Hiking Samaria Gorge

Samaria Gorge, Crete. Photo by Lapplaender via Wikimedia Commons

Appreciating the beauty of nature is easy when visiting Greece. From the gorgeous beaches to the majestic mountains, the country is truly blessed with stunning scenery for all nature lovers. Hiking is just one way to experience the sublime Hellenic landscapes. The Samaria Gorge in Crete is among the most dramatic locations to visit for those who enjoy hiking.

Crete is well known as the largest and most populous island in Greece, with its fantastic beaches, charming old towns, and friendly people. The rugged and impressive landscape of Crete’s Samaria Gorge is also a top site visited by hikers from around the world for its unique flora and fauna, and the fact that at 16 kilometers, it is Europe’s longest gorge. Prepare yourself though, the gorge is not for casual strolling. Enjoy the tremendous natural beauty around you, but make sure to wear sturdy hiking boots, a hat, and sunglasses, cover yourself with plenty of sunscreen, and stay hydrated. The beauty will make you forget the distance you have to hike, but being prepared will save you from blisters on your feet, sunburn, and dehydration. Arrive early in the morning for plenty of time to take a dip in the sea after hiking. Keep an eye out for the elusive kri-kri, an endangered wild goat indigenous to the gorge. The shy animal will probably steer clear of large groups of tourists, but golden eagles can usually be spotted flying overhead. In 1962, Samaria Gorge was designated a national park, namely to save the kri-kri from extinction. Organized excursions are available for those who prefer hiking with a group.