World Famous Samaria gorge opens to public

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The famous Samaria Gorge in southwestern Crete will reopen for visitors from 7 a.m. on Saturday.

Trekkers entering the 16-km-long gorge, which stretches from Xyloskalo to Aghia Roumeli, will have to wear face masks and follow the health protocols presented at the entrance.

“The Samaria Gorge is a unique natural ecosystem of great beauty, and its crossing is a complicated and lengthy process,” the announcement said, urging visitors to respect health rules.

Visitors from all over the world attempt trekking at this gorge. In 1962, Samaria Gorge had been declared a National Park to survive the endangered species kri-kri, the rare Cretan wild goat that lives only in Samaria. Apart from the kri-kri, many other endemic and rare species of flora and fauna live in this gorge.  A small village used to be there, Samaria village, but all its inhabitants abandoned it in 1962 to gorge a national park. The town and the canyon were named after the church of Santa Maria that is found inside the valley.