Tuesday, 4 July 2017

CreteDream (part4)

Samaria Gorge is one of the challenging views to see on Crete. It is fabulous and you really can not show its beauty nor greatness on pictures. It is one of those things you need to experience by going there by your very own little feet. Literally. You can not drive by car there, nor ride by a horse. If you get too exhausted or hurt your leg while hiking through it there are donkeys used as taxis.

By the route there are few churches and many resting places. You can carry your water bottle with you but there are several places where you can drink and fill up your bottle. Also the brook itself has drinkable water.

The long way starts from the north and is for about 16 km long but for the last three kilometers you can buy a local bus trip. The route through the whole Samarian Gorge is not recommended for small children, pregnant woman and people with serious health problem. If you are not sure can you do it, choose the easy way. It mans you start from the ending point (south) and walk from there to see the parts of the gorge. It is lovely that they have marked milestones here and there to show you how far you have got.

At the end -if to take the long way- you arrive to the south end of the gorge where is beautiful Agia Roumeli village and South Cretan Sea. This is the point where you start if you decide to choose the easy way.

Easiest way to get there is to take a coach trip. No matter travel you with a travel agency and group trip I recommend you to buy a coach trip straight from a local business. They do it half cheaper. (We paid 25€ for one person.) The fees never include access to the gorge or boat trip to or from Agia Roumeli village. The entrance fee to the gorge is only 5€, children under 15 years get in free and students at half price (summer 2017). The ferry ticket is 11€ (June 2017). Notice that it is one way ticket and for easy way walk you need two tickets because bus leaves you to Hora Sfakion from where you travel by boat via Loutro to Agia Roumeli and later on back.

It is whole day trip. The coach trip starts at early morning picking up people by certain meeting points (hotels, offices) and reaches the north entrance of the gorge around 12:00. At the south end the boat departure time is around 17:00 so you have plenty or time to walk through. But it is more challenging than at home because it is hot. You will be back at the starting point at late evening / night. Depending of course to it where do you stay.

By buying a local coach trip to Samaria Gorge it was very cost effective, easy and simple. You didn't need to worry about cars or public transport times etc. Everything was arranged ready for you and worked well. You don't need to make the reservation at home. When you are on Crete you notice there are plenty of local travel agencies on the streets selling the trips to many places. Just pick one you desire.

For your trip to Samaria Gorge you need sunscreen, water bottle, proper shoes and clothes for hiking in hot (shorts and T-shirt do just fine). Don't forget your swimming clothes because at the end you may have time to have a dinner at a local tavern and swim in the sea.

From Agia Roumeli the ferry goes to beautiful Loutro and then to Sfakia where your bus is already waiting for you. Especially Agia Roumeli and Loutro are perfect locations if you seek a place to escape and hide from busy life and hurries just to be forgotten somewhere and not to be found. Crete is full of secret locations with peace & quiet; go to seek your own one! They know someone may be hiding here in these villages. :)

PS. If you want to see a gorge but not any special one and not so challenging one you have many other opportunities. Crete has plenty of them and to many you can buy a coach trip. Also HopOn HopOff busses at Rethymno offers you a change to see Myli Gorge.
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