Crete National parks

Our most recommended Crete National parks

From Chania or Rethymno: Samariá Gorge Guided Hike

1. From Chania or Rethymno: Samariá Gorge Guided Hike

Embark on a guided hike in the Samariá Gorge on a day trip from Rethymno or Chania. Get your daily dose of exercise, enjoy the panoramic views and take a swim.  Discover the longest gorge in Europe, an area of stunning natural beauty. See its many flowers and herbs and the crystal-clear spring waters that flow from the mountains. Following an early morning pickup from the nearest point to your accommodation in Rethymno or Chania, travel through the mountains passing the plateau of Omalos. 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.

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

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

Stop to purchase a hearty breakfast in Rethymno on this full-day 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.

From Chania: Full-Day Samaria Gorge Trek Excursion

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

Embark on a full-day guided trip to the Samaria Gorge from Chania. Arrive in Omalos in the heart of the White Mountains, and enjoy breakfast before trekking along the longest gorge in Europe — 4,000 feet above sea level.  After breakfast, enter the Samaria Gorge. Walk at your own pace with your English speaking guide at the end of the group to help out if you need them. Hike over rocks and stones, through a forest of thousand-year-old trees and along a river, passing by fresh-water springs along the way. Enjoy views of Crete’s most beautiful mountain range and see mountain goats roaming in the wild. Feel the exhilaration of challenging yourself with a long hike. At the end of the trek, 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 Sougia, where the bus will be waiting to transfer you back to the starting point about 730 PM.

Crete: Hiking Tour in Samaria Gorge

4. 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.

From Rethymno/Chania: Imbros Gorge Hike

5. 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. Hike 8.5 kilometers and discover the exquisite beauty of nature in this narrow passage and learn about the stunning rock formations. Hear about the legend of the two Greek brothers that the town of Imbros is named after. For many years, the Imbros Gorge served as part of the trail that connected the city of Chania to the Hora Sfakion village. Stroll through a piece of World War II history, as walk in the Gorge where thousands of British soldiers passed through after the Battle of Crete 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. 

Samariá Gorge Hike: Day Excursion from Chania

6. Samariá Gorge Hike: Day Excursion from Chania

From its jaw-dropping villages to its healthy Mediterranean cuisine, Crete is a feast for the senses. The stunning beauty of Samariá Gorge National Park is an important part of the island’s attraction. On this full-day excursion you’ll be picked up in Chania and travel by comfortable bus to the park. Get ready to be wowed by the gorge, as high limestone cliffs and quaint village create the background for a great hike. The walking tour from one end of Samaria gorge to the other is a challenging 18 kilometers. The terrain in the gorge is rough, rocky, and uneven and the hike is not suitable for anyone who has heart problems or is unfit, or for pregnant women. There are a number of stopping points along the route, where you’ll find toilets and drinking water. At some points the gorge is only 3 meters wide and you may have to climb over boulders. You’ll reach the end of the gorge at Agia Roumeli, and stop for a break and a bite to eat (the price of the food is not included). You’ll return by boat to Sougia where you’ll be picked up by the coach.

Crete: Land Rover Safari with Lunch in Agiofarago & Matala

7. Crete: Land Rover Safari with Lunch in Agiofarago & Matala

Journey into the wild and untamed side of Crete by Land Rover. Visit quiet, spiritual Agiofarago with its wild beauty, then experience the contrast of noisy Matala with its hippie style. After being picked up from your hotel, drive south through the plain of Messara, to Agiofarago: the gorge of the Saints. Enjoy a drink in the traditional village of Siva, then stop at the 14th century Odigitria Monastery. From there the rugged dirt tracks will lead you to Agiofarago. Stretch your legs along a 30 minute path crossing the gorge, scattered with oleander and olive trees. Discover a beautiful beach stretching to the Libyan Sea, where you can swim and snorkel. Enjoy a delicious picnic with local Cretan products. Continue to Matala, a small but crowded village, with a long sandy beach and crystal clear deep waters. Explore carved Roman tombs, have a swim at the beach, and eat lunch in a traditional local tavern.

From Chania/Rethymno:Day Trip to South End of Samaria Gorge

8. From Chania/Rethymno:Day Trip to South End of Samaria Gorge

Spend a day in the stunning landscapes of the Samariá Gorge, starting with a bus transfer to Chora Sfakion. Upon arrival, board the ferry to Agia Roumeli, and reach the south end of Samariá Gorge, where you can take some spectacular hikes through the rocks. Benefit from the opportunity to walk up to the Iron Gate at the narrowest part of the gorge, and enjoy some free time for a refreshing swim and to enjoy lunch on arrival. You can walk as much, or as little as you want, making it suitable for families with children as well as adventurous travelers. Take the ferry in the afternoon back to the waiting bus for the return transfer to your hotel or other convenient nearby location.

From Heraklion: Samaria Gorge Private Full-Day Hiking Trip

9. From Heraklion: Samaria Gorge Private Full-Day Hiking Trip

On a privately chauffeured basis day tour, hike through Samaria alongside our expert guide by tailoring the route at your own pace. Start at Omalos plateau and finish at the fishing village of Agia Roumeli overlooking the spectacular views of the Libyan Sea. In between? Hiking downriver in the footsteps of the mythological Cretan Titan who stabbed earth descending 18 km on the Southside of White Mountains by creating the geological masterpiece of Samaria canyon. Agia Roumeli is the place where the great canyon meets the sea. It is the seaside fishing village where you are going to take a vitalizing dip in the azure warm waters of the South Crete and then taste the delicious cuisine at the family restaurants. It is also the place where you will take the boat for the Hora Sfakion where your private driver will meet and take you back in the comfort of a luxury chauffeured vehicle. There are some bespoke ways to do it if you’re in the know. And our Travel Designers most definitely are.

Rethymno: Private Guided Day Trip to Gola Di Imbros & Lunch

10. Rethymno: Private Guided Day Trip to Gola Di Imbros & Lunch

Escape into the wilderness of Crete on a private guided day trip to the Gola Di Imbros and Hora Sfakion from Rethymno. Explore the canyon, spotting rare species of birds as you hike, and refuel with a traditional Cretan lunch. Make a stop in Hora Sfakion and soak in the sun on Vrissi beach. Get picked and drive to the Gola Di Imbros, enjoying scenic views of Crete on the way. Arrive and follow your guide to the beginning of the trail. Descend into the canyon, winding between the narrow, towering rock faces that cover the trail with shade. Listen to your guide as they point out rare plants and wildlife that grow and live in this arid environment. Look out for tulips, Dyer’s alkanet, and the colorful scabiosa. Hear distant bird calls and keep an eye in the sky for blackbirds, thrushes, crows, hawks, and eagles. Pass by a stone arch and depending on how you feel, choose to end your hike here and get lunch back at the starting point, or continue another 15 minutes through the canyon to the village of Komitades for lunch in a traditional Cretan tavern. On your private trip, the choice is yours. After lunch, leave the Gola Di Imbros behind and drive to the coastal town of Hora Sfakion. Take a relaxing walk on pebble beaches or the picturesque Vrissi beach. Wave goodbye to the sea and transfer back to Rethymno.

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What people are saying about Crete

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 308 reviews

We had a wonderful time on this excursion! The guide was very informative and made instructions clear in order to get us all down the gorge safely. The hike itself is not too strenuous although some older folks in our group seemed to struggle with it. It’s mostly loose rocks and gravel of all different sizes so it is easy to lose balance. The whole thing is downhill too. After everyone had made it through the gorge, we took another 20 min ride to a small town at the coast and you were able to get food and swim on the beach for about 2 hours before returning to the bus. The whole thing went from about 9:30am to 6pm when we were dropped back off at our hotel due to the 1.5hour bus ride each way. Overall a really wonderful experience and well worth the money for a full day of adventure. Make sure you bring lots of water, snacks, good shoes, and cash for the entrance fee (2.50 per person).

An absolutely gorgeous hike and worth waking up at the crack of dawn! The bus driver met us on time. If you get motion sickness, I highly recommend bringing something. I took a lot of ginger. The route is scenic but the roads are very windy, the drive is long and the driver goes fast. All the water in the gorge is drinkable. Bring layers — the hike started chilly and misty then I warmed up a lot from hiking and the sun came out. The tavern at the beginning is super basic (juice, bananas, coffee, simple sandwich) so I’d recommend packing your own food for the day so you can eat when you want. I rented 2 hiking poles for 6€ from the guide which helped a lot in the beginning for the stair-like descent then I stowed them in my pack when the trail was more boulders. The organization of this tour was great and helped make my hike smooth and enjoyable, thanks!

The gorge was wonderful but the organisation was not smooth and caused stress. I received pick-up details 2 days after the trip! As I did not receive the email with additional info before the trip I wrote to customer support. No one ever answered. I contacted the local organisator via WhatsApp and again no reaction. I was lucky to call them 30 min before pick-up time and received directions where to go. Fortunately, we stayed close, otherwise, we could miss the trip...

Went in october, temp perfect for walking, be prepared for a long day, our guide Kostos was brilliant, lovely taverna at the end of the walk, transfers and pickups were spot on.

Unbelievable hike! Gorgeous views and now as challenging as expected. Highly recommend but be prepared for a long, winding bus ride to and from.