Gorge of Samaria National Park

Gorge of Samaria National Park is part of the Tentative List in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.

Click here for a short description of the site, as delivered by the State Party

Year Decision Comments
2003 Tentative list Submitted as tentative site by State Party
1987DeferredMore info on "value" needed


Jorge Sanchez (Spain):
I boarded the ferry from Piraeus to Khania, in Crete Island, and then headed to the Samaria Gorge, which I crossed in several hours (4 hours, to be exact).
I had expected to be a very difficult trekking, but not at all, it was a children game. I liked the trekking anyway, and made friends (other tourists like me).
Then I took a boat to a village, then a bus to another one where they would celebrate the next day (15th august 1984) the Virgin of the Assumption festivity.
Date posted: September 2013
Jorge Sanchez (Spain):
I spent a lovely week in Crete Island when I was young.
I arrived from continental Greece, where during three weeks I had been visiting Mount Athos (ten monasteries in ten days) plus Meteora and other tourist attractions.
After that I boarded the ferry from Piraeus to Khania, in Crete Island, and then headed to the Samaria Gorge, which I crossed in several hours (4 hours, to be exact).
Then I took a boat to a village and made friendship with a beautiful and lovely girl, called Martine, from La Rochelle, France, who was heading hitchhiking to avillage where that night of the 15th august, local people would celebrate the Virgin of the Assumption festivity.
We both hitchhiked and soon a man, a real gentleman, called Yorgos, Greek but living in London, took us to the village.
Arriving to the village we participated in the fiesta. Greek people are generous and always invited us to eat with them or drink the delicious Greek wine.
We went to sleep at 3 AM in the roof of a house where we were invited, because it was very hot inside of the rooms.
The next day we (my French girlfriend and I) continued our journey during several days to visit the ruins of Kato Zakro and Knossos and the eight day I caught (alone) a ferry to Limassol, in Cyprus, to continue my journey around all Mediterranean countries.
Date posted: July 2013
Els Slots (The Netherlands):
The hike through Samaria Gorge is one of the most popular outings in Crete. Although I'm not much of a hiker, this walk seemed too good to miss. So on an early morning in 1999 I packed water, bananas and a pack of crisps/chips into my daypack and went on my way.

I took the 7.30 bus from Hania to Omalos: a public bus but full of tourists. After a scenic mountain drive of over an hour we arrived at the park gate. I started following the trail immediately, as I was a little worried about getting stranded inside the gorge or without public transport back. The mass experience went on however, I guess there were about 80 others that had the same goal as I did for today and took off at the same hour.

The walk started with about 6 km going down on rocky stairs. There were trees all around so the heat that is so common on Crete wasn't too bad. There also were plenty of rest stops underway.
After about 2,5 hours I arrived at the bottom of the valley where the real gorge starts. Rocks and little wooden bridges dominated the second part of the walk. The heat also began to take its toll, as there is little shade among the rocks. The goal of the day changed in my mind from a nice walk to an assignment that I just had to finish. Which left little attention for the still impressive nature of this area.

After 5 hours and 20 minutes I suddenly arrived at the exit of the park. The guard collected half of the entry ticket to be sure that noone had stayed behind (accidentally or willingly) in the gorge. A tiring half hour bonus walk to the village of Agia Roumeli finally brought me to the boat that would take me back to Hora Sfakion (Sfakia).
Date posted: June 2008

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