Walk to Gigilos above the Samaria gorge - Crete - Greece

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Where everybody goes down, we go up. One of the major attractions of Crete is the Samaria gorge. From the parking area there also is an alternative, the grey mountain on the right called Gigilos. Today the climb to the top is on the schedule. After a dirve of one and a half hours from Rethymno we arrive at the parking area.
The last tourists are loaded of the buses to walk down the Samaria gorge. We take the walking trail on the right side of the parking area with the final destination the top of Gigilos. The first section of the trail is forecast for the rest. Loose rocks, big and small, are lying on the trail which troubles the climb.
Using the hairpin turns we climb up slowly. After the first 200 meters of climbing, the trail flattens out. Well not actually flat, you descend about 50 meters. Along the way we see beautiful rock cliffs and we can see the beginning of the Samaria gorge. Just before the next climb we arrive at a drinking water well, we take a break here. Afterwards we continue climbing towards the saddle in the mountain. The wind is blowing very hard and we have a little break behind a big rock at the saddle. Still the view makes up for a lot! We search for the trail and climb on towards the top of the Gigilos mountain. The trail changes into a path through the rocks where you have to climb using hands and feet. On the way back we see that we have missed the trail for a short section, the way back is easier to walk on. After the rocky section you arrive at the last section, the slate section. From here the top can be clearly seen and is only another 100 meters up. The plateau where there is a big pile of rocks is a good ending point for the hike, but not quite the top of Gigilos. We tried to climb on to the very top, but there is no clear trail through the rocks. Because of the remaining time it was wiser to descend towards our car.

The way back the descending on the loose rocks isn't as fast as we're used to, but we still make it down in one piece! In the bar, which closes around 6 o'clock, we have something to drink before driving back to Rethymno. We made it to the top!

Climbing/descending: 800 meters
Length: 5 km one way

Pay attention:
For this walk you need good/high walking boots. There is also no possibility to get food during the walk and the well halfway is the only place you can get water.
If you don't like climbing, then stop at the saddle and return.

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