This has been the highlight of our Crete trip, it perfectly summarizes everything there's great in this place, from the breathtaking mountains to the amazing forests to the turquoise waters at the end. BRING WITH YOU: - Good hiking shoes! Don't wear flipflops!! - Backpack with water and food - Camera - Towel, change of clothes and water shoes We visited it on our own, started from Agia Marina (Chania) and drove our rental car to the start at the trail (Xyloskalo cafe) in Omalos. The hike starts with a perilous trail at first, make sure you look where you step and stop when you want to take a look around at this amazing park. We noticed resting areas with toilets and water for the first section, but after Samaria village, some of the water sources were dry, so make sure you keep an extra bottle of water. Everyone stops and eats in the abandoned village of Samaria, there is great shade under the fig trees, but be advised we weren't able to enjoy our packed lunch because of hornets, they are very aggressive! After Samaria, the trail gets a bit sunny and windy as well, make sure you're covered. At the end of the trail there are people selling orange juice (great! 2.5 eur) and a mini bus ride to Agia Roumeli for those who can't finish the last 2-3 km. Total time: 6 hours with plenty of photo stops. Once we arrived in Agia Roumeli, we went straight to the beach, there are sunbeds and umbrellas for those who beat the crowds, they are free provided you purchase something from the bar (another orange juice will definitely help!). We waited for the ferry to Sougia, it departs at 17:30, you can purchase the tickets from the street in front of the dock (it's 11 EUR/passenger). Sit outside on the right side, and enjoy the nice view of the island while on route to Sougia. Once in Sougia, the only way to get back to Omalos is by getting on the public bus (KTEL) which leaves after the ferry arrives. The bus station is not near the ferry station, you must walk to the village. There was a huge crowd of people eager to return to their cars in Omalos, there weren't enough seats, but there was another bus that came for the others so I guess everyone got back safely. Be warned, they are quite picky, they don't allow people to take their backpacks inside the bus. An hour later the bus drops you off where you started, enjoy the drive back!
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