Search:
Choose Language:
MENU
THE ISLAND INSIDE YOU

Gorges

The Gorge of Samaria
more
The Gorge of Samaria

The gorge of Samaria is the biggest, most imposing and beautiful gorge in Chania and in Europe, and that is why it is internationally renown and mostly visited, since more than 300000 people have the opportunity to cross it each year.

 It has a wonderful landscape with rare geo-morphological formations. It is a unique biotope with particular richness in fauna and flora. It has a rich mythology as well, that goes back to pre-historical years and a tumultuous history during the difficult years of Crete. It was proclaimed National Park of the White Mountains of Crete in 1962, date at which two or three Sfakian families still lived in the village of Samaria, in the middle of the gorge, who were mainly busy with cattle-breeding and woodcutting.

The surface covered at the time was 48.500 sq.m., whereas the expansion of the Park is promoted today on 250.000 sq.m. that will include the remarkable portion of the White Mountains.

The gorge was awarded the following prizes: 1971: National Diploma of Nature Protection, 1973: was proclaimed a place of special natural beauty, 1979: First Order European Diploma of Protection of the Natural Environment awarded by the Council of Europe, renewable every 5 years. The same Diploma was indeed awarded anew in 1984, 1989, 1994 and 1999.

The length of the passage to the limits of the park is 12,800 km and the distance to the coast of Agia Roumeli is then another 3,200 km. Its crossing at a good pace can be done in five or fewer hours, but it is preferable not to walk less than 6 to 8 hours in order to enjoy its incomparable beauties.

The gorge can usually be visited from the beginning of May till the end of October, unless there are bad weather conditions. There are guardhouses of the State's Service of the Park (Forest Inspection Service) at the beginning of the gorge (in the village of Samaria) and at its end. A doctor is also available to serve the visitors of the gorge, as well as a helicopter airport in Agia Roumeli.

The main fauna species is the world-famous Cretan Chamois (wild goat) (CAPRA AEGAGRUS CRETICA), an extremely beautiful and dashing animal that has been preserved and is now living freely in the gorge of Samaria and in the three gorges parallel to it. Among the well-known flora species, you find the perennial gigantic cypresses once used in shipbuilding and in the construction of the pillars of the Palace of Knossos by the Minoans, etc.
There is a total of 450 species of Cretan flora in the gorge, of which 70 are endemic, i.e. they grow in the gorge only.

The gorge has a lot of narrow passes that are called "gates" but the narrowest pass, "the Iron Gate", is 3 m wide and 300 to 700 m high from both sides. There are a lot of spots where you can walk over the river of the gorge on small wooden bridges.

Formerly there were famous sanctuaries and oracles in the gorge. In Agia Roumeli also, the ancient city of TARA with the temple of Apollo, only a portion of which has been preserved. You can participate in one of the excursions to the gorge organised by the travel agencies in Crete or reach its entrance, i.e. the famous plateau of Omalos (at an altitude of 1.250 m and a distance of 43 km from Chania), by bus (KTEL lines). There are small taverns and hotels in Omalos and an information centre as well, a kind of little museum dedicated to Samaria and the White Mountains. You can also sail from Agia Roumeli on one of the modern crafts that secure your transportation from Chora Sfakion in one hour, and then from there take the bus to Chania, Rethimno etc.

A craft sails westwards also to the coasts of Sougia and Palaiochora. On the very clean and idyllic beach of Agia Roumeli, situated at the foot of very high mountains, you can rest and enjoy swimming in the waters of the Libyan Sea, dine in the numerous taverns and stay overnight in the small hotels of the area. All this can also be done in Chora Sfakion.

Route Length: 18 km
Visit Period : May-October
Address: Lefka Ori
close
The Gorge of Imbros in Sfakia
more
The Gorge of Imbros in Sfakia

It is a small but very beautiful gorge visited each year by around 50.000 people, due to the ease with which you can cross it any time of the year, especially when the gorge of Samaria is closed.

Its crossing starts from the Sfakian mountain village called Imbros, situated at an altitude of 780 m and a distance of 55 km from Chania. There are also taverns with local delicacies in Imbros.

The gorge is 8 km long and its crossing takes about 2 hours. It has impressive ‘gates' or entrances, i.e. narrow vertical rocky passes that, like a tunnel, almost obstruct the view to the sky in the middle of the passage and the narrowest spot is only 2 m wide.

The gorge ends in the asphalt road that connects Chora Sfakion westwards (4.800 km) to the reputed fortress and beach of Fragokastello (10 km) eastwards. There are taverns at the exit as well.

Route Length: 8 km
Address: Chora Sfakion
Route Difficulty: Very Easy
Route Duration: 3 Hours
Visit Period : January-January
close
The Gorge of Agia Irini in Selino
more
The Gorge of Agia Irini in Selino

On the western side of the White Mountains, in the province of Selino, another gorge opens up, unique in beauties and flora.

The gorge has a lot of vertical passes and bears its name after the small village situated in the vicinity of its entrance, at a distance of 46 km from Chania.

The gorge is 7,50 km long and its crossing takes 3 hours. At the end, there is a beautiful traditional tourist kiosk from which you will need another 45 minutes' walk to reach the littoral village of Sougia. Its beautiful beach is very clean and you will enjoy an unforgettable swim in the waters of the Libyan Sea.

There are taverns, rooms for rental and small hotels in Sougia. A craft sails from the small port of Sougia once a day also, thereby connecting the village to Chora Sfakion eastwards and to Palaiochora westwards.

Route Duration: 3 Hours
Route Length: 7.5 km
Address: Selino
close
The Gorge of Aradaina in Sfakia
more
The Gorge of Aradaina in Sfakia

It is one of the most interesting gorges, although it is not among the biggest ones. In order to reach it from Chora Sfakion, you walk the carriageway up to the mountain village of Anopoli (12 km, at an altitude of 600 m), built on the southern side of the foot of the White Mountains.

You then walk another 3,5 km to reach the deserted village of Aradaina (at an altitude of 520 m), built on the brink of the gorge. The ancient city of Aradin used to be there. An iron bridge over a vertiginous precipice unites both sides of the gorge. Before the bridge, on your right hand-side, you will find an old stone path once leading to Aradaina. You walk from there down to the bottom of the gorge and then on a slightly rough ground to its end in the Libyan Seafor 2,30 hours.

At the end of the gorge, on the very clean gravel beach of Marmara, you can enjoy an unforgettable swim. On your way in the gorge you will meet a 9-m deep vertical pass where an iron ladder was placed for accommodation purposes. From the exit of the gorge up to the picturesque village of Loutro, where there are crafts sailing to Chora Sfakion, you can walk for about an hour across the beaches of Lykos and Phoenikas. From the coast of Marmara, a little boat transports people to Loutro daily. It takes two hours to walk from Loutro to Chora Sfakion, if you don't take the boat.

Route Length: 5.5 km
Address: Aradena, Sfakia
Route Difficulty: Very Easy
Visit Period : January-January
close
The Gorge of Elygia
more
The Gorge of Elygia

It is one of the most remarkable gorges of Sfakia, where a few couples of wild goats still live (the seldom Cretan Chamois).

Its passage starts from the village of Agios Ioannis in Sfakia (at an altitude of 780 m and a distance of 92 km from Chania). You need around 1 hour in order to reach the location of Kormokopos, where there are caves with water, before starting descending the gorge (up to that point, you need a guide).

The gorge ends in the very beautiful piny sand beach of the Libyan Sea, after another 2 hours' walk. From the beach to Agia Roumeli, you have to walk one more hour. The above crossing covers half the gorge. If you wish to cross all of Elygia, you need an experienced guide and at least 2 days at your disposal. You start from the plateau of Omalos and walk via the refuge of Kallergi and the summit of Melintaou (at an altitude of 2133 m) before reaching the location "Potamos" in the White Mountains.

After a vertical descent of 10 m, you reach the bottom of the gorge and walk on up to the coast of the Libyan Sea. The Omalos - Potami trek takes 6 hours and another 6 hours from there to the coast.

close
The Gorge of Trypitis
more
The Gorge of Trypitis

This gorge is one of the biggest and most difficult of access in Chania, which requires a guide to be crossed, and at least one and a half days available.

The first afternoon you can climb up (via the plateau of Omalos at an altitude of 1200 m) the mountain of Grigkilos, a very precipitous mountain with alpine configuration. You pass under a natural arch at an altitude of 1400 m from the frozen water source of Linoseli. In order to approach the summit, where you spend the night outdoors or in the ruined sheepfold of Tzatzimou, you need to walk for 2,30 hours at an altitude of 2080 m.

The myth says that it is on this summit that Cretagenous Jupiter had his throne, and westwards, on the nearby more regular peaks, he had his harness racing. At the source of Linoseli there was a famous ancient oracle as well.

From Gigilo up to the coast, you have to walk for about six hours. If there is no boat waiting for you there, you will walk for another three hours (right- and upward from the old village), before reaching the very beautiful littoral village of Sougia in Selino (70 km distant from Chania).

There is a wide diversity of fauna and flora species in the gorge, which is the dwelling place of the Cretan Chamois as well. You will find a cistern, a goat sheepfold and the chapel of Saint Nicholas there also.

Route Duration: 8.5 Hours
close
The Gorge of Diktamou (Katechori Stilos)
more
The Gorge of Diktamou (Katechori Stilos)

This gorge is well known as the gorge of Katechori or Stylos as well and it is one of the few gorges in Chania that does not have a north - south direction.

It is a very beautiful and verdant gorge, with many species of the Cretan flora and with a lot of steeps. Its crossing is easy, since it is situated near the city of Chania and is accessed from the village of Katechori in the Province of Keramia (at an altitude of 300 m and a distance of 21 km from Chania). The passage takes three to four hours and ends in the village of Faraggi (meaning ‘gorge') (at an altitude of 40 m and a distance of 17 km from Chania), at a short distance from the Chania - Stylos main road.

The nearby village of Stylos is very picturesque, with affluent water sources running under gigantic plane trees, old churches and little taverns.

Route Duration: 3.5 Hours
close
The Gorge of Therisso or Eleytheriou Venizelou
more
The Gorge of Therisso or Eleytheriou Venizelou

It is the nearest gorge to the city of Chania and the only gorge that a visitor can drive through by car or other transportation means, since it is crossed by a carriageway leading to the gorge from Chania via the suburb of the city of Perivolia.

The main portion of the gorge is 6 km long. The imposing precipitous rocky slopes and the very luxuriant flora have no cause to be jealous of the bigger gorges of Chania.
The gorge, even if visited by car, and the beauty of the village of Therisso, built at the foot of the White Mountains at an altitude of 580 m and only 15 km distant from Chania, will remain unforgettable to the visitor.

The great politician and later Prime Minister of Greece, Eleftherios Venizelos, born in Chania at the beginning of the previous century, actualised the Cretan Revolution from the village of Therisso in order to unite the island of Crete and the rest of Greece, after four hundred years of slavery under the Turks.

Route Length: 6 km
close
The Gorge of Chalase or Sasalou
more
The Gorge of Chalase or Sasalou

 It is another gorge of Kissamos, wonderful to the nature lovers and mountaineers, located in an intact natural environment.

It starts from the village of Sasalos in Kissamos at an altitude of 340-m (57 km from Chania), where you come to via the Chania - Nopigia - Koleni - Rokka - Sfakopigadi - Malathyro - Sasalo route.

After walking for maximum 4 hours in the main portion of the gorge, you reach the village of Malathyro (at an altitude of 315 m and a distance of 48 km from Chania). If you walk for one more hour you can also reach the village of Voulgaro in Kissamos, 7 km distant from the town of Kissamos.

Route Duration: 4 Hours
close
The Gorge of Prasse
more
The Gorge of Prasse

A small but very beautiful and wild gorge with significant altitude differences from the entrance to the exit, due to which the walk in the gorge is sideling enough and takes place among small or bigger rocks and under very impressive precipitous escarpments.

You reach the beginning of the gorge via the asphalt road leading from the crossroads of Petra Seli to the plateau of Omalos (Chania - Sougia route) and about 1 km from the entrance to the detour of Omalos. On the nearby dirt road, there is a 1-km long pathway leading to Platanos after about 15 minutes, a densely wooded area with plane trees and ferns and full of water sources.

You thus enter the main portion of the gorge and exit the gorge after walking for two hours on the rural road leading from the village of Prasse in Kydonia (31 km distant from Chania, at an altitude of 480 m) to the village of Skidia rightwards. You need another 40 minutes' walk before reaching Prasse if you do not have any vehicle at your disposal.

Route Duration: 2 Hours
close
The Gorge of Kavi or Iligga
more
The Gorge of Kavi or Iligga

It is another of the densely wooded worth visiting gorges of Sfakia, with high precipices.

From the mountain village of Anopoli you can start walking on the rural-mountain road leading to the White Mountains, while reaching an altitude of 2000 m near their highest summit. After walking for one hour and a half, a small ramification leads rightwards to the Byzantine chapel of the Rood that contains remarkable murals. You can drive up there too.

It takes about 3 hours to walk up to the exit of the gorge, where there is an asphalt road leading from Chora Sfakion to Anopoli. A few meters downwards, there is a very clean beach called Iliggas, where you can enjoy swimming in the Lybian Sea, eat delicacies and stay overnight in the nearby complex.

If you can't make the above crossing, you can have a global view of the gorge by walking as much as you wish toward the inside of the gorge from its exit on.

Route Duration: 3 Hours
close
The Gorge of Asfendou
more
The Gorge of Asfendou

The next gorge eastwards has its entrance in the almost deserted mountain village of Sfakia called Asfendou (at an altitude of 770 m and a distance of 8 km from Imbros).

You reach the gorge by coming from the area of Ambelos - Tentas - Seli and after walking for 3 hours, you meet the old village of Agios Georgios (former Kolokasia) situated at an altitude of 260 m. The 1700-m long rural road will lead you from there to the main road of Chora Sfakion - Fragokastello and to the new village of Agios Nektarios, 73 km distant from Chania and 7 km from Chora Sfakion.

Route Duration: 3 Hours
close
The Gorge of Kalikrati
more
The Gorge of Kalikrati

It is situated eastwards also, starting from the mountain village of Kalikratis in Sfakia, at an altitude of 750 m (14 km distant from Imbros), and you need three hours in order to cross it. The gorge ends in the village of Kapsodasos, at an altitude of 120 m and at a distance of 8 km from Chora Sfakion.

You need three hours' walk to cross it. The gorge ends at the village Kapsodasos, at an altitude of 120 meters, from which Hora Sfakion is at a distance of 8 km.

Route Duration: 3 Hours
close
The Gorge of Katholikou
more
The Gorge of Katholikou

Among the 115 caves and 5 small gorges of the promontory, the small verdant gorge of Katholikou or Avlaki Agiou (‘the saint's way') distinguishes itself in its wild beauty.

After reaching the well-known Convent of Gouvernetou, situated at an altitude of 260 m. and a distance of 16 km from Chania, you start walking northwards on a pathway and, after 10 minutes, you meet the Cave of Panagia Akroudiotissas, as well as the chapel of the Virgin Mary and the sanctuary of Artemis. After walking for 10 minutes downwards, you can see the monastery of Saint John the Hermit, who lived during the 14th century in the 151 m long and very nice cave that is situated in the vicinity of the chapel.

A little further downwards, after walking over an unusually big bridge, you enter the gorge. You then walk on the streambed for about half an hour and reach the coast. The sea is very clean for swimming. You can see a Venetian well, a construction where the monks of Katholikos used to keep their small craft, and the stone portion that was cut off for the building of the Convent.

Route Duration: 0.5 Hours
close
Gorge of Kourtaliotis
more
Gorge of Kourtaliotis

The Gorge of Kourtaliotis with its imposing precipices reaching to a height of 600 m starts shortly after the village of Koxare and ends at the Lagoon of Preveli.

This magnificent gorge is worth visiting. Approximately half way through the gorge and on the left-hand side of the road from Koxare to Asomatos are steps, which lead down to the bottom of the gorge and to the chapel of Aghios Nikolaos. The river Megalos Potamos runs through the gorge, which at this point is called river Kourtaliotis.

close
Gorge of Kotsifou
more
Gorge of Kotsifou

The Gorge of Kotsifou begins at the village of Kannevos and ends at the village of Plakias.

Just 10 m wide at the entrance, the beginning of this gorge is very narrow, however, eventually the gorge widens out to 600m. It is 1,800m long in total and its almost perpendicular walls reach a height of 600 m. A small chapel built into a rocky cavity is situated in the gorge.

close
Gorge of Patsos
more
Gorge of Patsos

The gorge of Patsos is easy to walk through. Both the gorge and the cave, which hosts the Church of Aghios Antonios, have been improved by the Forest authority and are an excellent destination for short tours and a picnic.

close
Prassano gorge
more
Prassano gorge

The Prassano Gorge, which starts south of the village of Prasses, offers you a three-hours-walk. Its impressive rock faces and a few rather difficult points of access make this tour particularly interesting.

Route Difficulty: Very Easy
Route Duration: 3 Hours
Visit Period : January-January
close
Gorge of Arkadi
more
Gorge of Arkadi

The gorge of Arkadi starts at the Arkadi Monastery and leads you through a magnificent landscape to the village of Pikri, which boasts important elements of Venetian architecture.

Route Difficulty: Very Easy
Route Duration: 2 Hours
Visit Period : January-January
close
Gorge of Agios Antonios
more
Gorge of Agios Antonios

An area of outstanding natural beauty beginning at the village of Ano Asites. The E4 European Long Distance Path runs down the gorge, which contains rare plant and animal species protected under European law.

Specifically, there are 80 species of plant (four of them protected), 24 species of animal (11 protected) and 16 species of bird, of which eight are protected. There is also a cave 100 metres deep, which is home to two species of bat protected by the same EEC directive. At the entrance to the gorge is the chapel of Agios Antonios (St Anthony).

close
Gorge of Aghios Nikolaos Zaros
more
Gorge of Aghios Nikolaos Zaros

This is the most impressive gorge in central Crete, as regards both vegetation and geomorphology.

It cuts the imposing Psiloritis massif from north to south, linking the Forest of Rouvas to the valley of the River Koutsoulidis to the south, near Zaros, one of the loveliest large villages in Crete, known since antiquity for its springs.

At the northern entrance to the gorge stands the chapel of Agios Ioannis (St John), where the Forestry Service has constructed a picnic area. The gorge is four kilometres in length from the chapel of Agios Ioannis to the Monastery of Agios Nikolaos after which it is named, about one-and-a-half hours’ walk.

There is a path along most of the gorge, ending at the small Votomos Lake of Zaros to the south, one of the most important woodland recreation areas in central Crete. The gorge is one of the richest ecosystems in Greece and was even home to endemic Cretan wild goats until the turn of the 20th century.

Apart from its plant and animal life, however, the gorge also contains impressive geological features, in a rare landscape of imposing rock formations and beautiful ravines.

The ecological and geomorphological characteristics of the gorge, combined with its historical churches of Agios Nikolaos, Agios Minas and Agios Euthymios and the ruins of the Roman Aqueduct at the spot known as Sterna, which supplied ancient Gortyn with water, make it an important natural monument of Crete.

Route Duration: 1.5 Hours
Route Length: 4 km
close
Astrakiano Gorge
more
Astrakiano Gorge

This is the longest gorge in the region, with a total length of roughly 12.5 km. It starts at the spot known as Kolomodi in the northwest and crosses the Astraki area (Nikos Kazantzakis Municipality), the Miliara springs and the borders of the Karteros area, along a route rich in natural, geological and cultural features.

Route Length: 12.5 km
Route Difficulty: Very Easy
Route Duration: 3 Hours
Visit Period : January-January
close
Astritsi Gorge
more
Astritsi Gorge

The gorge, lined with plane trees, has a total length of about eight kilometres. At Rematies are historic churches and the Neraidospilios (Fairy Cave). All along the route are springs which flow all year round.

close
Kalo Chorio Gorge
more
Kalo Chorio Gorge

A small gorge containing hard-leaved evergreens and scrub. The dominant species are hairy thorny broom (Calicotome villosa), kermes oak (Quercus coccifera) and tree spurge (Euphorbia dendroides), in which large rodent and snake populations are found.

close
Knossano Gorge
more
Knossano Gorge

The gorge is the natural extension of Mount Juktas, lying south of Archanes. It runs north for a total of about six kilometres, through Archanes village at the spot known at Kato Mylos, through the Myristi area and the Agia Irini aqueduct at Spilia, continuing north past Knossos. Distance length: 5.7km


 

Route Difficulty: Very Easy
Visit Period : January-January
close
Kounaviano Gorge
more
Kounaviano Gorge

The two arms of the gorge run from the villages of Myrtia and Kounavi in Archanon- Asterousion Municipality, ending up in the Astrakiano Gorge. The gorge covers a total of five kilometres.

close
Gorge of Havgas
more
Gorge of Havgas

The gorge of Havgas is a very particular place of exotic beauty and rare geological features. It lies near the village Kalamafka, at a distance of 12 kilometres from Ierapetra and at an altitude of 480 metres.

It is easily accessible and its crossing is pleasant and relaxing. Although the last fires have wiped out the greatest part of the beautiful pine tree forest that used to be in the gorge, the remaining bonsai pine trees that have survived in the slots and fissures of rocks reward the visitor. At many points, the rocks accommodate visual creations of the nature, chiseled by the wind and the water as time goes by. The depth of the gorge attains 300 metres. Two wedged rocks form an entrance of successive caves, used by Cretan guerillas and their allies during the German occupation in World War II. The course through the gorge is magical! The view and the landscapes that unfold before your eyes will always stay on your memory! Distance Length:  3-4 km

close
Gorge of Mylonas
more
Gorge of Mylonas The gorge of Mylonas lies 18 kilometres away from Ierapetra, in the village Aghios Ioannis, at an altitude of 500 metres. Access to the gorge is not so easy. However, the pictures of the small waterfalls throughout the course will certainly impess and enchant you, thus rewarding you for that little hardship!
close
Gorge of Sarakina
more
Gorge of Sarakina To the west of Ierapetra at a distance of 20 kilometres, lies the picturesque village Mythi. The gorge of Sarakina begins at a short distance from the village, which is alternatively called Sarantapichos by the locals. According to the myth, Sarantapichos (a giant, son of Zeus) was crossing the mountain when he got thirsty. So, he leaned to the river to quench his thirst. As a result, his long beard tore the mountain in two, thus the gorge was born. The vegetation in the gorge is lush, with great populations of birds and gurgling waters flowing from springs. The most part of the gorge is passable with waters, ponds ans scrambles. It is ideal for a pleasant afternoon or for a tour with your children. The crossing of the gorge takes about an hour.
close
Gorge of Mesonas
more
Gorge of Mesonas The length of Mesonas gorge is 4 kilometres and ends up in the village Keratokampos of the Muncipality of Viannos. It requires a good physical condition, yet the course is fantastic, since you cross the most impressive part of Sitia mountains. At the eastern edge of Kavousi, we take the road that leads to the archaeological excavations. More specifically, it begins a little after the chapel of Aghia Kyriaki and at that site, we see a big plane that collects water from the foot of Mountain Dikti. We walk past a small church and in a a few minutes we arrive at a small col and at the exact point where the road begins its sloping course on your right, you see another small cement road that goes up the mountain. We follow that road and we continue our course for about 200 metres. Right after that, on our right, we will see an open cement water pipe. We leave the road, we approach the water pipe and then we start walking to the east, next to the water pipe. At the beginning the path is hardly discernible, but we simply try to walk along the pipe. 100 metres further the path begins to show clearly, always next to the water pipe. Right after that, we start walking into the amazing gorge of Kavousi, where the path will take up to its top, after an ascending course. The gorge begins very smoothly with ropes and more walking. The whole gorge is easy to cross, except for its last part where its form changes and we enter a very narrow passageway with vertical walls. This gorge does not collect so much water. On the contrary, there is no waterflow in the end or,sometimes, in the end of the spring. It is ideal for canyoning, which is the crossing of a very narrow gorge, following its bed, rappel using ropes, as well as bathing in its waters. If you cross it in the spring, there is water flowing through the pipe and you can cool off with its cold water. The path climbs up the precipitous slopes of the high rocks offering a splendid view to the forge, to the surrounding mountains, as well as to the bay of Aghios Nikolaos. The crossing of this gorge takes about an hour.
close
Gorge of Ha
more
Gorge of Ha The gorge of Ha is a very particular feature of the geomorphology of the area. It is considered as one of the wildest gorges in Greece, a rare geological natural phenomenon, which could be the consequence of only one intrinsic factor, that of tectonic activity. p> Its name probably comes from the verb etymology "chasko" (which means "form a gap" in Greek). We could say that this is a pristine biotope, untouched by humans, since its geomorphology forbids everyone to make its acquaintance, cross it or exploit it.

The only people to have crossed it until today are three mountaineers from Thessalonica, well experienced and risky: Stavros Lazarides, Vlassis Chatzipanagiotou and Hronis Amatzides. To cross it, it took them a seven-days effort, that is from the 17th to the 23rd June 1987. A similar attempt from one who is not an experienced climber would be extremely dangerous. Actually, there are quite a few people who have tried to walk further into the ravine and the have risked or even lost their lives.

The entrance to the gorge it too narrow, approx. 3 metres, while upwards the opening widens. At many points, its width is just 30 centimetres and at some others it does not exceed three metres. On the right and on the left its huge walls rise at an altitude between 200 and 400 metres. Its length is approx. one kilometre.

Before the entrance, there is a little lake formed by a small waterfall, which is formed by another lake a little higher, not visible from the foot of the gorge. One can marvel it by climbing up the rocks carefully, on the left of the gap. The bedrocks are very impressive with their colourful striped patterns. In the interior there are quite a few lakes forming waterfalls during the winter period. Then it is the most appropriate time to explore the gorge. Upon approaching the ravie, the visitor is overwhelmed with owe. Grey rocks, cut in square or rectangular shapes, rise majestically shading the small plane that spreads before them.

The area within the gorge and around is a significant biotope with lush flora and fauna. The small lakes constitute important wetlands for many migratory birds, as well as for the "permanent inhabitants", which are some bird species and mammals. A few years ago, the mountain massif of Thrypti was verdant with high forest of pinus brutia pine trees and it was an ornament for all Crete. However, the greatest part of the forest was consumed through the great blazes of 1984 and 1987.The ability of the pinus bruta species to regenerate easily after each blaze would have ensured at least the partial remedy of the calamity in the forest, had there not been the incidence of illegal pasturing.

Besides pinus bruta, we encounter a multitude of trees and and bushes , herbs and flowers. Many rare and endangered plant species have found an ideal shelter inside the Ravine. In the surrounding area, there is a great array of birds, mammals, insects and reptiles However, while there is a significant number of species, on the other hand the number of the individuals for each species is limited, due to the destruction of biotopes mainly by human factors, such as hunting, especially during the night with the use of flashlights. Another destructive instance is traps or pesticides used in land farming.
Among the mammals, the prevailing species is the Cretan hare, the Cretan mink (kaloginekari) and the Cretan badger (arkalos). Moreover, populations of the spined mouse have been reported. It is a rodent that is not reported anywhere in Europe, since it constitutes a part of the African fauna. It resembles the common mouse, its hair is brownish with a white belly, yet it bears spines on its back and sides, like the porcupine. Porcupines are also reported in the area and they are protected by force of the Presidential Decree 67/1981, since populations are at stake due to pesticides and cars. Besides, several bat species live in the ravine of Ha.

The area of Thrypti is a natural habitat for many birds of prey, such as the bearded vulture, the griffon vulture, the golden eagle etc. Their population are diminishing continually, not only due to hunting and poisoned baits, but also because they face problems in their quest of food. What is more, smaller species have been registered in the area: kestrels (Falco Tinnunculus), choughs, jackdaws, carrion crows, red nightingales, grouses, quails, woodcocks and many migratory birds

 

close
Gorge of Ambelos
more
Gorge of Ambelos
Route Difficulty: Very Easy
Visit Period : January-January
Address: Gonies Pediados
Access by Boat: Yes
close
Gorge of Roza
more
Gorge of Roza

 Gorge of Roza is a branch of Ambelos Gorge. It starts from the road that intrsects Gorge of Ambelos heading east-southeast on the way to Kera Monastery. Distance length: 2.750m


 

Route Difficulty: Hard
Visit Period : May-October
Address: Gonies Pediados
close
The Gorge of Spiliotissa
more
The Gorge of Spiliotissa
Visit Period : All Year
close
The Gorge of Kato Astrakon
more
The Gorge of Kato Astrakon
Route Difficulty: Very Easy
Visit Period : January-January
close
The Gorge of Maridakiou
more
The Gorge of Maridakiou
Visit Period : All Year
close

About Crete

Crete, the 5th biggest Med Island, lies in the southern frontier of Europe. The proud and hospitable Cretan people are famous for its culture, innovative spirit and nutritional habits. Crete combines mountains and sea, the new alongside with the old and ancient with contemporary history. Itʼs a cultural crossroad due to its strategic geographical position. The island is one of the most popular Greek tourism destinations. The Region along with local national and international tourism agencies is programming and executes actions based on promotion and making known islandʼs competitive advantages by creating and enhancing infrastructure and related services.

REGION OF CRETE Copyright © 2013 Region of Crete - All Right Reserved Designed & Developed by Next Step
.