Gorges to hike and walk near Xiró Chorío, in Rethymno region

List of Gorges near Xiró Chorío

  • 1.5 km

Mili Gorge

  • Myli Gorge

Located near the town of Rethymno, Mili Gorge is an enchanting green oasis. It’s essentially a ravine that houses a vast array of plants and trees, forming a genuine botanical garden. The gorge gathers water from the northern slopes of Mount Vrysinas, beginning north of the Chromonastiri village and south of the Xero Chorio settlement. In recent times, it has become a popular spot for hikers who enjoy the pleasant trail that spans the entire valley.

Within the heart of the canyon lies the abandoned village of Mili, named after the water mills that were once situated in the gorge. The village is split into two areas, Ano Mili (Upper mills) and Kato Mili (Lower mills). The majority of villagers were millers, with nearly all the cereals from the region and surrounding villages being milled at Mili.

Nowadays, only one renovated watermill remains in good condition for visitors to understand its operation. Besides the numerous mills, the area is home to gardens filled with fruit trees and vegetables. Water continuously flows from the springs scattered throughout the canyon, with the largest springs being Saint Anthony and Five Virgins. The water along its course forms small waterfalls and lakes, perfect for a refreshing dip under the shade of towering plane trees.

The village of Mili was deserted in 1972 due to fear of landslides, with some mills being renovated into residences and a cafe-restaurant for guests. The villagers moved and built the village Nei Mili (new mills) high above the gorge on the west. The gorge also boasts a significant number of striking churches, including the cavernous church of Saint Anthony (Agios Antonios) and the cavernous church of Saint John (Agios Ioannis), as well as the cemetery church of the Holy Five Virgins (Pente Parthenes).

Further along Kato Mili, you’ll encounter the cavernous chapels of Saint Paraskevi (Agia Paraskevi) and Saint Nicholas (Agios Nikolaos).

  • 2.5 km
  • 2.5 h
  • Hiking
  • 3.2 km

Prasses Gorge

  • Prasses Gorge

The untamed Prassano gorge, also known as the Gorge of Prasses, is situated 10 km southeast of Rethymnon. It commences south of the Prasses village and provides a captivating three-hour hike through enormous rocks and some fairly challenging passages, adding to the intrigue of the trek. The Prasano Gorge, currently serving as the “overflow” channel for the Potami dam, winds its way through the rocky hills of Gargana, with its stream terminating in the suburb of Platania, east of the city of Rethymnon. The river is engulfed by lush vegetation and towering plane trees, making it an ideal spot for a refreshing excursion.

The Prassano gorge can only be accessed from mid-June to mid-October due to the water flow. It is a crucial biotope of Crete, providing a habitat for buzzards and a small group of Bonelli’s eagles.

The Prasses Village
Set amidst the verdant Cretan landscape on the slopes of Vrysinas, Prasses serves as an entrance to the southern coast. This medieval village showcases the intermingling of diverse cultures that have traversed Crete, evident in the Venetian mansions, Turkish farmsteads, and Orthodox churches. The rich natural and cultural diversity make the village an ideal location for tours and walks. Heading south from Prasses, the road leads to the Potami valley, home to the dam of the same name.

  • 6 km
  • 4 h
  • Hiking
  • 4.8 km

Gallos Gorge

  • Gallos Gorge

The stunning Galliano canyon begins to the southeast of Gallos and concludes at the Rethymnon town, channeling water from the Armeni region to the Koumbes beach. It stretches over a distance of 5.5km, with the journey taking you through a lush ravine. Regrettably, there are multiple spots where shepherds have put up wires to confine their herds, making the trek along the stream challenging.

Close to the entrance, you’ll encounter the ancient Saounatsides watermill, which was operational until the 20th century. You can also see remnants of an old chapel nearby. A few meters south of the mill, another path leads to the cave-like temple of Saint Anthony.

  • 5.5 km
  • 3 h
  • Hiking
  • 5.6 km

Kaminolakkos Gorge

  • Kaminolakkos Gorge

In northern Rethymnon, beneath the village of Myrthios (not to be confused with the Myrthios near Plakias), a petite ravine teeming with plane trees gives way to a wild and untamed gorge at Kaminolakos. The gorge is typically dry, only filling with water after significant rainfall. It is accessible only with canyoneering gear. This gorge remained unexplored until March 22, 2013, when Christopher Cheiladakis, Argyro Koghylaki, and Rudolf Riegler ventured into it for the first time, installing safety rings in the process.

The initial stretch of the gorge is particularly wild, leading to a series of small rappels before reaching the final waterfall, a towering 55 meters high. This waterfall is nestled under an umbrella of large trees, hidden away in a shadowy enclave. The gorge culminates at the renowned stone bridge of Simas, which is situated on the road to Amari. This bridge, the highest in Crete, is considered an architectural marvel of its time.

  • 11.0 km

Arkadi Gorge

  • Arkadi Gorge

The Arkadi Gorge begins just north of the Arkadi Monastery and offers a picturesque journey of approximately two hours. Certain sections along the gorge’s bed are inaccessible due to waterfalls and dense vegetation, making it possible to walk only along the eastern banks. The hiking trail concludes near the Pikris village where it joins the Gypofarago gorge. Here, visitors can appreciate significant Venetian architectural landmarks. The gorge, with its extraordinary natural beauty, allows visitors to marvel at representative species of Cretan flora and fossils.

A slim area of the gorge can also be viewed by driving to the Arkadi Monastery, as the roadway runs through it. This means you can get a sense of its appearance just by visiting the monastery.

  • 4.5 km
  • 2 h
  • 11.5 km

Patsos Gorge

  • Patsos Gorge

Located in the stunning province of Amari, the Patsos or Agios Antonios gorge is situated 8 km southwest of Arkadi Monastery. The gorge’s water is collected in the Potami dam. Trekking through the gorge is relatively easy up to a certain point, thanks to a well-marked trail created by the forest service. This trail concludes at the gorge’s narrowest point, where a unique waterfall cascades into a cave. Beyond this point, the gorge narrows and forms several small waterfalls. The descent to the Potami lake demands careful attention, particularly during winter and spring. Another path leads to the avifauna watchtower situated above the river.

The Patsos Gorge is renowned for Agios Antonios’ cavernous temple (Saint Anthony), which was once a sacred cave dedicated to Kraneos Hermes in ancient times. Water seeps from the rocks and drips from the temple roof, accumulating as holy water. It’s fascinating to observe the thousands of prayer papers that devotees have tucked into the rock cavities surrounding the temple. Large plateaus with wooden benches and tables, perfect for picnicking, are located beneath the temple and by the river.

The gorge derives its name from Patsos, a village nestled at the base of Mount Soros at an altitude of 490 meters. It’s approximately 30 km south of Rethymnon. The area boasts a rich variety of flora due to the numerous springs throughout the region that provide a year-round water supply.

  • 5 km
  • 2.5 h
  • Hiking
  • 12.8 km

Kakoperatos Gorge at Agios Vasilios

  • Kakoperatos Gorge at Agios Vasilios

Kakoperatos Canyon, situated near the village of Agios Vasilios in the province of the same name, is a tributary of the Megalos River (Kourtaliotis). Its name, which translates to “bad passage” in Greek, indicates the necessity of technical equipment for human access. This stunningly scenic and rugged canyon is perfect for canyoning. It is endowed with water for most of the year and features 7-8 remarkable waterfalls. These create deep ponds filled with clear turquoise waters, making them ideal for jumping.

It’s likely that no other canyon in Crete boasts such vibrant turquoise waters. The canyon’s exit is located adjacent to the last residences of Agios Vasilios, with its stream flowing through the village courtyards!

  • 0.9 km
  • 3 h
  • Canyoneering equipment needed
  • 13.7 km

Petres Gorge

  • Petres Gorge

Situated 13km west of Rethymno, Petres Gorge opens up at the Petres beach. It houses the longest river in Rethymnon province, which is replenished by multiple tributaries that gather the waters of Kollita Gorges from the west to Mount Vrysinas in the east, spanning almost half of Rethymnon Prefecture. The river flows throughout the year and forms a significant wetland of Crete, particularly near its mouth at Episkopi.

The gorge narrows down to a small section about 1km long, beginning near the village of Karoti. Despite its short length, it is definitely worth exploring. It is easily accessible and perfect for swimming in the ponds that form along its course. However, fences are installed to confine goats, so carrying a cutter might be useful in case the fences are locked. Certain areas with large rocks may require a bit of climbing and extra caution.

  • 1.5 km
  • 1 h
  • Hiking

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