Gouves, 70014, Greece
More about Crete Island
One of the houses on Spinalonga
Palace of Minos at Knossos
Zepos - since 1961
road to preveli
Samarian Gorge Opening
Hi, me again :) I had another question-- I really had wanted to do the Samarian Gorge while in Crete, and I've read varying information about when it actually opens for the season (mid-April to May, depending on the weather)-- I'll be going the week of April 20th, so I'm worried it wont be open. Is there any way to find out ahead of time, or is it very last minute? And, if it is closed, can you recommend other hiking areas that would be enjoyable (and challenging)? Do you have any favorites?? Thanks!
Re: Samarian Gorge Opening
According with the online resources it looks Samaria Gorge would open around May, but sometimes a little early.
There is walking paths going across the whole island with many scenery parts. Take a look at my page for more info and enjoy your visit to this wonderful island!!
Re: Samaria Gorge Opening
Whether it is open is entirely up to the weather, which obviously can't be predicted way ahead. It is as simple as that. You have to find out when you are there, presumably in Chania.
It is a matter of safety, people have been washed away to their death going down the Samaria gorge at the wrong time.
There are other gorges that are drier, like the Imbros gorge, and numerous other walking routes in the west of Crete.
Crete has a Meditteranean climate (obviously ...) which means that virtually all rainfall is in the winter i.e. October - April
So that the gorge will be open for 99% of the time during most of the summer months when it's dry, but in April much less likely.
Re: Samarian Gorge Opening
Ouzone is right. The opening date is dependent on the weather - and the Gorge STAYING open is also dependent on the weather. It's not unknown for it to open and then be closed. It has even been closed due to overhigh temperatures in midsummer. Despite what anyone tells you, it is NOT a walk in the park - there are dangers and people do occasionally die.
Like all things in Greece, nothing is guaranteed. If you can't do the Gorge, check out whether the E4 is safe to walk, you won't miss out on stunning scenery, but you will miss out on crowds.
Travel Tips for Crete Island
The Island of Crete is a beautiful land. However, thousands of years of human habitation means there are no "pristine" spots and few truly wild areas.
The place is reasonably prices. Although not as cheap as it once was.
Friendly people sell RACHI moonshine in old fanta bottles at the side of the road. Ferral cats are everywhere. And the locals seem inordinatly proud of them. I was amused to see them scamper up to patrons in the outside restaurants trying to steal scraps of food while the Greek waiters kick them out of the way.
The Cretans are nice to strangers. In the towns you can see old men gather in circles to fiddle with their worry beads and discuss the pressing issues of the day.
I stayed at a tourist oriented town called Matala. From there I hitch-hiked around the island; no problems. It was quite an enjoyable experience.
There are lots of old ruins; Roman, Greek, Byzantian etc. On hill sides you can find ancient acropolis'. And of course the Minoan ruins are a huge attraction.
The mediterranean ocean is so clear that you can read "johnny walker" on the whiskey bottle while it is laying 20 feet below the pier. Or fish schooling above an old adidas sneaker laying on the ocean bottom.
No matter how inviting the beaches seem, always wear sandles; there is always glass, nails and other refuse, or even the odd scorpion.
Gorges, like this of Samaria...
Hiking at the Gorge of Samaria is something you must do if you ever visit this beautiful island. It is 16 km long and since 1962 has been proclaimed as a national-park.
It isn't so tiring as it sounds, you can walk through it in between 3-7 hours, it depends on your foot...
At the picture, you see the starting point, which is at an altitude of 1200 m. The wonderful nature will surely imburse you...
Pelicans in Harbours
It seems that many Greek towns, including those on the island of Crete, have their tame White Pelican often to be found on the harbour front. We found Siteia's Pelican at the ancient submerged roman baths which are just behind the harbour wall. I believe the Pelican is called Patrogas. I guess it is fed regularly, and perhaps its wings are clipped to prevent it from flying off, but the Pelican seemed in good shape and was happily preening itself when we spotted it.
Patrogas is seen here with its friends the domestic geese.
Komos beach is a long sandy beach on the other side of the Matala promontory. While Matala is crowded and noisy, Komos is very quiet and uncrowded: there's deck chairs and sun umbrellas - several of them in fact - and very few people to occupy them. No one came to collect money for their use - strangely... there were so few people that no one seemed to care about anything. The sea's great and the beach lovely it's known as a naturist beach so i guess swimsuit is optional - however when we were there, there was no naturist in sight. Bring sunscreen for protection
The ancient city of Lato
The ancient city of Lato is 3km from the village of Kritsa (15 km from Aghios Nikolaos).
The Dorians built the city in the seventh century B.C. and it was destroyed about 200 B.C.
It is placed in a beautiful and high up position on the gulf of Mirabello, so the view is fantastic !
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