommend bringing a towel and togs as it was one of the best sea dips I’ve ever had! We did the hike at the end of October but I don’t know if I could have done it in July!

I visited the Samaria Gorge about a month ago and it turned out to be the highlight of my trip. The views were breathtaking, nothing like i have ever seen before. The route itself is totally doable and not as hard as it is written on the description. Also, shoutout to the very sweet Elena, who organised/guided us wonderfully through this trip :)

It was a very nice trip. Also demanding. The use of walking sticks can be recommended. The boat trip in the Libyan Sea back to the bus was also fine. A long and good day.

It was a very good organization :-). Pick-up as well as the return journey by ferry worked everything TipTop.

Everything was well organized. We were very satisfied and had a great day