When will the gorge of Samaria open in 2015?

Crossing the river in the gorge of SamariaIt seems that many people are finding my previous post about Samaria opening (which was written in 2012) and asking me now what the situation is this year. I get the sense that quite a few of the people asking have not read the initial post properly because it describes a situation that doesn’t really change much from year to year. The uncertainty about when will the gorge of Samaria open is partly driven by the fact that it is (at least partly) dependant on the weather in April.  And of course nobody know several weeks in advance what the weather will be.

But a little more information about 2015 opening times:  the winter has been harsh and very rainy. The rain has done a fair amount of damage to the path (and that needs to be repaired before tourists are allowed on it) and currently (mid-April) water levels in the lower, narrower part of the gorge are very high. There is still a lot of snow on the mountains that will melt and add to this water.

My personal take until now (17th April 2015) that it is very unlikely that the gorge of Samaria will be ready to open by the 1st of May. But I have just talked to someone closely related to what is happening in and around Samaria and he is pretty confident that the work will be done and that the gorge will be ready to open on the 1st of May. Of course he’s not a prophet (weather factors could change the outlook) but he’s got access to more information than I do. So the gorge may well open on time. But we will probably only know for sure on the 30th of April or the 1st of May so there is no point in emailing me or posting comments asking for more information until then.

One thing looks certain though: most years the gorge of Samaria has been opened part of the way from the bottom at Agia Roumeli one, two or even sometimes three weeks earlier than the 1st of May. This is not going to happen this year.

Update on the 30th of April

The gorge of Samaria will open partially tomorrow the 1st of May but only for a short distance from the top and from the bottom.
The work is not finished yet. It may open for the walk through it on Monday the 3rd of May but this is not yet certain.

Update on the 2nd of May

The gorge of Samaria opened today!

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25 Responses to When will the gorge of Samaria open in 2015?

  1. andonis says:

    Hello Jean

    right now the water is 80cm at “portes” and the the official opening is still at 1st of may but yes
    we have to wait until April 30

    • Jean says:

      Thank you for the information Andoni. Well, at least it’s down a fair bit from its levels 2 weeks ago. And there is no rain on the way so things could be OK.

  2. Bill says:

    Hello, Jean.

    Did the gorge last year. Loved it, loved it, though not the 5,30am pickup from the hotel.

    I intend to do it again this year. I feel it is a must for anyone who visits Crete.

    Qtn: Can you recommend any sources for the birds that I might see whilst walking the gorge?

    Many thanks.

  3. brent says:

    open all the way through, or only parts of it?

  4. Mark says:

    What is the weather like on Gingilos?

  5. Walter Ronald says:

    Hi Jean,

    Thank you for all your updates & information related to the Gorge. We are planning to hike the Gorge May 31, 2015 and we were concerned how deep the water might be at that time? Also, I realize this date falls on Pentecost Monday will the gorge still be open?

    • Jean says:

      Holidays are not relevant. The gorge is open every day including Sundays and holidays.
      As for the water levels in almost 3 weeks time…I am afraid that I am not a prophet. I can’t tell you what the weather will be like either.

    • Mark says:

      Walter,
      right now the water level is realy low.
      Bus from Paleohora goes Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday at 7:00.
      Boat from Aija Rumeli to Paleohora is at 17:30 – 9 EUR/person.

      From my point of view its great option to stay for the night in Ajia Rumeli.

  6. Ales says:

    Hello

    Me and my wife want to hike the gorge on 5th of June. There are some information that this year was a lot of water and that is still the same. Could you inform me about the up to date information about situation in gorges, how is the level “at portes” and the situation about falling rocks.

    We want to be best prepared for this trip so need some information. We heard that the most dangerous are the first 2 kilometers, in which way? I have a little vertigo but only on very narrow places in the walls and where is really extremmly steep. I saw that there are long way down, steep, but on the pictures I did not see something special. We also hike in Slovenian Alps (but not dangerous one) made a hike between Oia and Fira in Santorin. I know that it is long way but picturesque way through the gorge, and 6 hours can not be the problem for us. I also heard that we can get walking stick at the enter to the gorge (it is only rent and how much it cost). I will bring my own but fly will low cost airline, but have only cabin baggage. Best regards Ales.

    • Jean says:

      Water levels are a little high this year but nothing too unusual.
      As for ‘dangers’ bear in mind that close to a quarter million people (many of them with very little walking experience) walk through the gorge of Samaria every year so it really can’t be that dangerous! Or difficult for that matter.
      Falling rocks are always a possibility if you walk anywhere near cliffs. That’s nothing that applies specifically to Samaria

      I never noticed that anyone was renting walking poles at the entrance so I guess that this must be wrong information that you got.

      • Ales says:

        Thank you, Just a question about slippery when passing river, how danger it is in this season, are stones, rocks still under the water, does that means that passing the river is dangerous or difficult?

        As I saw the weather forecast is fine for next 10 days without rain so I the situation in the gorge could improve till 5th June, isn not it?

        • Jean says:

          The stones to cross the river are of course not under water. Whoever told you this is wrong. And they are definitely not slippery.
          As for weather, your information is also not correct as some light rain is expected tomorrow and the day after.
          If the gorge is dangerous or too difficult for any reason on the 5th of June it will not be open on the day.

  7. hava says:

    Is the gorge is exspected to be oppend tomorrow (litel bit rainy).
    Many thanks

  8. Julie says:

    Jean, on every occasion that I’ve walked in the lower half of the gorge, some of the stepping stones have been under enough water to make them slippery. Not knee-deep or even ankle-deep water, but enough water to make them slippery. That is why I told Ales, who is clearly nervous (on the Crete forum) to wear shoes with deep profile, to help prevent slipping.

    Ales, if you still there, you are an experienced hiker, and there is nothing to be frightened of or worried about. Wear proper shoes, don’t rush, and enjoy yourself.

    You can’t rent walking poles: if you want them, you’ll have to bring your own. You can send them (at cost, of course) as checked baggage if you think it’s worth it. The water won’t be as deep as it was two weeks ago when Steve, who advised you, was there, so you probably won’t need them.

    • Jean says:

      I must admit that I never walked the gorge with shoes that had no profile so I am not sure how problematic crossing the river across stones would be. Probably less so than walking on the smooth paving just below Xyloskala.
      The stones that are used to cross the river are put there by the park workers to help people. In May they have not had time to accumulate any algae that would make them slippery.

  9. Julie says:

    >on every occasion that I’ve walked in the lower half of the gorge, <

    correction: I mean in May.

    (How about an editing facility? I always forget something I meant to say. 🙂 )

  10. Elena says:

    Hello

    O plan to visit Crete in September and to hike the gorge on 23 September. Is this not to late for Samarian gorge?..

  11. nes says:

    Hello. Thanks for all the info. Is there an exact closing date (I read “end of October”) of yet?
    We are visiting 20-25 October and would like to walk through.
    Thanks a lot

    • Jean says:

      End of October (that’s the 31st of course!) is the official closing time. As for the exact date, it’s weather dependent so could be a little earlier if it rains.

  12. Andi says:

    Hi there, ist the closing time still the 31st of october?? I read that the weather is getting worse. So I was wondering if the would close earlier. Thanks!

  13. Pranoti says:

    Hello!

    I want to visit the gorge on 25/26th October. Can someone please tell me if it is closed or open?

    Thanks a ton!

  14. Magda says:

    Hi, I would like to visit the Samaria gorge on the end of October ( 26- 29). will it still be open? Thanks

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