The biggest gorge in Europe
The Samaria gorge is in southwest Crete in the regional unit of Chania.
Some say that the gorge is 18km long,
this distance refers to the distance between the settlement of Omalos
on the northern side of the plateau and the village of Agia Roumeli.
In fact, the gorge is 16 km long, starting at an altitude of 1.250m at
the northern entrance, and ending at the shores of the Libyan Sea in Agia Roumeli.
The gorge became a national park in 1962 particularly as a refuge for the rare Kri-Kri (Cretan goat),
which is largely restricted to the park and an island
just off the shore of Agia Marina.
Information provided by the Chania Forest Protection Service.
Visits to the National park are allowed from May the 1rst until the October the 15th.
Park visiting hours are 07am to 15pm daily. From 15:00 to sunset,
visitors are allowed to walk a distance
of only 2 km within the park, either from Xyloskalo or from Agia Roumeli.
Within the park it is strictly prohibited to camp, stay overnight, light fires,
or swim in the streams of the gorge.