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Things to do in
Sfakia

Our most recommended things to do in Sfakia

From Chania: Full-Day Samaria Gorge Trek Excursion

1. From Chania: Full-Day Samaria Gorge Trek Excursion

Embark on a full-day guided trip to the Samaria Gorge from Chania. Arrive in Omalos in the heart of the White Mountains, and enjoy breakfast before trekking along the longest gorge in Europe — 4,000 feet above sea level.  After breakfast, enter the Samaria Gorge. Walk at your own pace with your English speaking guide at the end of the group to help out if you need them. Hike over rocks and stones, through a forest of thousand-year-old trees and along a river, passing by fresh-water springs along the way. Enjoy views of Crete’s most beautiful mountain range and see mountain goats roaming in the wild. Feel the exhilaration of challenging yourself with a long hike. At the end of the trek, visit the village of Agia Roumeli, where you’ll find a number of taverns, bars, and shops. Enjoy some free time to take a swim or have some lunch. A meeting point will be arranged so you can collect your ferry tickets from your guide. Late in the afternoon you’ll board a boat that will take you from Agia Roumeli to Sougia, where the bus will be waiting to transfer you back to the starting point about 730 PM.

From Rethymno: Samaria Gorge Full-Day Trek with Pickup

2. From Rethymno: Samaria Gorge Full-Day Trek with Pickup

Take a day trip from Rethymno to set out on an outdoor adventure into Samaria Gorge National Park. Hike at your own pace with a guide over rocks and stones, through a forest of thousand-year-old trees, along a river, and by fresh-water springs. Keep an eye out for mountain goats roaming in the wild. Begin your full-day excursion to Samaria Gorge with pickup and a drive to Omalos, in the heart of the White Mountains, where you can enjoy breakfast before you start the hike. Challenge yourself with 18 kilometers of walking over rocky terrain. Be accompanied by a mountain escort who speaks English, German, and French. Get briefed about your hike and get your tickets for the entrance and ferry boat from your escort. These fees have to be paid to the guide upon arrival. After breakfast, enter the Samaria Gorge. Walk at your own pace as your guide will be at the end of the group to help out if you need them. At the end of the trek, visit the village of Agia Roumeli, where you’ll find a number of taverns, bars, and shops. Enjoy some free time to take a swim or have some lunch. A meeting point will be arranged so you can collect your ferry tickets from your guide. Late in the afternoon, board a boat to go from Agia Roumeli to Sfakia, where the bus will be waiting to transfer you back to the pickup point.

From Rethymno/Chania: Imbros Gorge Hike

3. From Rethymno/Chania: Imbros Gorge Hike

Discover Imbros Gorge, which runs parallel to the more famous Samaria Gorge. Although the Imbros Gorge is smaller, many people prefer to cross here because it offers a very different hiking experience than the Samaria Gorge. After your tour, enjoy a refreshing swim in the sea and lunch at a village taverna. Enjoy hotel pickup and arrive at Imbros around 10 AM. Have breakfast and then hike about 2.5 hours to discover the beauty of this narrow natural passage. Learn about the rock formations and the legend of the 2 brothers that Imbros is named after. For many years, the Imbros Gorge served as part of the trail that connected Chania to Hora Sfakion. Stroll through a piece of World War II history, as you walk where thousands of British soldiers passed through after the Battle of Crete to get to Egypt.  End your hike in Komitades Village and then depart for Sfakia. Take a swim in the refreshing Libyan Sea and eat lunch with the locals in the taverns before returning to your hotel.

From Heraklion, Agia Pelagia, Malia: Samaria Gorge Day Trip

4. From Heraklion, Agia Pelagia, Malia: Samaria Gorge Day Trip

Your full-day excursion to Samaria Gorge begins with pickup in Heraklion and a drive to Omalos, in the heart of the White Mountains. Enjoy breakfast before setting out on your challenging 10-mile (17 kilometer) hike. The trek will take you over rocks and stones, through a forest of thousand-year-old trees and along a river by fresh-water springs. Along the way, you’ll have spectacular views of Crete’s most beautiful mountain range, and you are also likely to see mountain goats roaming in the wild. You will be accompanied by a professional mountain escort who speaks English, German and Greek. Your escort will be there to explain all the necessary information about your hike and provide you with the tickets for the entrance and ferry. After your breakfast you will enter the Samaria Gorge, where you can walk at your own pace as your guide waits at the end of the group to help you out if you need them. At the end of the trek you’ll visit the village of Agia Roumeli, where you’ll find a number of taverns, bars, and shops. You can enjoy some free time to take a swim or have some lunch. Late in the afternoon you’ll board a boat that will take you from Agia Roumeli to Sfakia, where your bus will be waiting to transfer you back to the starting point.

From Agia Pelagia, Heraklion, or Malia: Samaria Gorge Hike

5. From Agia Pelagia, Heraklion, or Malia: Samaria Gorge Hike

Stop to purchase a hearty breakfast in Rethymno on this full-day Samaria Gorge excursion. Begin your trek at Xiloskalo, where you'll enter the vast, 18-kilometer canyon. Hike along a path that follows the route of the ancient Taras River. Admire the caves that formed a natural shelter for the Cretans in war times and now are home to wild goats. See the abandoned village of Samaria before reaching the Iron Gates, 3 kilometers before the end of the gorge. Rest and enjoy lunch (at your own expense) at the small fishing village of Agia Roumeli. Cool off with a refreshing swim in the Libyan Sea before boarding the ship that takes you back to the village of Sfakia.

Heraklion: Samaria Gorge Guided Hiking Day Tour

6. Heraklion: Samaria Gorge Guided Hiking Day Tour

Join us on an ultimate hiking experience of the Samaria Gorge. This is one of the longest gorge and the most beautiful in Europe. Our activity starts at 05:30 in the morning from Heraklion areas with a pick up point close to your hotel or your hotel. The gorge is located at the south of Chania Prefecture in southwest Crete. It was created by a small river flowing off the White Mountains (Lefka Ori). The gorge is 13 km long, starting at an altitude of 1,250m at the northern entrance (Omalos), and ending at the shores of the South Cretan Sea in Agia Roumeli. One of the most impressive mountain regions of Crete. After 2 two hours drive we arrive at the entrance on the plateau Omalos of the White Mountains. The entrance of the longest gorge in Europe (11 miles) lies at 4000 ft. You have the option to enjoy your breakfast on the top of the mountain close to nature and the fresh air before you start your activity. The hiking starts from Xiloskalo, we step over rocks and stones down the gorge, through a fantastic forest among thousands of years old trees, along a little river and fresh-water springs. The walk is partially difficult. It lasts approximately 5-6 hours and you need absolutely good shoes- mountain boots or, at least, strong trainers. The path follows the route of Taras, a river with gurgling, lucid water. It gave its name to the ancient town which was located at the end of the gorge. On the way, we can get a glimpse of the caves that formed a natural shelter for the Cretans. In war times and now they are the natural habitat of the well-known wild goats, or kri-kri, as they are also called. Halfway we come across the village of Santa Maria, which was abandoned by its last inhabitants in 1962. Three kilometres prior to our exiting this majestic gorge, we reach the Iron Gates (Sideroportes), the narrowest spot of the route, just a few meters wide, but 300 meters high – an amazing contradiction that can cause nothing but awe. At the end of the gorge, we reach the Lybian sea and the village of Agia Roumeli, where you can relax and enjoy swimming and after a meal at the local taverns, before you join the group to take ferry to Chora Sfakion, where our bus waiting to take you back to your original pick up point, arriving approximately at 21:30 at night after unforgettable day experience that you will remember for the rest of your life.

Chania: Imbros Gorge and Libyan Sea Day Tour

7. Chania: Imbros Gorge and Libyan Sea Day Tour

You will be picked up at your hotel in the Chania area and then journey by bus to the Imbros Gorge in the eastern part of the White Mountains of Crete. Upon arrival you will enjoy an easy 3-hour hike through the narrow passages and marvel at the stunning rock formations, with an expert guide to teach you about the area. During your descent you will see famous locations such as the Stenada, Mesofarango, and Xepitira Arch. You exit the gorge at Komitades village, where a bus will be waiting to bring you to Chora Sfakion for some relaxing free time at one of the taverns or cafes overlooking the sea. Continue by bus to the south coast, and visit a beautiful beach for a refreshing swim in the Libyan Sea. You can relax and enjoy a traditional lunch before the bus trip back to the Chania area.

From Heraklion: Imbros Gorge and Libyan Sea Guided Day Trip

8. From Heraklion: Imbros Gorge and Libyan Sea Guided Day Trip

After pickup from your hotel in the Heraklion area at approximately 7:30 AM, journey by bus to the Imbros Gorge in the eastern part of the White Mountains of Crete. Upon arrival, enjoy an easy 3-hour hike through the narrow passages and marvel at the stunning rock formations. The Imbros Gorge is the second most popular gorge for walkers in Crete after the gorge of Samaria. This picturesque gorge is smaller (8km long) than the Samaria but is just as beautiful. During your descent you will visit various famous locations such as the Stenada (the gorge's narrowest passage), Mesofarango (a wider passage) and Xepitira Arch (a natural stone arch). You'll then arrive at Komitades Village where buses will be waiting to bring you to Chora Sfakion for some relaxing free time at one of the taverns or cafés overlooking the sea. Continue by bus to the south coast and visit a beautiful beach for a refreshing swim in the Libyan Sea. Relax and enjoy a traditional lunch before the bus trip back to Herakleion area at approximately 5:30 PM.

From Rethymno: Loutro Day Trip by Boat

9. From Rethymno: Loutro Day Trip by Boat

Discover the village of Loutro, named after the Greek word for "bath", due to the many ancient baths in the area. Eat seafood and drink wine by the sea. Go for a swim in the warm blue sea. Marvel at the many famous white houses, and enjoy a relaxing sailing trip on a boat. Begin the excursion and travel from Rethymno, known for its harbor with fishing boats, to Chora Sfakion. Then, sail for 20 minutes to the village of Loutro, on the south coast of Chania. After you arrive here, you can spend 5 hours exploring in your own free time to do whatever activities you want. Go swimming in the clear blue waters of the sea. Eat some delicious local food such as fresh fish if you are hungry. Sip on wine by the sea. Also, admire the many white houses that make this place famous. Finally, board the boat and sail to Sfakia then return to Rethymno to finish your tour.

From Agia Galini/Matala: Samaria Gorge Hiking Tour

10. From Agia Galini/Matala: Samaria Gorge Hiking Tour

Drive along the coastline to Chania, then travel up to the Omalos plateau in the White Mountains. From there, embark on a trek into the Samaria Gorge, which is 18 km long, 3-150 meters wide, and up to 700 meters deep. The Samaria National Park is a significant natural reserve that showcases a range of natural wonders, including wildflowers, century-old trees, rock formations, and crystal-clear springs. The hike begins at an altitude of 1200 m on the Omalos plateau and takes around 4-6 hours. You'll pass through the longest gorge in Europe, which features breathtaking beauty and diverse scenery. The narrowest part of the gorge is only 3 meters wide, and the rock walls soar steeply by 350 meters at this point. Please note that the path through the gorge is rugged, rocky, and uneven, making it unsuitable for unfit individuals or clients with heart problems, high blood pressure, or pregnancy. Throughout the journey, there are numerous rest stops where you can find restrooms and drinking water. In the afternoon, you'll arrive at the charming fishing village of Agia Roumeli on the Libyan Sea, where you can relax in the taverns or swim in the crystal-clear, turquoise sea after the hike. Later in the day, you'll take a one-hour boat ride from Agia Roumeli to Chora Sfakion, passing the magnificent rocks of the southern coast of Crete, where our bus will be waiting to transport you back home.

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What people are saying about Sfakia

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 2,237 reviews

My husband doesn't like driving on mountainous roads, so I decided to book a couple of private tours. The first one was this Imbros Gorge Transfer. It doesn't include a guide through the gorge so I didn't expect to get to know our guide very much. However, our guide, Apostolis, was extremely knowledgeable about places to go in Crete and the history of Crete. He took us to a beach that we requested and then offered to take us to an unofficial WW2 Museum, which my husband found fascinating. We would have never heard about this museum otherwise. We really enjoyed talking to him as we learned so much. With the remaining time, we were hungry so he took us to one of his favorite tavernas and it was excellent and reasonably priced. After this tour, we knew we wanted our other tours to be with this guide.

This was our third private tour with the company Proper Cretan Guide. With each tour, we got to know our guide, Apostolis, more and more. By this time, it felt like we had a friend in Crete. If we had questions we could ask him and that proved very helpful a couple of times. As for this tour, we saw stunning views, learned about making olive oil, both in the old traditional way and the modern factory way. We saw a 3,000 year old olive tree that we would have never heard of on our own. Also, because we expressed interest, we learned about some of Crete's tragic history. Apostolis is very considerate, flexible and will go with your interests to make sure you enjoy your day.

I would recommend this hike through the Samaria Gorge to everyone, if you are somewhat fit. We walked the hike in sneakers and it was quite doable. However, I think that the risk of injuries is a lot less with good walking shoes. The bus journey to and from Malia took a long time, but in my opinion the hike was worth it. Nice guide and pleasant bus driver who, despite only speaking Greek, still tried to show the sights along the way. We went at the very end of the season, so it was not super busy in the gorge and the temperature was also a lot better. All in all, highly recommended!

Apostolis was kind enough to give me a tour on the 24th of December. he took me to different places and talked about their history, my favourite of which was a cafe by a river. after drinking my tea I went down to the river to sit on a bench and enjoy the view, when a black cat came over and sat on me. I felt truly blessed at that moment

Superb excursion. Get your guide organized this well!