What to See in Samaria Gorge: A Weather and Geography Guide

Explore Samaria Gorge's unique geography and weather patterns for an unforgettable hiking experience. Adventure awaits you!

What to See in Samaria Gorge: A Weather and Geography Guide

A Day in Samaria Gorge

Stretching over an impressive 16 kilometers in the southwestern part of Crete, Greece, Samaria Gorge is a natural marvel that is sure to captivate every explorer. This massive canyon is famous for its rugged beauty, biodiversity, and enthralling hiking trails.

Stunning Geographical Wonders

Samaria Gorge is one of Europe's longest gorges, carved by centuries of flowing water. Its majestic cliffs, rising up to 300 meters, are home to unique plant species and landmarks worth noting, such as:

  • The “Iron Gates” - the narrowest part at only a few meters wide.
  • The ancient village of Samaria, a location of cultural and historical interest.
  • The numerous caves, which served as refuge for locals during times of war.

Wonderful Wildlife

Part of Samaria Gorge's appeal is its great biodiversity. It is part of the European Network NATURA 2000 and boasts an array of plants and animals, including several endemic species. As you hike through the trails you might encounter:

  • The Cretan wild goat, locally known as "kritikokatsikas" or "kri-kri", a symbol of the island.
  • Various bird species, like the bearded vulture—the only representative of its kind in Greece.
  • More than 450 plant species, five percent of which are endemic and cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

Hiking the Gorge

Walking through Samaria Gorge is not a leisurely stroll. It's a challenging trek taking on average six to seven hours to complete, depending on physical fitness.

Weather Conditions

As an experienced meteorologist, it's important to inform you about the local weather conditions—particularly if you are planning that hiking adventure. As Crete is in the Mediterranean region, it boasts a Mediterranean climate.

The best time to visit is from late spring to early autumn (May to October), as temperatures range from 20 to 30 degrees Celsius. It's typically dry but occasional rain occurrences can cause flash floods in the gorge, so stay updated with local weather forecasts.

Final Tips

  • Make sure to wear suitable footwear, carry enough water, snacks and protection against the sun.
  • Check if the park is open beforehand as it closes for several months from November due to weather conditions.
  • The trail is a one-way hike from the plateau of Omalos to the shores of Libyan sea at Agia Roumeli, where ferries can transport you back.

Getting There

Samaria Gorge is accessible by road from Chania and Rethymno. Public buses operating from May to October facilitate your transportation. You can also rent a car or join organized tours.

Satellite View

To give you a bird's eye view of this natural wonder, below is an embedded map: