As we planned our holiday on Crete, I had my fingers crossed for good weather. Not just because it would be nice to have a couple of hours of sunshine on the beach, but also because I had a dream about hiking the 16 kilometer beautiful Samaria Gorge. The weather on Crete in October can be quite unpredictable. Last time I went there in October, we had rain all week. Luckily, the weather behaved much better this time, which allowed us to enjoy the great experience that this hike is.
Rise and (sun)shine
On the day of our hike, we were picked up early. Very early. So early that we couldn’t even have breakfast at our hotel before leaving. We had time in the bus to enjoy some bread we brought though – and there was also time to relax a bit before we had to put our legs into action.
As we arrived at Samaria Gorge, we were met by some very bad weather! Honestly, I was a little nervous to what I had gotten myself (and my travel companions) in to. Our guide said with firm conviction that is was going to be a beautiful day for a hike. Luckily, she turned out to be just right, but at the beginning of the hike, I really appreciated my scarf and windbreaker.
The first couple of kilometers of the hike were downhill. The terrain was uneven and slippery, so keeping an eye on where we were going was necessary. This was actually harder than it sounds like, cause my eyes kept wandering up to look at the landscape. Remarkable views will not be lacking here, and just as we walked the first couple of kilometers, the sun started to break through the clouds. Let me just say that I made a whole bunch of photo-stops!
The raw nature in the Samaria Gorge
After the first steep kilometers, the route started to level off. It is not many times you have to walk upwards – but the views do not get worse for that reason. The landscape is dominated by enormous cliffs, green forests and rivers and streams. Since we visited right after the very dry summer months, there wasn’t much water running through these rivers. Still, the landscape was green, and you could fill your bottles in the water filling areas during the hike.
The last couple of kilometers in the gorge took place between sky-high rock walls. At the most narrow part of the gorge, is is only a couple of meters wide. Suddenly, we felt very small!
Rest your feet in Agia Roumeli
After an indescribably beautiful hike through Samaria Gorge we had some very dusty shoes, some very sore legs, and the hunger slowly started to arrive (even though we had eaten a lot of snacks on the way). Even though you exit the gorge, you still have a couple of kilometers to the small village of Agia Roumeli, where you can relax and get some refreshments. It is possible to buy a ticket and go with a minibus – but we decided to go all the way. This way, we ended up hiking 16 kilometers in total.
In Agia Roumeli our guide had given us a time and place we should meet up again. Till then, we could just relax in the shadow and dip our feet in the cool ocean. I’ll admit that it was a wonderful feeling to take my shoes off after a looooong day!
As all members of our group showed up, we took the ferry to another harbor where our bus waited for us. It was not a lot of talking you could hear on the way home. It was dark as we arrived back at our hotel in Agia Marina at 9pm, and we ended our day with a take away pizza in our bed.
The hike through the Samaria Gorge is difficult and rough – but if you are in a good shape and if you love beautiful landscapes just as much as I do, I will definitely recommend for you to do it. I don’t regret it at all – not even though I had some troubles getting my legs to do as I wanted the next day 😉
Sound like something for you? Read my 5 tips for your hike in Samaria Gorge.
Visited in October 2016
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