The gorges of Crete
Gorges are inseparable in an area with so many mountains. We all know the Samaria Gorge, which has many visitors each year. Particularly beautiful and a real challenge. We will be glad to give you more information about this. But this part of Crete has so many other incredible gorges, quieter and certainly no less interesting.
This gorge might have a less familiar ring to it, but we are confident that after a visit you will be very impressed. The Imbros gorge runs from the mountain village of Imbros, which is situated at an altitude of 780 meters to the village Komitades. This village is located only at an altitude of 200 meters, a descent of as much as 580 meters! The gorge is seven kilometers long and in some places only two meters wide. An imposing mountain tour which requires some effort but is very rewarding.
The Kourtaliotiko Gorge
The Kourtaliotiko gorge starts at the village Koxare and ends at the beach of Préveli. It is located between the mountain ranges of Kouroupa and Xiron. The gorge itself is about three kilometers long and reaches in some places a height of 600 meters. The gorge gets its name from the Cretan word “kourtala”, which is like clapping your hands and is audible at the entrance to the gorge. This sound is caused by the strong northern winds as they blow along the caves in the walls of the gorge. Only 20 meters away from the north entrance and with sufficient wind you will be able to hear this sound.
Agia Irini Gorge
The start of the Agia Irini Gorge is located at an altitude of 1200 meters, in the homonymous mountain village. The trip through the gorge takes about four hours, during this time you can walk approximately nine kilometers to the coastal town of Sougia. During a walk through the green Agia Irini gorge you can walk straight across many paths that lead mostly along the dried out riverbed, although there are also areas with heights up to 600 meters. During the trip you pass, especially in the spring, varied splendor of flora.
The Samaria Gorge is located in the Samaria National Natural Park of the White Mountains at an altitude of about 1200 meters. The descent through one of the most beautiful canyons of Europe begins at Xiloskalo, or the wooden staircase. At the kiosk you buy a ticket to visit the National Park and thus you enter the eighteen kilometer long gorge. The beginning of the descent is quite steep, therefore a wooden railing is provided. Along the gorge facilities are provided, including toilets and springs of water to fill your water bottle. If you want to complete this journey in a nice and safe way, it is advisable to wear good walking or hiking boots.
As previously reported, this region has many gorges, all varying in length, depth and accessibility. Because they are not as well known, it does not mean that they are less beautiful. On the contrary, due to the low number of visitors the nature has not been affected and you can admire the gorges in all their purity. Most of them are not so long and therefore can be walked over and back in a short period of time.
Further west, the seven-kilometer-long gorge of Aradena to Loutro. South of Rethymno is the gorge of Patsos also called Agios Antonis gorge, which includes crossing through water. East of Plakias you will find among other, Kotsyfou gorge and Preveli gorge. Some of these gorges can also be crossed by car. Others require a little more effort and require hiking boots to enjoy their full beauty.