The Samariá Gorge is since 1962 on 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 small river running between the White Mountains (Lefká Óri) and Mt. Volakias. There are a number of other gorges in the White Mountains. While some say that the gorge is 18 km long, this distance refers to the distance between the settlement of Omalos on the northern side of the plateau and the village of Agia Roumeli.
In fact, the gorge is 16 km long, starting at an altitude of 1,250 m at the northern entrance. The walk through Samaria National Park is 13 km long, but one has to walk another two kilometers to Agia Roumeli from the park exit, making the hike 15 km long. The most famous part of the gorge is the stretch known as the Gates, where the sides of the gorge close in to a width of only four meters and soar up to a height of almost 300 meters (980 feet).