People from the world over flock to Crete to walk the famous Samaria Gorge. It's a bit like running a marathon, " I've done it " is the feeling as you ride the coastal ferry back to the coaches that await your return. Crete, though, has many gorges, some tricky, some easy but all very beautiful. Listed below are five of the best.
It's a good trek !
It is best policy to approach this hike whilst reasonably fit as it can take several hours being 16 klm long. It is also best to tackle it out of high season for obvious reasons. Don’t go by car as you will probably be able to park but will be jammed for a good time afterwards. Best policy here is by coach booked through many of the trips on offer in several agencies throughout the Apokoronas. You can either go via the ferry from Hora Sfaxion or Sougia or come back that way. Or if you are staying at one of our villas we can book it for you. Just contact us a couple of weeks before you come.
Easier than the Samaria as the Allied troops found out in WWII
Underestimated and dramatic. Not as long as Samaria but the scenery is very similar. Definitely take the camera and capture some of the impressive birds of prey including vultures along the way. This time you can take the car and park in one of the many car parks. When you come to the village at the end of the gorge you can get a taxi to bring you back to your car. The walk is approximately 8 klm and takes 2 to 3 hours. This is the gorge the allied troops used whilst escaping from the Germans during World War II.
Better to go up than down, it's easier !
The village of Aradena could only be approached by walking through the gorge at one time but a Bailey bridge has been built which can carry cars and lorries across. This gorge is quite tricky but can be walked either way. From the E4 along the coastal path to Marmara beach then through the gorge which is approximately 7 klm long and takes about three hours. The ascent is some 600 metres but this is the tricky part as you have to walk down or up an old cobbled mule track. It is safer going up than coming down as parts are very slippy and it is easier to climb the ladders that are used than descend on them. Also it is easier looking up when you are ascending especially if you want to see the Griffon vultures that nest in the rock walls of the gorge. When you get to the top, explore the old village which was abandoned in the 1950s due to several deaths from infighting over a childrens dispute.
Worth a day of anyone's holiday. See also background image.
One of the most beautiful gorges on the island and high up in the forest of Rouvas. The forest is very old and has many species of trees not least the holly. The walk takes about 5 hours and is through the valley of the Psiloritis ( Mount Ida ). The walk starts at Lake Zaros in Heraklion region.
Beautiful gorge with some interesting features.
The word means “ holy “ and is named this because many years ago the gorge was inhabited by hermits who had come to pray away from the strict Turkish rule. The gorge can be approached by car, is south of Matala and can be included with a visit to the beautiful monastery of Odigitria which you have to pass to get to Kaloi Limenes at the gorge. The gorge concludes at a beautiful pebble beach with crystal clear water and there is a small church nearby Agios Antonios which is well worth the visit.