The walk to the summit of Mount Gingilos
can roughly be divided in three parts, the return is by the same route and the total walking time is approximately 5 hours.
The walk starts right next to the cafe located above the entrance of the Samaria gorge and you first climb steadily on a good path for about 30 minutes until the path levels off. Then the path is more or less flat or even going down for the next 30 minutes, first passing through ancient cypresses then a large arch and interesting formations until it climbs up a little bit again and you get to the spring of Linoseli (1500 m). The spring water is superb, ice-cold during all seasons of the year. It is the only spring on the way. At ancient times there was a famous Oracle there. Just before that, there is the Demonospilio (cave of deamons), which according to a tradition was the den of deamons
Now you enter a world of stones and rocks. This is a zigzag climb (still on a good path) to the saddle, at an altitude of 1700 m. It will take you 30 to 45 minutes. When you arrive at the saddle, you are at the entrance of the imposing gorge of Tripiti and have great views of the Libyan sea, Gavdos as well as some views of the North coast. On some days it can be very windy from that point onward (the first two parts of the walk are well protected from the wind).
The route from there to the summit is steeper and it is not really a path but a marked route (red spots and some cairns). Many people choose not to go to the summit because the last part takes more walking experience than the walk to the saddle. Still it looks more difficult than it is. The very start is the steepest part and leads past a large hole. Avoid getting too near to it as this cave starts with a vertical shaft 150 meters deep and two people have already fallen in it. Keep following the red spots (sometimes there are several routes marked but don't worry, they all lead to the summit).
Often, people walking up think that they are going to have great difficulties coming back down again but the rock (which looks like granite but is limestone) is very solid and stable underfoot. You will have to use your hands in a few places though.
The way to the summit takes approximately 45 to 60 minutes from the saddle. Once you arrive at the summit you will notice that there is a second summit a little further on. They are at about the same altitude and the scramble to the second summit doesn't give you much better views than from the first. The return is by the same route. Towards the South you will see the higher summit of Volakias (2126 m). It is possible to go there by going straight down and up to the summit but the walk is tiring in extremely rocky terrain (it takes about one hour). From the summit of Volakias you can return straight to the saddle by passing below the summit of Gingilos (i.e. you head in the general direction of the saddle without going back up to the summit of Gingilos).
The mountain can be climbed year-round, no technical climbing gear is required. On dry trails, usually free from snow from late june to late november, hiking shoes, at least 2 liters of water, hat and a sun lotion are needed.