Crete Locals white Logo

Gorges to hike and walk near Chamaítoulo, in Lassithi region

List of Gorges near Chamaítoulo

  • 2.2 km
  • Xerokambos Gorge (Lamnoni)
  • 5 km
  • 2.5 h

The Xerokambos Canyon, also known as Ziros Canyon, Hamaitoulo Canyon, or Lamnoni Canyon, is among the driest gorges in Eastern Crete. This gorge once served as a pathway from Ziros to Xerokambos. A hike through this gorge is relatively easy, taking roughly two hours to complete. The canyon is renowned for its rugged charm, featuring towering bare walls and sparse vegetation. As you traverse the gorge, you’ll be able to glimpse the expansive South Cretan Sea in the distance. During the summer, the area can become quite hot with little shade available. It’s recommended that one person in your group drives to the top entrance of the canyon at the small Lamnoni plateau or to the second entrance near Hamaitoulo village, then meets the rest of the group in Xerokampos. There, they can enjoy the area’s stunning sea views and emerald beaches.

Traveling from Xerokampos to the Ziros plateau, the gorge’s exit is clearly visible. From Ziros, head towards the abandoned Lamnoni settlement, approximately 4 km east. Here, you can follow the ravine that soon becomes the gorge. Initially, you’ll come across a small water fountain and may need to open a few gates to allow goats to graze. From this point, you can enter the gorge and walk towards its exit near the Ziros – Xerokampos road. The gorge then extends to Lygia beach.

  • 2.5 km
  • Agia Irini Gorge - Lassithi
  • 3 h

The Agia Irini gorge, located near the quaint town of Ziros, begins from the Agia Irini village and concludes at the stunning Agia Irini beach. An ancient path through the gorge leads to the Xerokambos area. Before reaching the sea, it converges with the Platyvolo gorge, which drains the small Hametoulo plateau where a dirt road leads to the beach.

Both gorges are rugged and untamed, characterized by steep inclines and towering walls. The westernmost branch, in particular, can be intimidating and hazardous for those unaccustomed to canyon hiking, though it doesn’t require any technical skills. A hike through the gorge typically takes between 2 to 3 hours, depending on your speed. The steep inclines, which start at an altitude of 500m and descend to sea level, can put significant strain on your knees. There are no marked trails, so hikers must navigate their own way.

  • 5.1 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.

  • 7.7 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.

  • 12.4 km
  • Pervolakia Gorge
  • 4 km
  • 2 h

The Kapsas gorge, a wild and majestic natural wonder, is situated 8-9km to the east of Makrigialos and 33km to the east of Ierapetra. It is also known as Pervolakia, named after the charming and remote village located near its northern entrance. While in the area, it’s worth taking a stroll through the neighboring traditional village of Pezoulas, known for its stunning houses. The gorge concludes by the Kapsa Monastery, opening up to the Libyan Sea. Here, visitors can enjoy a peaceful swim on the serene pebbly beach, just opposite the gorge’s end.

The gorge spans approximately 4km, and hiking through it is a moderately challenging task. The trek takes around 2 hours if you decide to start from the southern end (the Monastery) and head towards Perivolakia. However, if you opt for the less strenuous route, descending from Perivolakia to Kapsa Monastery, it takes roughly 1.5 hours.

The gorge’s interior is a sight to behold, characterized by towering walls and sparse vegetation, giving it a desolate and arid appearance. The trail features several climbing points and signposts. The road that links Makrigialos and Goudouras runs adjacent to the gorge’s exit, near the Monastery. Public transportation is available, with buses running between Goudouras and Ierapetra. Alternatively, you can drive to Pervolakia or Kapsa Monastery and then hail a taxi in Makrigialos to return to your vehicle.

The gorge is also a habitat for one of the rarest plant species in Crete, the Limonium of Cornaros (limonium cornarianum). This plant is found only in certain limestone maritime rocks within the gorge and a tiny islet named Agia Fotia.

  • 12.8 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.

© All rights reserved. Crete Locals