The extreme villages of Crete6 February 2023
Protected: November22 March 2023
Facts about Samaria Canyon
Samaria is the biggest Hiking Canyon in Europe (the longest canyon in Europe is the Verdon Gorge in France).
The last inhabitants of Samaria village was moved in 1962, when the national park of Samaria was created. The national park (the only one in Crete) which included the canyon and the surrounding mountains was created in order to protect the Cretan Ibex.
Samaria national park is 4850 hectares.
Inside the Samaria national park there are 450species of plants, 70 of which are endemic to Crete.
Samaria canyon is the last place in Crete that you can see free the Cretan Ibex (Kri-Kri).
It takes about 5 -7 hours of hiking to pass the canyon.
The highest point of the is 1230meters, at the entrance which is named Xiloskalo after the wooden stairs that was made from a cypress tree in the past.
The most narrow part of the canyon is 3meters. At the place Portes.
The biggest cypress forest in Europe is located inside the Samaria national park.
White mountains, the mountain range where Samaria canyon is located, is the biggest uninhabited area in Europe without roads.
Agia Roumeli village, at the exit of the canyon at Libyan sea, is the most isolated village in Crete. There is no road connection with any other place in Crete.
The canyon is open from the 1st of May until the 15 of October. The opening (and closing) dates maybe vary depending on the weather conditions and the restorations works that are need to repair the path after the winter rainfalls. The rainy days the canyon is closed.
The opens every day in the daylight and closes in the evening. After 14:00 the visitors can walk only a quarter of the path and return the same way back.
There are many guards with radio contact who help the visitors in case of emergency.
The Samaria path is the best maintained in Crete. There are many fresh water springs, toilets, waste bins and office for doctor in Samaria settlement.
In 2022 168.593 hikers visited Samaria canyon. The most crowded year was 1990 with 297.680 visitors.
All the visitors must wear comfortable clothes and hiking or sport shoes and sunblock, a hat is also recommended. Walk slow and carefully especially at the first part of the path when it is steep and narrow. A small water bottle that you can refill at one of the many springs is enough but you need to prepare some snacks as there are no shops inside the canyon. Follow the instructions of the guards, do not litter and do not go outside of the path. Keep your entrance ticket and give it back at the exit (guards count the tickets to ensure that all visitors exit the canyon safely). Swimwear is also recommended if you want to jump into the crystal clear waters at Agia Roumeli.