June 10, 2018
Into the Patsos Gorge mysteries
Patsos Gorge is located inland of Rethymno Prefecture, at the municipality of Amari
Before the entrance below, you can find a small tavern/cafe. It will be useful on your way back…
Visiting Patsos gorge would be a kind of resting/relaxing experience, so to end the day long tour. There was no hiking in the tour schedule (it was late anyway), but along with Maria we decided to do it on our own, just for the experience.
The whole day tour was so amazing that gave us the kind of energy we needed, to decide to hike through the gorge.
At the entrance of the gorge, there is the cave-chapel of Agios Antonios (Saint Anthony).
There is a spring there with cold fresh water, lots of shade and outdoor tables to just site and relax.
The gorge is not very well marked but in specific places are red marks on the gorge walls. You can’t really get lost.
We have to say that at some points we really needed to think and find the way to proceed further. But there was a way through in all cases.
The total length is 3km (total, back and forth). That length is not too much in normal asphalt road walking conditions.
Yet, inside a gorge with huge rocks and obstacles, it can be long enough.
When there is still water (not so much in August) there exist small but shallow lagoons with impressive waterfalls.
Some areas of the gorge route are crossed through wooden ladders, with additional ropes (already in place) to get a grip. There is no actual “climbing” with ropes. They are there for safety.
Make sure you wear proper hiking shoes or sandals. No flip-flops, as we saw some doing the gorge with such and they -indeed- mentioned it was difficult.
At the end of the gorge (exit), there is an artificial lake created by Potamoi dam. A variety of ecosystems is hosted there.
To get to the lake simply walk under a cement bridge. You will easily find that as the route stops there.
Just go under it. The lake It is just 50-80 meters after that.
Precautions for Patsos Gorge, Cret
Make sure the weather is fine without any chance for rain, since the gorge doesn’t have side exits and it may become dangerous with rain.
Also, make sure to do it during day time (preferably during morning), in order to avoid being in there in late afternoon. Sun light is reduced fast in such places due to high gorge walls and plantation.
SOURCE : A Greek Adventure
April 30, 2016
If you are interested in shorter walks (1-2 hours), we can recommend the following. Some walks start at your hotel in Chora Sfakion, others can better be accessed by car or bus. Just ask your accommodation owner in Chora Sfakion for directions. In the village of Chora Sfakion are a couple of interesting short walks. From the road that crosses behind the downtown part of the village, you can walk up the path to the cave of Agios Antonios. In the back of the cave you can find a small chapel. The cave is surrounded by archaeological sites: an ancient beehive enclosure and a Roman shrine.
Above the village you can visit the ruins of the old part of the village in Georgitsi, just uphill.
The beautiful path uphill to Manolou is a must-do. You can have a look inside the Ilingas gorge from high up, you pass the old Agia Triada church, and come across archaeological sites with the ruins of a watchtower, and a lime killn. All the time you have a beautiful view of the entire coast
Chora Sfakion – Sweetwater beach – Loutro: 2 hrs. 15 min: start at Hotel Stavris, Chora Sfakion, walk up to the asphalt road, follow west bound, pass Ilingas tavern, follow the curve. Just before the road starts it’s first sharp curve right up to the mountain, step over the iron protection fence. You see a sign E4, marking the European walking path. It is a path starting from Gibraltar, going through Spain, France, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece, ending in Crete; it is crossing Crete along its entire length from Elafonisi to Kato Zakros. Follow the rock path down along the coast: this is the beginning of the only ongoing connection between the villages in South West Crete! After 1 hour you reach Sweetwater Beach, which is cliff enclosed: there is a small tavern for drinks. Continue west and you will soon see the picture perfect village of Loutro: a small strip of houses and taverns and hotels around a small harbour. There are no cars here! From here you can take back the ferry to Chora Sfakion, walk back or continue up hill to Anopoli.
• Chora Sfakion – Anopoli: 2 hrs.: following the old Venitian road to Anopoli (800 meters uphill): just behind Hotel Stavris, take the steps up to the asphalt road, turn left and after about 30 meters you should see a possibility to step up the rocks to your right. After 10 meters the old Venetian road starts, typically with stone walls. The path winds on the hill and goes back into Ilingas gorge. There is a beautiful small bridge here along the cliff slope. Go to the bottom of the gorge and cross it. Don’t follow the gorge! On the other side a hollow path takes you uphill, meeting the asphalt road to Anopoli just before the village. This is a very quiet route!
• Anopoli – Loutro: 1 hr.: from Chora Sfakion follow the 12 km. road up hill (800 m) to Anopoli (bus, taxi). When you see the first buildings, turn left at a small square. Follow the path and continue down hill. All the time you have the magnificent overview of the village of Loutro. Walk back to Chora Sfakion along the coastal path or take back the ferry.
• Anopoli – Aradena: 1 hr. one way: follow the asphalt road heading north towards the mountains. After 30 minutes you reach the ‘real’ village of Anopoli, continue from the square with the statue of Daskalogiannis to the north. After a sharp curve to the left you see Aradena Gorge, with a Bailey bridge crossing it. This spectacular view you will never forget again in your life. Cross the bridge to have a look at the deserted village of Aradena. You can also take the old ‘road’ to Aradena: a little before the bridge to the right you see the old path down the gorge (1 hr.) and on the other side up again (1 hr.)
• Chora Sfakion – Komitades: 45 min or try to car hike: follow the asphalt road from Chora Sfakion to the east. After 35 minutes at the crossroads, go right. You see the church of Agios Giorgos, with very old frescoes. In Komitades you can take a rest at Taverna Giorgos, the first one to the right. If you like, Giorgos can take you up to Imbros by car, so you can walk the gorge from up to down. Or just fllow the road out of the village and start Imbros gorge from down up (2 hrs.)
• Komitades – Frangokastello: 2 hrs.: you pass the small villages of Vraskas, Vouvas, Nomikiana, Agios Giorgos, Patsianos. Just before Patsianos there is a T-form crossroads: to the left you go to Patsianos, to the right to Frangokastello. From Patsianos you can make a loop via Skaloti to Frangokastello ( 1 hr.). In Frangokastello you can visit the Venetian fortress, built in 1371.
• Imbros – Komitades: Imbros Gorge: take from Chora Sfakion the bus to Chania at 7 or 11 o’clock and get out at the village of Imbros. Or take a taxi or ask Giorgos from Komitades if he is available (tel. 28250-91005). When you go by car to Imbros to walk the gorge, please realise you have to walk the gorge both ways: down and up again (2 hrs. one way). Imbros gorge is very beautiful and nature is unharmed here. Wait for the 2 very narrow passages and the natural archway at the end! Imbros gorge used to be the only way to reach Chora Sfakion by the ground, before the asphalt road was built in the sixties.
April 30, 2016
Sfakia has a rich and varied landscape and culture, and there is really something for everyone to find. Whether you just want to relax, and stay on one of the many beaches, enjoying the sun and the crystal clear blue sea, or want to go around, to explore Sfakia’s nature, or visit the small villages, there is always something to do.
Sfakia got probably its name from the ancient word “Sfax”, meaning “Land of gorges”. No wonder, since there are about 25 gorges crossing the region, running from north to south across the Lefka Ori mountains to the sea.
Most of them can be walked. Some are very easy, others require quite some hiking experience.
Aradena Gorge: from Anopoli to Marmara beach, Loutro. A really impressive gorge; it looks like someone cut with a knife through the mountains. However, it’s a gorge that needs some experience! It takes 3 hrs from Anopoli and 1hr 15 min from Marmara to Loutro. At Marmara you may ask at the taverna if there is a boat to Loutro. You can also follow the path above the gorge to Livandiana. Some 500 meters before you reach Aradena, the path starts at a sign to the left.
April 30, 2016
The grand gorge of Imbros Sfakia is one of the deepest and narrowest gorges of Crete.
The gorge begins south of the mountain village of Imbros at Askyfou plateau at an elevation of 780 meters, and ends in approximately 5 kilometers farther from Komitades village, close to the beach of Fragokastelo. The gorge is visited annually by more than 50,000 people, while crossing and accessing it is quite easy. Inside the gorge you can see a marked path but there are no facilities for guests. Its length is about 8 kilometers and requires 3 hours of trekking to cross it. The gorge has imposing doors, that is narrow gateways between vertical rocks, roughly in the middle of the path which almost block the view of the sky like a tunnel and its narrowest point is just two meters wide. Toward the exit of the gorge, the gateways open impressively and the gorge ends next to Komitades village. Anyone who wants to cross the gorge should carry water supplies, as there are no sources of water, unlike Samaria Gorge.
March 11, 2016