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Samaria Gorge

My wife and I are spending a month in Crete during May. While we would love to trek the Samaria, she has unfortunately suffered a stroke awhile back. She is certainly able to ambulate, and rather well by now I might add, but not this. Been looking for road access to the gorge but seems only at beginning or by boat from the Med. would anyone recommend going to either location for a brief walk… and drone pix?

Posted by
1376 posts

You might consider going to the south coast to Sougia or Paleochora and take the ferry along the coast to Agia Roumeli. Its a wonderful trip. The gorge terminates at Agia Roumeli. You could take the transport service up the 3 km to the end of the gorge and you could do the walk at the relatively flat part of the gorge. Or you could just do the walk up towards the exit (it is a gentle slope) as there are interesting things to see on the way.

You can also do the same thing for Chora Sfakion where there is a dialy ferry to the bottom of the Gorge.
Some images
Ferry trip Libyan Sea https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72157653434073393
Samaria Gorge from the bottom https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72157670610409530
Crete Libyan Sea villages https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72157645487373222
Sougia https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72157696633322660/with/45364786821/

Posted by
2645 posts

I would agree with the ferry idea, there are lots of restaurants around that area. at the start of the gorge it is a sharp steep walk down into the gorge, you really can only walk one way so doing at bit at the beginning just won't work. You have to get a pass to enter the gorge ,one part is taken at the beginning and another part at the end (17 kilometers) so they know everyone that started have made it to the end, there is no other way of getting out other than being transported by the mules in an emergency

Posted by
2134 posts

I would concur with stanbr that Crete's south coast ferry, and the little towns along that coast, are wonderful. I highly recommend that you visit at least a couple of them. Sougia is a remarkable place ... peaceful, beautiful. We will be there for our third visit -- this time, for 3 weeks -- in May/early June.

Posted by
1376 posts

Hey Charlene we will be in Sougia last week of May.

Posted by
2134 posts

We will look forward to meeting you! At the Oceanis, I presume.

Posted by
2 posts

For what it's worth, my husband is an avid hiker and I have back problems. When we travel, I sometimes take a day off and rest (or get a massage!) while he hikes. Just a thought.

Posted by
44 posts

What wonderful replies, thank you folks. We are in Sougia 7-11 May and will do the boat. Is there a particular round trip from Sougia anyone would suggest?

Posted by
1376 posts

There is a regular ferry run from Sougia to Agia Roumeli and return daily.

Posted by
11280 posts

We took the ferry from Chora Skafion where we parked our car. We went to the Samaria Gorge and walked a short distance into it and turned around. We continued on to stay in Loutro for two nights.

Posted by
1629 posts

I love the idea of taking the ferry and stopping in the various villages. Does the ferry take cars? Do you need a car in these villages? Or is it better to travel without a car?

Posted by
44 posts

Yes, some ferries transport cars but not all. Views along the way are apparently very good. We intend on doing this roundtrip.

Posted by
2134 posts

We’ve done this southern coast trip twice without a car. Both were 3-4 weeks. There are a couple of times a car would have come in handy for a day or two, so for a short trip, it might be worthwhile. But for a long lazy trip, buses and the occasional taxi worked fine for us.

Trip #1, we took a bus from Chania to Paleochora and stayed a few days. Paleochora is where the ferry run starts each morning. It goes as far as Hora Sfakion, then turns around and repeats the stops on its way back to Paleochora, arriving there early evening.

The first ferry stop is Sougia, where we stayed for several days. We then ferried to Loutro (stopping at Agia Roumeli for a couple of hours on the way). Loutro is accessible only by water — no roads. It’s a beautiful place. After a few days in Loutro, we ferried across the bay to Hora Sfakion in order to catch a taxi to Plakias. After a few days in Plakias we taxied to Heraklion (could have taken a bus). A car may have come in handy at the end, instead of the taxis, but we were glad to have been passengers instead of drivers.

Trip #2 we flew into Chania, taxi to Rethymnon for a few days, bus to Plakias, taxi to Hora Sfakion in order to catch the ferry to Loutro. After a few days in Loutro we ferried to Sougia (with a stop to pick up hikers in Agia Roumeli). After 2 weeks in Sougia we taxied to Chania (could have taken a bus).

So the logistics are pretty easy. And it would be hard to find a more beautiful place.

Posted by
44 posts

Of the trip from Palaiochora to Hora Sfakion what section do you consider the most scenic?

Posted by
2134 posts

That's hard to say ... maybe Sougia to Agia Roumeli? I think that's the longest stretch. Did you check out stanbr's photos?