Insider's Guide to Heraklion

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Samaria Gorge is legendary amongst hikers, with more than 1,000 walkers hitting the rugged river valley trail daily in summer. Europe’s longest gorge offers a wildflower-bedecked river trail with cliff-top views of Crete’s endangered wild goat, the ... 

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3 star rating: Worth doing
September 2014

The Samaria Gorge and National Park is beautiful and a great experience. Wearing the proper shoes is a must, as this is an 11 mile hike along very rocky trails. Only downside was that its a longer day that perhaps it needs to be. Because the tour included 50 other people, my pick up from the hotel in Kolymbari was 515 and I didn't get dropped off until 2130. After finishing the hike, we had to stay the afternoon (about 4 add'l hours) in Agio Roumeli, and then ferry back to get a 1-2 hour bus ride back to the hotel. Due to ferry schedule, it's possible that cannot be helped. Also, I'm under the impression from talking with several other individuals on the bus that if you purchase your tour tickets in Chania, the price for the trip is less than half the price of what I paid through Viator. All in all, a great experience, but it's a very long day, even before and after the hike. Not sure that Viator is the way to go.

Doing what: Full Day Tour to Samaria Gorge

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2014

From the bus pickup in front of our hotel to the very professional and skilled guides, this was a great way to do this hike.

Doing what: Full Day Tour to Samaria Gorge

4 star rating: Recommended
July 2014

amazing scenery to admire, and a feeling of freedom and being in the middle of nature. the gorge is really a tour for those who like the outdoors and who can handle a 5/6 hour hike. during the hike people will go at different speeds so likely the group will disperse

Doing what: Full Day Tour to Samaria Gorge

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2014

We enjoyed it greatly and encourage everyone pondering this idea to go ahead. You won't regret it! Our guide Thomas was very helpful, giving us valuable advice and at the same time, amusing us greatly.

Doing what: Full Day Tour to Samaria Gorge

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
June 2014

Cab picked us up in the morning and dropped us off at the bus. The bus dropped us back off at the same meeting point after the tour but the cab never came back to pick us up leaving us stranded in the cold after a long day. I was very disappointed in the traveled arrangements.

Doing what: Full Day Tour to Samaria Gorge

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2014

I had a great experience hiking in Samaria Gorge! My guide, Barbara, was excellent. She gave us plenty of information on the bus ride, then we hiked at our on pace throught the gorge and met up at the end for the boat trip. Samaria Gorge is absolutely beautiful. I think it is a must-see for any interested hiker. It is mostly all downhill, so it will burn the legs a bit!
The only thing I would suggest to improve would be to have told me to bring hiking boots when I booked the tour months ago. I got that information the night before, which was a week after I had left home for the trip to Crete.

Doing what: Full Day Tour to Samaria Gorge

4 star rating: Recommended
September 2013

The Gorge was nice, but not worthy if you come from hotels that is situated far away (i.e: hersonissos). driving in bus 3.5 hours at lease for each direction. the view was nice, but lack of total guidance and explanations from the guide. he just spoke 4 languages and gave short directions about what to do and what not to do, besides that nothing.

Doing what: Full Day Tour to Samaria Gorge

4 star rating: Recommended
July 2013

Well worth the effort. Be warned though, the walk is almost totally downhill in rocky and somewhat slippery rock paths. The river bed views do not arrive until well into half way of the 18km walk so if you do not like walking for its own sake, you may be frustrated. Also, don't do what some do: try to prove how fast you are by pushing ahead of others. This is not the place for that sort of nonsense. Stick to a flat course if you have something to prove. A really lovey experience. Wear good walking shoes.

Doing what: Full Day Tour to Samaria Gorge

4 star rating: Recommended
July 2013

Great Guide!

Doing what: Full Day Tour to Samaria Gorge

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2013

Fantastic day out. Spectacular scenery a walkers delight.
Tour is well organised, getting you there and back, but leaving you to enjoy walk at your own pace.
It's an early start and late back, but always interesting with nice views across the island.
With rest/food stops along the way to break the journey.

Doing what: Full Day Tour to Samaria Gorge

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
April 2013

Whereas we had to walk 16 or 18 km in a normal valley, the actual gorge is about 3 km long, which disappointed us a bit. We arrived very early at the end of the gorge and had to wait very long. Despite this, the organisation of the tour was good.

Doing what: Full Day Tour to Samaria Gorge

Note from Viator: Thanks for your feedback and alerting other travelers to this issue. As you note, there is relatively long walk but there is plenty of time to do it, so you may take your time to enjoy the view as you go.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2012

Samaria Gorge was one of the most spectacular hikes I have had in some time now. I highly recommend this for people who do not mid a long and tiring hike through a wonderful and one-of-its-kind landscape. The towering heights of the gorge simply dwarf you and leave you awestruck!. The tour was so well arranged, that I couldn't have asked for more. Sufficient stops for toilets, coffee etc., we were even offered free Tea service at one stop in the morning ( a surprise- didn't know this!). The tour operators were well organized (hats off to viator for teaming with them). The Guide Rithi was absolutely amazing, she was so fluent in so many languages. I really appreciate the punctuality of the tour operators and to my surprise also other tourists on-board. All-in-all a must-to-do activity for anyone in Crete. Of course, the activity calls for a lot of fitness!

Doing what: Full Day Tour to Samaria Gorge

4 star rating: Recommended
July 2012

The trip and everthing was great, not commenting on the views here which were amazing, since this not the point of the review. What really annoyed us was that we "ran" through the gorge in 6 hourse since we were given targets as to when to leave the stops on the way, just to find out that we had 2 and a half hours left at the other end where we just sat around and waited for the stupid ferry. We would have loved to spend more time taking in the scenary and take photos.

Doing what: Full Day Tour to Samaria Gorge

3 star rating: Worth doing
September 2011

The hike through the gorge is absolutely amazing! I would recommend it to anyone traveling to Crete as a must! however- there are several things I was disappointed in which is why it is receiving a 3 star instead of 5, I do not think that Viator made these things clear until it was too late to change the reservation. I was picked up in "Malia Area"-well my hotel was the furthest out which meant that I was the first pickup and also the last drop off- this meant that I needed to be picked up at 5 am- not 6am as the original booking said and I was not dropped off until after 11pm- this was quite exhausting and I spent as much time on a bus as I did hiking. If you plan to do this hike I would suggest staying in a town closer to the Gorge. Also I was very disappointed to find out that the 5 euro fee for the park entrance and the 9 euro boat ride fee were not included in my 74 euro Viator voucher! i was not told this until the day before the trip- 74 euros already seemed expensive and then to learn that i needed to pay more seemed ridiculous. in Malia I saw the same tour offered for only 44 euros in total- a much more reasonable price so consider booking your ticket once in Crete. Additionally the "boat ride" to a town and island is just a ferry stop on a very crowded ferry- do not assume it is an extra visit to a town as I did. I highly recommend the hike but I would not recommend using Viator to purchase your ticket.

Doing what: Full Day Tour to Samaria Gorge

Anonymous

Anonymous

4 star rating: Recommended
January 2010

Excelent tour but is self-guided, solo effort on your part! This is a strenuous hike down a mountain range that is 17 - 19 KM long. Must have hiking shoes with no feet or ankle problems.

Doing what: Full Day Tour to Samaria Gorge

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