If you are currently in Crete and you plan a trip to the Samaria gorge , we must worry you. The local route will still not be fully accessible to the public for at least the next few days. It will still be possible to enter only through the south entrance from the village of Agia Roumeli . The park authorities have provided official information that the full opening of the trail through the Samaria Gorge will take place no later than May 10.
Over the next few days, work related to the repair of damages which were created on the route in winter and spring season is to be completed. At present, there are two teams of several people working in the ravine area. One of them moves from the north entrance of Xyloskalo , while the other one methodically performs subsequent work into the gorge from the southern entrance. Ms. Plumnia Sklavakis (Πολύμνια Σκλαβάκη) The director of the Forest District of Chania informed that the pace of work is good and if good weather conditions persists in the coming days, both teams should meet on the trail.
In the meantime, there are also works related to bureaucratic procedures necessary even for such activities as the recruitment of periodic workers and the employment of other various types of personnel. In 2019, the total amount of European funds that were obtained for the salaries of people employed in the Samaria Gorge and damage repair and preparation of the route, amounts to EUR 12 million. It is worth emphasizing here that thanks to the involvement of the Ministry of Health this year, a military doctor will be employed again for the tourist season in the ravine. The park authorities estimate that all procedures will be completed by 13 May at the latest, when the Samaria Gorge, as a natural monument, will be assessed by representatives of the Council of Europe. Everyone hopes that the park will be re-evaluated as a first-class attraction.
From Friday last week, a short, 2-kilometer southern section of the route was opened for tourists. This is a route sometimes referred to as "lazy samaria" in English, meaning a trip to the Samaria ravine for the lazy. By overcoming this section of the route it is possible to reach the place called the Iron Gate, which is one of the narrowest sections, where the steep walls of the ravine are only a few meters away. Unfortunately, this very short version of visiting the ravine does not give you the opportunity to fully familiarize yourself with the Samaria gorge. It is also not very popular among tourists. The park's authorities admit that in recent days, the typical number of tourists entering the ravine area ranged between 50 and 100 people.
It is clear that most springwalkers choose most probably other routes located in the Sfaki region. Some people will also prefer to wait for the full accessibility of the route.
Highlighted Koules - photo source www.flashnews.gr
However, all those people who decide to spend the night in Agia Roumeli can count on a lot of attractions. In recent days, the project of highlighting the ruins of Koules castle towering over this town was completed there. Thanks to the support of the local community, a solar installation that illuminated the fortress walls was made there. This project is part of a wider program implemented by the local commune, whose aim is to promote all historical memorial sites.