How Long Is Samaria Gorge?

A new guide, to Crete in Greece, has just arrived in the Audiotourista family of mobile guides. Among the many exciting places of interest described there, we have for you a unique audio guide to the Samaria Gorge near beautiful Chania. And, as the subject of the length of the trail that fires the imagination of travellers… it is to this topic that we have dedicated this entry.

The Samaria Gorge: The Longest in Europe

How Long is Samaria Gorge, so often celebrated as the longest in Europe. Yet, its length has been a topic of much discussion among bloggers, travellers, and tourists. Various online sources claim the gorge stretches up to 18 kilometres, although this figure generally refers to its total length rather than the hiking trail itself. And the trail actually starts through one of the gorge’s branches, not the main ravine, leading to further confusion. Online reports vary significantly — some state the hike is around 12 kilometres, others suggest it is closer to 16 kilometres, and there are even claims of up to 20 kilometres! Given these substantial discrepancies, our team took it upon themselves to measure the trail’s length precisely for your benefit. Below is a summary of our findings.

What Do The Map And Greek Surveyors Say?

Officially, the route through Samaria Gorge is approximately 12.5 kilometers long from the starting point at Xyloskalo to the southern exit at Agia Roumeli. As you descend the gorge, you’ll find small signs marking each kilometer, and these measurements are confirmed by Google Maps as well. Thus, the officially recognized, documented, and verified length of the hiking trail is indeed 12.5 kilometers.

Accurately Measuring Samaria Gorge: Audiotourista Team’s Expedition

We used GPS on three different phones and a sports activity tracking app to measure how long Samaria Gorge is. The results ranged anywhere between 16 and 18 kilometers. This difference can be explained by measurement errors, as GPS can be unreliable at the bottom of a ravine. Additionally, the official measurements do not account for the trail’s winding nature, as it weaves between rocks. Or for additional detours along the way, such as visiting the village of Samaria, which can add about one kilometre. Therefore, be prepared not for 12-13 kilometres but rather for 15-16 or even 18 kilometres of walking along the gorge itself.

However, the journey doesn’t end at the exit of the national park. There’s an additional stretch to consider when reaching Agia Roumeli. The port on the Mediterranean Sea from where you will return to civilization. The end of the trail is approximately 2 kilometres in a straight line from the sea. And it translates into an extra 2.5 kilometres of walking to the port. Although this section of the walk is on a tarmac road and predominantly downhill, it might still feel demanding for tired legs. If you are pressed for time or exhausted from the long hike, there is a convenient bus option available: it covers the last kilometre and a half of the route for a cost of €2 per person (2020).

Explore Samaria Gorge

If you liked this description, you might be interested in our another detailed post. Click How to Get There, How to Get Back, and How to Explore the Samaria Gorge?

You can also visit the Official website of Samaria National Park for more information.

And if you are already in Crete, be sure to download our audio guide. We have a detailed description of the route for you, complete with a map. The app works offline, so you will know where you are at all times. Even in Samaria Gorge.

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