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Crete: Hania Prefecture Overview Page Twenty-four

Crete Inland Villages

The village of Omalos, has some tavernas and rooms, though it is inhabited only during the summer when some potatoes and grains are cultivated. In winter the place is snow-covered, and in spring, water-logged and boggy . A very remote place, this. From here there are trails to the southeast, to Kallergis mountain refuge (at 1680 meters, a place with 30 beds, open May-Oct), and from there to the peak of Paknes (2452meters), the latter just a few meters lower than the peak of Psiloritis (the highest peak on Crete). The total time for this hike is about nine hours.

Trail to the Samaria gorge

the stair's habd rail is the only thing woodensamaria gorgeFurther west is the start of the trail to the Samaria gorge, the head of the gorge being at the pass of Xyloskalo at 1227meters, where there's a café to stop before embarking on the hike down. The trek from Omalos plateau to Aghia Roumeli is 17 or 18 km (depending on whom you listen to) and is made by thousands every year. Despite the supervision of rangers and the crowds that will accompany you on this popular trek, it is advised that you do not attempt it if not basically fit and an experienced hiker (or at least used to long walks), and that you wear very sturdy shoes with soles that can withstand sharp rocks). Prepare yourself as well for exposure to hot sun. From the head of the gorge you can also hike to Mt. Gingilos (2080meters), which takes about two or three hours to the top, and is very steep. Stick to the path to avoid trouble. A good friend of mine had a heart attack in the gorge and passed away.

The Samaria Gorge receives its own section.

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