The torrent «Koukiza» or «Spiniotisraquo; flows through it and it includes dozens of smaller ravines and small gorges that complement the wild geographical anaglyph of the area. Aromatic and therapeutic plants, bushes and trees thrive in the gorge: sage, marjoran, winter savory, white thyme, genista acanthoclada (broom), Sarcopoterium spinosum (thorny burnet), arbutus, holn-oaks, plane trees, pine trees, carob trees and the rare species of bush, “andrachlo” of Crete.
Almost all the wild animals of Crete exist in the gorge, badgers, ferrets, all kinds of serpents and all the bird species, whether they are birds of prey or not. The gorge because of its wildness and extreme natural conditions was an ideal place during the ottoman rule for launching attacks against the Turks.
The gorge of Kandanos played a very important role in the modern history of Kandanos and the whole district of Selino, because of the resistance of the people of Selino against the Nazi conquerors in’ world war II. It is a unique natural historical monument, a symbol of the peoples’ resistance against any intervention.
There is a very good motor road along the gorge, one of the last samples of pre-industrial construction in the area. The study and the construction of the road, which is 6.645 meters in length, was made in the 1920s b by women, men and children that were hanging from ropes in the cliffs of the gorge. Today the road is preserved in a perfect condition and it is a unique challenge for walking and cycling, for all ages.
The route begins from Anavos. As we come to Kandanos from Chania, directly after the bypass settlement of Spina, on the left we meet the old country road. Here we can leave our car ask the bus for a stop as we come from Chania. After 40 minutes’ walk we reach the small church of St. Eirinaios next to the torrent Koukiza and the “Spiniotiki” Bridge.
From here, if we want, we can walk, when the weather is good, upwards through the gorge of Kandanos to Spina, to admire its wild beauty, and return again to St. Eirinaios to continue the old country road which, after about 50 minutes’ walk, will lead us to Kandanos, about 500 meters before the secondary school-high school of the village.
As we walk on the central road of Chania-Kandanos, after 15 minutes we reach the centre of Kandanos, where we can taste the excellent traditional sweets and the excellent food from local products in the taverns, accompanied with abundant wine, tsikoudia and the traditional hospitality of the area of Selino.
Kandanos also have many worthwhile byzantine churches which we can visit, as well as rooms to rent in which we can stay. The rest of the villages of Kandanos Municipality, like Kakodiki, Plemeniana, Floria with many worthwhile byzantine churches, hospitable kafeneia (cafes) and beautiful routes for walking or cycling in the nature of Selino. From Kandanos we can again with the bus to Chania return to Anavos and take our car, if we have left it there.
- Route Difficulty: Easy