Samaria Gorge is the largest gorge in the whole Europe. The crossing over three hundred thousand people every year. It is a wondrous landscape with rare geomorphic formations. Unique habitat with a special richness in flora and fauna and a rich mythology that reaches as prehistoric times and turbulent history during the difficult years for Crete.
It was declared as a National Park White Mountains of Crete in 1962 and by then the village of Samaria in the center of the canyon, inhabited even two to three families Sfakian, dealing mainly with livestock and then ylotomia.Kalyfthike area 48,500 acres and today promoted the expansion of Forest and 250,000 acres and will include the most valuable part of the White Mountains.
Has been awarded:
- In 1971 the National Diploma nature protection.
- In 1973 he was declared a place of great natural beauty.
- In 1979 he was awarded by the Council of Europe European Diploma, A-class protection of the natural environment, which until now renewed every five years. Became an award in the years 1984, 1989, 1994 and 1999.
The length of the path at the boundary of the Park is 12.8 km and then the distance to the coast Agia Roumeli is still 3.2 chiliometra.I crossing a faster gait can be done in five or fewer hours but it is preferable that they have not done in less than 6-8 hours to the possibility of the comfortable enjoyment of incomparable beauty.
It is usually visited by the first of May until the end of October, unless there are extreme weather conditions. There are outposts of the State (Forestry) at the entrance of the gorge, in the village of Samaria and exit the park. Also, the canyon provides physician services. Agia Roumeli is a heliport.
The main species of fauna are world famous Cretan wild goat (CAPRA AEGAGRUS CRETICA), an animal unimaginably beautiful and manliness, which has now been rescued and now lives freely only in this canyon and the three parallel Samaria. The flora, is famous the perennial huge cypresses in ancient times was used for shipbuilding and, from the Minoans to the columns of the palace of Knossos are klp.Synolika gorge 450 species of Cretan flora, of which 70 are endemic, ie grow only.
Has many strictures that have been called "doors" but narrower, the "Sideroporta" has only three meters wide while the drop on either side reaching from 300 to 700 meters. In many places you go over the river gorge with small wooden bridges.
In the gorge there were in ancient times famous Sanctuaries and Oracles, in place of Agia Roumeli is the ancient city Tara which survives today part of the temple of Apollo.
To enjoy it, you can join one of the tours organized by travel agencies in Crete or arrive as the entrance, the famous plateau of smooth (altitude 1,250 m and distance from Chania 43 km) by bus line bus. In the even there are restaurants, small hotels and information center, kind of small museum for Samaria and the White Mountains.
From Agia Roumeli you again departing by ferry to Sfakia in an hour and then again by bus to Chania, Rethymno, etc. is also a ferry to the west coastal centers switchblade knife Paleochora.
In Agia Roumeli, you can relax and stay overnight in small hotels.
> Source: http://www.xania.net/