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Episkopi (Rethimno) - Omalos - Samaria gorge - Kandanos - Paleochora

Trip Details

Date: Tue, 12/08/2003
Distance: 273 km
Motorcyclists: Manolis, Sakis, Panos
Copilots: Nikos
Photographers: Manolis
Authors: Manolis
Translators: Ada
Map: Trip map
Photographs: Link

Sightseeing map

It was our second day in Crete and we decided to visit the mountains of Crete!!! We selected, therefore, to take the road to Lefka Ori (White Mountains) and more specifically to reach up to village of Omalos, where is the point to begin for those who want to cross the gorge of Samaria.
The way to Omalos is amazing as you meet different landscapes going up to the top of Lefka Ori!!! The road is full of turnings and so narrow that made us wondering how all these tourist buses succeed to reach the top, in order to transport the people who want to cross the gorge!!! At the beginning of the gorge there is a nice cafeteria where you can enjoy the unique and famous gorge of Samaria. This area is located after the village of Omalos (attention, no signs exist). The altitude in this point reaches roughly the 1400m. The gorge is considered among the most divine parts of Europe and in 1980 was rewarded by the council of Europe as one of the most beautiful region of our continent! Its length reaches the 18km and the width from 3(!) to 300 meters. The walking course up to the exit of the gorge lasts 6-8 hours.
As soon as we finished our coffee, enjoying the unique view, we continued for the known Paleohora. Intermediary stop was the historic village of Kandanos. This village is noted for the harsh reprisal from the Germans for the participation and the resistance of its residents during the Battle of Crete. After it was completely destroyed by the Germans and most of the locals were executed, the Forces of Possession left a sign that still exists in the courtyard of the school and mentions in Greek and in German language: "Here existed KANDANOS, which was destroyed in atonement for the murder of 25 German soldiers and rebuild after the war".
Paleohora is a traditional coastal village in the Libyan Sea. The houses are built in the Champaign and reach down to the sea. Known and as Kastelli of Selinos -by the Venetian fortress- it is considered as the second “Libyan Nymph”, the first is Ierapetra. In Paleohora we enjoyed our swim at the beach in the back side of the town and we sate for food in one of the traditional taverns in the harbour. If you go to Crete do not miss to visit Paleohora.