» Greece, Crete – Island of Sights, Mountains and the Sea IV
Greece, Crete – Island of Sights, Mountains and the Sea IV
The longest European gorge of Samaria was another point of interest. The Samaria is located in Crete’s western half. The gorge is in the middle of the White Mountains (in Greek Lefka Ori). The gorge became a national park in 1962 when the inhabitants of Samaria village was displaced. It was situated in the middle of the gorge. Also, the gorge is a world biosphere reserve.
The gorge was created by small river streaming through the White Mountains and Mt. Volakias. The gorge is 16 kilometers long. Final 3 kilometers are nut under the national park. Usually, the hike starts at 1250 meters and continues to the moat at Agia Roumeli in the Sea of Libya. However, you can walk in the other direction. Local rangers take care of safety of visitors. You will certainly meet some of them on your way. The gorge is open from May to October. But its accessibility also depends on weather.
Pine tree covers the gorge (Pinus brutia). Formerly it was exploited for construction, as fuel wood, or resin. The entire park is under high fire alert because of it. It is strictly forbidden to smoke here or making a fire. Administrators realize the danger therefore there are extinguishers on every kilometer.
The hike from up the gorge to its moat takes about 5-6 hours. It depends on your stamina. Also on the number of breaks. In the upper part of the gorge there is a small café and a parking lot. Buses and cars go there. Most of tourists start at the sea or up at the parking lot. Then they go through the entire gorge. At Agia Roumeli, they board a ship and travel either to Hora Sfaklion which is to the east or to Sougia or Paleochora which is to the west.
Initially we intended to set off pretty early in the morning from Paleochora and reach Sougie. A bus Omalos village was supposed to depart at 7 a.m. In the main, however, the bus rides only on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. We were there on Tuesday. Therefore, we had to travel by car to Omalos and back. We realized we had to drive fast in order to return until the sundown. It was the only relevant option for us.
At five in the morning we set off from Xyloskalo downhill. The signs on the road are greatly done. There are several rest areas along the road and you can refill your water supplies. The upper half of the gorge is wide open. However, the gorge narrows down and its narrowest part is called Sideroportes (the Iron Gate) and is only 3 meters wide. The walls are several hundred meters high. You need to hop over the stones in order to get through the Iron Gate. At more spacious places there are footbridges. What is left of the village can still be seen Samaria village. You can refill water there. Also, there is the park administrator. Many tourists frequent the place when they go from the sea or the other way round. It is bit crowded there as we witnessed.
Four hours later we reached the bottom edge of the park. However, we didn’t got to the sea because it would mean we would have to pay 5 euro admission fee. Moreover, we didn’t have much time. The number of tourists dropped and the other half of the gorge we were there almost alone. The only people we encountered were rangers. They warned us that it was too late and we should hurry out of there.
The trek ended around 6 o’clock. We were absolutely tired. We were truly lucky because. Once we get into the car, the rain started pouring. We hardly saw anything. After a ride down to Paleochora we would hove some good dinner and got into our sleeping bags.
We tell you more about our journey across Crete in the next part of our article series.
GPS: (Agia Roumeli) 35°13'47.9"N 23°57'32.3"E
Text and photos: Vojtěch Bližňák
Greek Kefalonia is the largest island in the Ionian Sea, located between Lefkada and Zakynthos. People come here mainly for beautiful beaches and peace, because it is not so touristy yet. The capital is Argostoli, which is also worth a visit. We stay in Lixouri and there is a ferry every 30 minutes between Lixouri and Argostoli. One trip costs less than 3 euros and takes 20 minutes.
The next day’s morning we woke up while it was still being dark. Because we spent the night at a cottage, we quickly packed our things. At 6 o’clock we were already heading to Kato Zakros, another important Minoan palace. Unfortunately, the weather was not good. It rained all day. Yet this was no thing that would make us to loose our spirits. At around 8 o’clock we reached our destination. The information in the book guide said it the opening hours start at 8. However, right there we found out it would be at 10. Two hours of additional time meant we made use of them and walked along the coastline.
The last day before leaving Crete by plane we did want to spend in Heraklion. Most of all at the most famous Minoan palace of Knossos. At around 8 o’clock in the morning we left the camp of Sissi. About one hour later we were in front of our hotel. We parked the car and went for Knossos right away. This largest tourist attraction on Crete is only 5 kilometers to the south from Heraklion. Buses depart every twenty minutes for the palace and you pay 3 euro per ticket.
This gem of Ionian Islands. It is known not only for beautiful beaches but also for its charming Greek countryside. You can enjoy it to the fullest on the island. Lefkada is situated south of Corfu and north of Cephalonia.
An island with a history dating back to the early Stone Age was only discovered in the 1970s-80s. Today, it is a popular holiday destination not only for the mainland, Romanians, Bulgarians and the inhabitants of the former Yugoslavia, who are almost overwater here, but Thassos is stuck in the viewfinder to tourists beyond the borders of Europe. The most popular places include southern Limenaria and Potos.
Santorini (Thira in Greek language) is a relatively small part of the Cyclades archipelago, with a width of only 6 km and a length of just over 25 km. Its area, however, strongly balances the geographical and geological location of the island and its rich history. Situated 220 km from Athens and 110 km from Crete, Thira has always been an important and often necessary stop on the route between these major shopping centers. As a result, traces of the largest Minoan settlement outside Crete have been preserved on the island.
The island of Mykonos is not big, it has an area of only about 100 km². And so the ideal way to travel the whole island is to rent a scooter, motorbike or quad bike. In addition to a varied nightlife, Mykonos is famous for its rugged coastline with beautiful beaches and a very pleasant climate. Today we will go to explore some of its most famous beaches.
Cosmopolitan Mykonos is an island in the Greek Cyclades archipelago in the Mediterranean. The world is known as the island of celebrities, creams and nightlife. Recently, however, it has come to the forefront of popularity and Czech travel agencies are beginning to offer it in their catalogs.
Wondering if you will end up heading out to sea? Would you like to fly to Crete? This island is so famous that we will not talk about it now. But while you're here, we know of a great day trip. That you don't want to walk around the sights in the awful heat? Be calm, this trip will absolutely captivate you. We set off to Chrissi Island.
We left early in the morning the Agia Galini camp for Phaistos (Faistos) palais. It is considered the second most important Minoan palace (the first one is Knossos). The palace is situated on Kastri Hill which is in central area of the Mesara Plain. Up from there you can get beautiful vista of the Idi mountains.
On this day, we planned to make a short trip to the Lefka Ori mountains. Bad weather prevented us from going there. Therefore, we decided to travel to Moni Preveli monastery instead.
The title suggests that Crete is island of several great tourist attractions. People who love culture, those who love history and nature or just laying on a beach will all enjoy a stay here. The history of Crete is, however, very colorful. Therefore, it would be a pity to spend your vacation just being lazy on a beach.
A delegate of the company we rented our car from had been already waiting for us once we arrived at the airport. It was apparent that there is some fierce competition among car rental companies. The way how they treat their customers is the consequence of the fierce competition. Once we had settled all documents we needed we get in our car and drove to the west. There are no official freeways so you don’t pay any toll.
We woke up to nice and shinny day. Nobody was on the beach we went to so we just laid around. I recommend you Camp Mithimna, the camp we stayed at. Its owner was very kind and helpful. After a short talk with him we left for Balos, the beach in the northwest on the Gramvousa peninsula.
After several articles on London we jump across Europe to the Mediterranean, actually to the east part of the sea. Today we will have a taste of sun after rains of London, and warm waters of the Sea of Crete.
Last week we have lured to you to our trip to Crete. This hilly island hides many things, no healthy tourist would miss that. Today we will take a look on one of the largest cities of Crete, Rethymno. First, we will talk about local cuisine. Next week will visit some landmarks.
After unveiling gourmet side of the Cretan city rise from the comfortable sitting in one of the local restaurants and we will explore the historical legacy left by several millennia of human habitation.
In Rethymno we have already spent a lot of time. We saw something of its historic heritage, even if there is yet much more to see. We just randomly mention some of them.
One of the most attractive places on Rhodos east coast is Lindos, a city built in the rock. It has a acropolis and the temple of Athena of Lindos. The knights of the order of Saint John built the greatest local landmark.
The city with cultural traditions, with known rhetorical school (attended by Cicero and Caesar) and the famous sculptural school. Ever since its foundation (408 BC) the capital of the island is Rhodos, lies in whose northern tip.
From Old town with medieval buildings and watchtowers we head into the New Town district, where you can also find monuments from different periods, which was together with historical centre right declared by UNESCO as world natural and cultural attractions.
Rhodes - a town on the island in the Aegean Sea. Whether it was the island according to one or an...
Greece is well-known with its antique history. The country is surrounded with many greater and sm...