These are the Top 3 Gorges in Crete


Last Updated on July 18, 2024 by Nasir Hanif

Crete is an island of diverse landscapes and long history. It is home to some of the most spectacular gorges in Europe, offering hiking experiences that attract hikers from around the world. Before you lace up your hiking boots, consider to Rent a Car in Crete in order to explore the island’s beauty. Read this guide that will help you choose the best path for you between the three top Gorges of Crete.

Samaria Gorge: Europe’s Longest Canyon exists in Crete.

Samaria Gorge offers a challenging trek. Its length is over 16 kilometers and the journey lasts between 4 to 7 hours, depending on your rhythm. The gorge belongs to the Samaria National Park and opens seasonally from May to October, depending on weather conditions. With the route starts at 1,250 meters above sea level at Xyloskalo and goes down through rocky paths to the Iron Gates, the narrowest point of the gorge. The flora and fauna diversity of the gorge is impressive. Kri Kri walking around the old cypresses and pines searching for food is an impressive spectacle.

Kourtaliotiko Gorge: Also known as Nature’s Orchestra

Kourtaliotiko is known for the sounds of nature that echo off its walls that look alike the clapping of hands or the kourtala (castanets). This beautiful gorge is located in southern Crete near Asomatos village less popular than Samaria but offers an outstanding experience. It is approximately 3 kilometers long and can be crossed in about 3 to 4 hours. The Gorge is of moderate difficulty, with a river that runs through it and several small waterfalls, especially in the spring, which is the highlight of the hike. All these beautiful waterfalls and pools of Kourtaliotis River before you arrive down to the historic Monastery of Preveli with this spectacular view of the Libyan Sea and the palm forests of Preveli Beach. This gorge is ideal for those seeking a mix of adventure, history, and natural beauty.

Karteros Gorge: The Hidden Gem of Heraklion

This secret gorge is located at east of Heraklion, near Karteros village and it is not a so popular destination like Samaria & Kourtaliotiko. It offers a peaceful retreat from the busy city of Heraklion and the touristic areas. The gorge is accessible through all the year, it is of easy difficulty, making it perfect for families with small children.

The hike through the gorge is a round trip of about 7 kilometers and the route takes approximately 2 to 3 hours. The path is full of low-lying scrub, ancient ruins and caves, since the Minoan times. The main attraction along the route is the small church of St. John. The gorge also hosts different bird species, making it a nice place for birdwatchers. The route ends at Karteros Beach, where you  can enjoy the Cretan Sea.

Thank you for exploring our guide to Crete’s top gorges, Carac Rent a Car Team is here to make your travel an unforgetable experience across Crete’s routes. Contact us for dependable vehicles that enhance your adventure and discovery.

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