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Greece part 6: Samaria Gorge, National Park of Samaria, Western Crete

As part of our stay in Crete we went to see the Samaria Gorge, one of the longest in Europe. We walked the 16km from start to finish: 13km through the National Park of Samaria and then an additional 3 km to Agia Roumeli from the exit of the National Park. The gorge starts at an altitude of 1250m and terminates at sea level when you get to the beautiful beach at Agia Roumeli where you can swim in the Libyan Sea.

We started our excursion in Chania at 7.30am where we took the bus to Omalos and then entered the park about 9am. On reaching the gorge in the morning on the northern approach it was cold and cloudy, but this soon gave way to sunshine and blue skies on the southern descent. We reached our half way point of Samaria village at midday where we stopped for some snacks and a little rest to enjoy the view. We eventually reached Agia Roumeli about 2.45pm. I think we could have completed the journey a little quicker if I hadn’t stopped every 10 mins to take pictures, but the scenery was just too fantastic not to try and capture on camera.

The park is full of amazing views, beautiful flora and just a breathtaking feeling of peacefulness (although in the summer it is supposed to get very busy). I think we probably saw about 20 people during the whole day, most of the time it was just Rose and I walking along in complete isolation. The trip isn’t for the unfit though, as it is a 16km trek over pretty uneven and steep ground in places, but was well worth the effort (and blisters).

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