The Forest Service of Chania announced that from April 29th, the Gorge of Samaria will reopen to visitors. Note that the gorge closes for winter as hiking there that time of the year is very dangerous. Like usually, the gorge will close at about the end of October. Samaria Gorge is a popular but yet very difficult hiking point in southern Crete.
As the head of Chania Forest Service, Mrs Hara Kariolaki, stressed out, "this gorge is not suitable for all people. It is necessary that someone has good health and physical strength to descend all over the gorge". People with health problems are adviced to hike only the two first km, because from then on, the gorge becomes very abrupt. Moreover, visitors must have all the necessary equipment with them and it would be better to be accompanied by a guide.
Samaria Gorge became a Greek National Park in 1962. It has rare flora and fauna and it is especially known for the rare kri-kri Cretan goat that lives in the park. A hike all over it takes about 7 hours and cvan be very tiring, espcially under the hot summer sun. However, there are also some other shorter roots.
Samaria Gorge has two entrances: one from Xyloskalo village and the other from Agia Roumeli village. It is open daily from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. After 3 p.m. to the sunset, visitors are allowed to hike only the first 2 km. Camping, overnight stay, hunting, lighting fires or swimming is strictly prohibited in the park.