Samaria Gorge hiking from Heraklion
Your day will begin around 6.00am as the bus will come to pick you up. After a short stop near Rethymno Town, where we can get breakfast, we will reach the Omalos Plateau and the entrance of the Gorge. The hike will begin from Xyloskalo, where we'll enter the 18km long Gorge of Samaria. The trail follows the route of an ancient river and along the way the scenery becomes more exciting. You may have the chance to encounter the endangered species Kri-Kri (wild goats) and discover the beauty of rare species of flowers that are endemic only in the gorge. Halfway, you will reach the abandoned village of Samaria and the Church of Osia Maria. The gorge gradually narrows and when you'll reach Sideroportes ("iron gates") the soaring walls will be as high as 500m above sea level with only 3,5m width. This route also goes past Venetian castles and ruins of prehistoric settlements as well as remnants of many other historical periods. The hike will finish at Ayia Rouméli, where there will be enough time to rest, taste a real Cretan lunch and enjoy a swim in the crystal clear waters of the Libyan Sea. Lastly, the ferry will bring you back to the village of Sfakia.