Samaria Gorge Hiking Tour

  • duration icon. 16 hours
  • location icon. West Crete Chania
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Starting our bus tour early in the morning, we drive to the west of Crete, towards Chania. Outside Rethymno, at the village of Skaleta, we have our first stop for a quick bite or a coffee. Then, we continue on to Omalos Plateau, an impressive landscape, located on the top of Lefka Ori (White Mountain), a few meters away from the entrance of the Samaria Gorge. Here we prepare ourselves, for the hike in the most popular gorge of Crete. Our descent into the Samaria Gorge begins from Xyloskalo, and comes to an end, at the village of Agia Roumeli.

Samaria gorge, in southwestern Crete, at an altitude of 1250 meters, is the longest in Europe, some 18 km (11 miles), and varies from 2-40 meters wide, with a depth of 250-600 meters. The favorite hike of many walkers, through the magnificent gorge, usually takes 6-7 hours. Samaria is an area of stunning natural beauty, with ever-changing views and wonderful rare species of flora and fauna, such as the famous wild Cretan goats Kri Kri, that have survived through the centuries.

The stony path follows the route of the ancient river Taras, with its sparkling waters, and gets you through forests of ancient cypresses and pines. Midway you come to the ancient village of Osia (Santa) Maria, or Samaria, with the stone huts, and passing the churches of Afendis Christos and Agion Nikolaos, you move on through fantastic, wild, high, steep vertical cliffs, you taste the fresh cold water from the numerous springs, and finally, you get to the narrowest passage of Samaria Gorge, called Sideroportes (Iron doors), 300 m high but only a few meters wide.

Once through the Gates, you are out of the Samaria National Park, and after a 4 km walk, you end up in the small fishing village of Agia Roumeli. Here you can enjoy a meal in one of the local taverns, or relish a refreshing swim in the crystal clear waters of the Libyan Sea. In the afternoon you board the boat to Chora Sfakion, where you get your coach for the trip back, through the scenic route of Imbros Gorge and the Plateau of Askifou.

Very Important: Our tour guide follows you inside the gorge and escorts you all the way. But note that she/he is the lst one to exit the gorge since his main mission is to make sure that everybody is safe and have all they need to complete this hiking challenge.

Samaria Gorge in Crete is a spectacular natural wonder that attracts visitors from all over the world. Here are some excursion highlights that you might enjoy:

  • Hiking the gorge: The main attraction of Samaria Gorge is the hike through the canyon, which is about 16 km long and takes about 4-6 hours to complete. The hike is challenging but rewarding, with stunning views of the rugged landscape and the chance to spot wildlife such as the rare Kri-Kri goat.
  • The village of Omalos: The starting point of the hike is the mountain village of Omalos, which is worth exploring on its own. The village is surrounded by stunning mountain scenery and has a few tavernas where you can enjoy a traditional Cretan meal.
  • The Iron Gates: This narrow section of the gorge is the most dramatic and impressive part of the hike, with towering cliffs on either side and the river rushing through the narrow channel.
  • The abandoned village of Samaria: About halfway through the hike, you’ll come across the abandoned village of Samaria, which was abandoned in the 1960s due to its remote location. You can explore the old houses and learn about the history of the village.
  • The beach of Agia Roumeli: At the end of the hike, you’ll reach the coastal village of Agia Roumeli, where you can cool off with a swim in the sea or enjoy a drink at one of the beachfront bars. From here, you can take a ferry back to Chania or Sougia.
  • The flora and fauna: Samaria Gorge is home to a variety of plant and animal species, including the rare Cretan Wildcat, the Griffon vulture, and the Cretan Ibex. Take some time to appreciate the natural beauty and diversity of the gorge.

Below you can read the timetable and schedule of the activity you are viewing. We make everything in our power to be always on time and avoid any long delays.


05:00-06:00: Bus departure from Ammoudara/Heraklion/Gouves/Analipsi/Anissaras/Hersonissos/Stalida/Malia.

Stop at: Skaleta, a small village near Rethymno. Here we have approx 15 min for WC, coffee, or a small snack.

Pass by: Omalos Plateau, which is located on the top of White mountain. It's so one of Crete's most picturesque landscapes

Stop at: Xyloskalo, the entrance of Samaria. After a short briefing from our tour guide, our 18 km hike begins. Usually, it takes 6-7 hours to cross the rocky gorge down to the shore.                                

Pass by:  Osia Maria village and Afendis Christos church

Stop at: the small fishing village of Agia Roumeli. Here we have time to enjoy a meal in one of the taverns in the area or swim in the crystal waters of Agia Roumeli beach. Then we board our boat to Chora Sfakion (1-hour boat trip).

Pass by: Chora Sfakion. We board our buses for the return journey

22:00-23:00:  Approx return time back to Hersonissos/Ammoudara/Heraklion/Gouves/Analipsi/Anissaras/Stalida/Malia.

Different timetables apply for pickups in different areas like Heraklion, Ammoudara, Kokkini Hani, Gouves, Analipsi, Anissaras, Stalida, and Malia. Our search system will provide you with the correct times. If you have difficulty finding your pickup point, please contact us at

Important Pre-Departure Information for Samaria Gorge

To help you prepare for your trip, please ensure you understand the following:

Tours are often the best days of your vacation. Most of our customers look forward to this day for weeks or months! That's why it is important that you mind some basic rules to keep the day trip safe and enjoyable for you and the other guests!

Be Smart

Bring comfortable walking shoes with thick rubber soles for good grip.
Be at the pickup point at least 10 minutes earlier. Check your ticket for the correct time.
Don’t bring too much money. Credit/Debit cards are accepted almost everywhere.
Limit your luggage. Too much weight is always a problem.
A hat, sunglasses, sun cream, an extra pair of socks, a towel and a swimsuit are required.
Water, lip balm, insect repellent, and anti-bacterial hand wipes/hand sanitizer are sometimes essential.
Leave your valuables at your hotel.
Bring your personal medication and prescriptions.
You must always carry a copy of your passport with you. Although not required it's always a good idea.
Children must be accompanied by an adult.
The tour to Samaria Gorge is subject to Crete's weather conditions. If the day trip is canceled due to bad weather conditions you will be refunded the price of the ticket or you will be given the option of an alternative tour date or choosing one of our other tours in Crete.
The boat's departure and arrival times at Agia Galini, as well as the excursion schedule, might be altered due to weather conditions or traffic at ports


The following list contains everything that is included in the activity you are viewing. Services and products included here are included in the price and no extra charge will occur.

Services and Products Included

-Hotel pick up & drop off by area: Heraklion, Analipsi, Anissaras, Gournes, Gouves, Hersonissos, Kokkini Hani, Koutouloufari, Malia, Piskopiano, Stalis.
-Transportation by modern air-conditioned buses.
-Professional tour guide (live) on the bus and during the whole tour including the gorge.
-Insurance cover.
-Printed or mobile tour vouchers accepted.
-Instant confirmation.
-Easy cancellation (Cancel up to 24 hours prior to departure time and receive a full refund)

Everything that is not mentioned in the Included section is excluded. We have tried our best and we have succeeded in avoiding any hidden costs for our customers. In the event that any hidden costs appear through one of our suppliers please contact us and we will solve the matter with no discussion.

Services and Products Excluded from this Activity and payable if occur by the client

1. Entrance Tickets to Archaeological Sites or Places of Interest. 5€ per adult Entrance Ticket to Samaria Gorge National Park / FREE for children under 12 years old, and 13€ per adult Boat Ticket from Agia Roumeli to Chora Sfakion / 6.5€ for children under 12 years old.

2. All meals & drinks, unless mentioned otherwise in the tour description or the included section above.

3. Accommodation for tours and activities longer than 1 day.

4. Personal expenses as a result of misconduct or miss understandings.

5. Any other destination not mentioned in the itinerary.

6. Any services or activity charges other than those included in inclusions.

7. Sunbeds and umbrellas at Agia Roumeli.

IMPORTANT: During the booking process you will be requested to add your hotel and its address. We understand that the names of hotels change every year and that many hotels don't even have an address. In such a case you can do the following:

1. Choose "Other" at Hotel 

2. Write "Unknown" at the Address

This way the system will allow you to proceed with your payment.

How to book your Samaria Gorge Hiking Tour

In order to make your booking experience easier and more secure, we write below, our very simple way of booking your favorite Cretan tour, excursion, trip, or cruise.

Step 1: Choose Your Tour

Once you decide which Crete tour you wish to book online, you will have to check the availability of each tour. You only have to click on the “Date” box and there you can choose the date or day that is more comfortable for you. The Dates/days are highlighted. Prices are per adult.

After choosing your date of departure you add the number of adults and children. Please note the following:

Adults: 12+ years old

Children: 4-12 years old

Infants (free): 0-4 years old

You don't need to enter the infant numbers. Infants do not get a seat. The guardian is responsible for providing protection during the tour. 

Once you add the persons you press the ‘Search” button.

Step 2: Add to Cart

You press the “Add to Cart” button. The tour is now available in your purchase cart. You may book the same way two, three, or more tours.

Step 3: Visit the Cart

The cart is situated in the top right corner. Press on the “Cart” image. This will provide you with a list of the tours you have chosen. Check the total price, the number of persons, the name of the tour, and the date. If you wish, you may erase the tour by clicking the “X”(delete) button and restarting the procedure. When you are ready you press the “Checkout” button.

Step 4: Checkout

Here you will need to fill out the form with your details and press “Continue”. The personal information that we collect from you is stored by us, on databases protected through a combination of physical and electronic access controls, firewall technology, and other reasonable security measures. We will neither sell nor release your registration, personal, and usage data to outside organizations.

If you cannot locate your hotel name, please email us the name of your hotel and we will add it to our list. The hotel list includes the following areas of Crete: Hersonissos, Analipsi, Anissaras, Gouves, Malia, Gournes, and Kokkini Hani.

Step 5: Payment

 After pressing the “Continue to Payment” button you will be redirected to a secured Eurobank e-commerce environment. Here you fill in your card details. Once your payment is made, you will receive a confirmation of your payment and the tours you have purchased. Within 24 hours you will receive a boarding voucher/ticket for each tour in Crete you have purchased with all the details, including the exact pickup point with "Google map location" and time-based on your hotel selection.

In case you wish to know more about Samaria Gorge Hiking Tour, please feel free to communicate with us before booking online. Our travel consultants will try their best to provide you with the correct answers to your questions. Send all Inquiries to

If after receiving your voucher/ticket, you still have questions, or you wish to cancel or alter the date please call us at +30 2897021106 or email us at

If you are currently in Crete our travel shop is located in Hersonissos. Feel free to pass by one of them and get the answers to your questions and even more.

Serapis Travel Services

141 El. Venizelou Ave (main road)

70014, Hersonissos, Crete

Google Map Location: Click on this-link