Samaria Gorge is located in Chania on the White Mountains and is the longest and perhaps the most imposing gorge in Europe.
Its length is 18 km and its width varies between 150 and 3 meters at its narrowest point, the famous "Sideroportes". In 1962 it was characterized as the National Forest of Greece, while the European Council has proclaimed it as a monument of natural beauty and it is home to many endemic birds and various animal species. The most well-known of the animals that find refuge in Samaria Gorge is the Cretan Pyrenean mountain goat (Kri Kri). Moreover, in that place many rare herbs and plants grow up, such as wild origanum dictamnus and wild flowers. The gorge was named after the village of Samaria, which owes its name to the Byzantine church Saint Maria of the 14th century, which survives until today, featuring many icons and murals. The village had to be evacuated from the few inhabitants, when the gorge was characterized as a National Park. During the Turkish occupation, the village of Samaria was used as a hideout. The abandoned houses of the village are located just before the middle of the gorge and now they are used by the security guards of the forest. This small village has springs and rest areas, where visitors can stop to drink some water and have a small lunch. The entire path is very well-marked and it is the most walked path in Greece. The trek starts from the position of Xiloskalo of Omalos at an elevation of 1,200m; usually quite early in the morning as well as the duration of the journey lasts for 6 hours on average, something which clearly depends on the walking pace of each visitor. The crossing of the gorge of Samaria reveals a changing landscape, with springs, small ponds, and the huge stone that reveals the riverbed floodwaters, and many trees, such as plane trees, pine trees, cypress trees. The end of the path is beautiful and the visitor can see the Libyan sea and the beautiful beach of Agia Roymeli where they can stay overnight or take the boat to Loutro, Chora Sfakion , Sougia or Paleochora . It should be noted that in the winter the gorge is closed, because it is very difficult to cross. It opens in mid April and closes at the end of October. In order to go hiking at Samaria gorge, you need appropriate clothing with light colored clothes and hard shoes, and you need enough food supplies, while visitors do not need to take water with them, since there are sources with clean drinking water across the gorge.