Samariá Gorge in the Greek Island of Crete

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The Samariá Gorge is a National Park of Greeceon the island of Crete – a major tourist attraction of the island – and a World's Biosphere Reserve.

The gorge is in southwest Crete in the regional unit of Chania.

It was created by a smallriver running between the White Mountains and Mt.

Volakias.

The Samariá Gorge is A 14km gorge that descends1250 meters to sea level through some of Europe's most spectacular natural scenery.

The walkup the gorge from south to north is pleasant for the main part but the last 3km is extremelytiring.

Sensible shoes are essential.

Most people take an organised tour or approachthe top of the gorge by public bus from Chania and begin their walk from there, but thereare also buses from nearer towns and ferries from the mouth of the gorge.

The most famouspart of the gorge is the stretch known as the Gates, where the sides of the gorge closein to a width of only four meters and soar up to a height of almost 300 meters.

The village of Samariá lies just inside thegorge.

It was finally abandoned by the last remaining inhabitants in 1962 to make wayfor the park.

The gorge became a national park in 1962, particularly as a refuge forthe rare kri-kri (Cretan goat), which is largely restricted to the park and an island justoff the shore of Agia Marina.

There are several other endemic species in the gorge and surroundingarea, as well as many other species of flowers and birds.

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