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Gorges to hike and walk near Ágios Nikólaos, in Lassithi region

List of Gorges near Ágios Nikólaos

  • 5.1 km
  • Toplou Gorge

The Cretan countryside hides a remarkable secret – a petite gorge near the Toplou monastery, which is essentially a combination of two ravines that unite just before they meet the sea.

Despite its modest size, it harbors two significant marvels. The first is a quaint colony of Cretan date palm trees (Theophrastus palm trees). The second is a series of freshwater ponds that appear at the end of the gorge, near the sea. These springs are an extraordinary sight, especially considering the typically hot and arid climate of East Crete.

  • 5.6 km
  • Chochlakies Gorge

The Chochlakies or Karoumes Gorge is nestled in one of the most secluded regions of Crete, near Zakros. It collects water from the Flega stream flowing from the Chochlakies plain and discharges it into the ocean.
Beginning our journey, we first come across a magnificently restored watermill in the village of Chochlakies. We then enter the gorge, characterized by sparse vegetation and bare rocks, which extends to the stunning Karoumes beach. The gorge spans approximately 3.5 km and is water-filled for the majority of the winter. The trek, a segment of the European E4 footpath, typically lasts 1:30 hours. The journey along the stream is captivating, with the gorge’s towering rocks winding between the mountains.

Springtime unveils ponds and a wide array of flora. As we approach the exit, the towering walls open up to a small valley that transforms into a significant wetland, complete with a marsh during the winter. The surrounding area features wells and terraces from ancient crops, and remnants of Minoan structures are visible, the most notable being the ancient fortification situated on a hill above the gorge.

  • 9.8 km
  • Zakros Gorge
  • 4 km
  • 3 h

The stunning Kato Zakros Gorge, also known as the Gorge of the Dead, begins just a short distance from Ano Zakros, almost 100km southeast of the Agios Nikolaos church, and culminates at the picturesque Kato Zakros beach. The breathtaking landscape, historical significance, and easy access of the gorge draw numerous visitors each year. The path through the gorge is a segment of the renowned E4 European trail.

The gorge is incredibly beautiful, with towering walls that house large caves. Inside these caves, archaeologists have discovered tombs from the Minoan era that hold artifacts of significant archaeological value. This discovery led to the gorge and caves being dubbed “Gorge of the Dead” and “Caves of the Dead” respectively.

Visitors can park their cars in the Ano Zakros village and traverse the gorge, which takes approximately 2 hours to reach Kato Zakros. Here, you can relax on the beach and dine at the charming seaside village’s taverns. Don’t miss out on a visit to the nearby Minoan Palace of Zakros. A convenient bus service from Kato Zakros can take you back to Ano Zakros, saving you a return trek through the gorge.

  • 14.4 km
  • Katsounaki Gorge

The Katsounaki Gorge is situated in the arid region of Eastern Crete, to the east of the Xirokambos community. It is essentially a combination of three parallel gorges that converge before they reach the shoreline. These gorges serve as a water transportation system from the eastern portion of the Sitia mountains.

The river that flows through the gorge eventually leads to the Potamos beach, which is adjacent to the stunning sandy beach of Alona. Trekking through the canyon is a simple task and the scenery, with its towering walls, is truly untamed. An alternative option is to walk in the opposite direction starting from Alona.

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