Crete Locals white Logo

Gorges to hike and walk near Chavgás, in Lassithi region

List of Gorges near Chavgás

  • 4.4 km
  • Mavrogiannis Gorge
  • 3.5 km
  • 3 h

The Mavrogiannis Gorge, also known as Skinias Gorge, originates from the vicinity of the Skinias village in the Mirabello province. Following a winding path, it culminates at the stunning Avlaki beach in Vlychadia. This dry canyon is characterized by magnificent rock structures throughout its length. Although the gorge transports water from the Areti Monastery region, it is predominantly dry.

  • 5.4 km
  • Kouroukoulos Gorge

The undiscovered Kouroukoulos gorge originates from the abandoned village of Agalianos, located in the Merambelo district of Lasithi prefecture. The old trail from the village leads us to the Lagos stream, which is suitable for hiking along its entire length. Initially, the terrain is dominated by oak trees, but as we get closer to the sea, the vegetation changes to brushwood and oregano.

To the west of Kouroukoulos lies the Patsopoulos Gorge, separated by a thin strip of rugged, rocky land known as Spathi. From the peak of Spathi, one can enjoy views of both canyons. Just before reaching the sea, the two canyons merge into one. The Kokkinos Detis (Red Cliff), a spot of exceptional beauty in the gorge, is home to a variety of rare, mostly endemic, plants that thrive in rock crevices.

Close to the sea exit, there is a quaint chapel dedicated to St. Luke, a local hermit who was fatally struck by an arrow in the canyon. Beneath the chapel lies St. Luke’s cave, from which “holy” water drips. A little further on from the chapel, the gorge opens out onto the pebble-filled Kouroukoulos beach, boasting a captivating underwater landscape. On the beach’s eastern side, a sea cave beneath the cliff leads to the delightful pebble beach of Kakia Naspa (Evil Landslide), an excellent spot for swimming.

  • 6.1 km
  • Skotini Gorge
  • 2 km
  • 1.5 h

The Skotini Gorge cuts through some of the most secluded and untamed regions of Crete. A research station for the study of aerosols, established by the University of Crete, is situated in this isolated location, far from the pollution of urban areas and devoid of human activity. From the village of Finokalias, a brief journey northward will lead you to the gorge. As you traverse this path, you’ll encounter a stunningly wild terrain characterized by bare rocks, sparse vegetation, and a variety of spices and herbs. Within the gorge, you’ll find 2-3 wells filled with water and numerous caves nestled within its towering walls. One such cave is said to have been the dwelling of a mysterious woman known as Datserolenia, according to local lore. This cave is guarded by a stone wall at its entrance. A small beach, Skotini, is situated just a short distance away.

Alternatively, you can take the dirt road from Finokalias to the Saint Andrew Monastery, situated at Cape Drepani. A section of this church is constructed on the mountain rock, with an inscription indicating that its repair was funded by patients from Spinalonga. To reach the beach from here, you’ll need to head eastward along the shoreline.

The name Skotini, meaning ‘dark’ in Greek, likely originates from the high, closely spaced walls of the canyon which, along with the tree canopy, significantly diminish the light, giving the gorge a ‘dark’ appearance. Another theory suggests that the name is derived from the numerous dark caves found within the canyon.

  • 8.7 km
  • Maliaris Gorge

The Maliaris Gorge, which originates near the Peronides village, travels west of the Souvlos village where a trail commences, and combines with the Anemaliaris gorge before concluding at the Tzavlidon Vlyhada beach. This gorge, characterized by scrublands, expansive areas, and cave-filled walls, is a classic representation of the Mirabello region. Notably, the gorge is home to a massive cave known as Volakospilios, situated in its center.

  • 12.2 km
  • Adrianos Gorge
  • 4.5 km
  • 3.5 h

The Adrianos Gorge originates from the Adrianos village. There are areas within the gorge where large rocks obstruct the pathway, making navigation challenging, but achievable (it takes approximately 3 hours to traverse). In close proximity to the gorge, you can explore the Maridon and Atziganospilios caves.

The river that courses through the gorge is a segment of the Skoulikaris or Xeropotamos River. This river collects water from the Potami village valley and, after covering several kilometers, it finally drains near the Agios Nikolaos town stadium.

  • 14.6 km
  • Kritsa Gorge
  • 4 km
  • 2.5 h

The Kritsa Gorge, located 9.5km southwest of Agios Nikolaos, begins near the charming village of Kritsa and concludes at Tapes village. This 4 km long gorge, at some points, is only 1.5m wide. It is fairly easy to navigate, with a few areas requiring caution, where large rocks need to be climbed over. However, it is not advisable to visit the gorge following rainfall, as the resulting ponds can obstruct the paths.

The canyon’s entrance near Kritsa is striking. The mountain is split in two, creating the narrow Havgas passage (Havgas is a common term for gorges in East Crete). In addition to the main trail that begins near Kritsa’s stone bridge, there is an alternate path that starts in the village itself.

Close to the trailhead, you’ll find a large rock that can be scaled with relative ease. Beyond this point, the canyon becomes even more breathtaking, with slender passages and towering walls that block out sunlight. This natural wonder is particularly beautiful in spring when flowers are in bloom and water levels are low. The walls eventually recede, revealing a picturesque valley filled with olive groves. If you continue along the riverbed for approximately 1.5 hours, you’ll arrive at the lovely village of Tapes, where you can relax at the local coffee shop.

© All rights reserved. Crete Locals