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Ambas Gorge

Gorge description

The Ambas gorge, positioned 53km south of Heraklion within the Asterousia Mountains, is home to the Mousoulis stream. This stream, active during winter, gathers water from the springs of Paranymfi and Amygdalos plateau (approximately 700m above sea level) and carries it to the Tris Ekklisies beach. The stream’s gentle flow on the fertile plateau is abruptly interrupted when it meets the rocky Asterousia fault, forming the spectacular Ambas waterfall. This waterfall, with a total height of 145m, is one of Greece’s highest free-falling waterfalls, following the Mastoras waterfall in the Ha gorge (215m) and the Perdika waterfall in Samaria Gorge (240m).

A road located just above the waterfall directs us past the village Paranymfi, towards Tris Ekklisies. A parking lot near a dilapidated watermill serves as a starting point for a short path along the cliff that leads to an incredible viewpoint of both the waterfall and the sea. According to local accounts, there was an old trail that reached the base of the waterfall, although it seems impossible to descend without technical equipment. The name Ambas is believed to originate from “abbas” (priest), as a monk once found refuge at the base of the grand waterfall.

The gorge, formed after the large waterfall and leading to the beach, houses several smaller waterfalls. The gorge has been secured by Crete’s speleological associations and can be descended by a small group of highly skilled canyoners in about seven hours. There are 21 rappels in total, with the highest being 45m (the large waterfall has four air changes). The cliffs in the surrounding area are home to the largest population of birds of prey on any European island, and therefore, the descent should be avoided during their breeding season, which is in the winter months.

On September 2, 2018, the accomplished canyoner Kallia Miliara tragically lost her life at the Ambas waterfall due to an accidental fall. In honour of the Cretan athlete, a small shrine has been erected next to the watermill, close to the gorge’s entrance.

Gorge details

Location

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Most frequent asked questions

What type of gorge is Ambas Gorge?

Ambas Gorge is a narrow and steep gorge, with rocky terrain and several challenging sections.

Is there water in Ambas Gorge?

The Ambas Gorge has water flowing through it until the spring, providing a refreshing and scenic experience for hikers.

What are the ways to access Ambas Gorge?

Ambas Gorge is accessible by walking, and it is recommended to wear sturdy shoes and bring plenty of water and snacks.

How long is Ambas Gorge?

The Ambas Gorge is approximately 4 kilometers long, offering a moderate to challenging hiking experience.

What is the difficulty level of Ambas Gorge from a total of 10?

Ambas Gorge is rated as a 9 out of 10 in terms of difficulty, due to its steep and rocky terrain, narrow passages, and challenging sections.

How many hours does it take to hike Ambas Gorge?

It takes approximately 6 hours to hike through Ambas Gorge, depending on the pace and level of experience of the hiker.

What is the altitude difference in Ambas Gorge?

The altitude difference in Ambas Gorge is approximately 280 meters, adding to the challenge and scenic beauty of the hike.

Where is Ambas Gorge located?

Ambas Gorge is located 53km south of Heraklion.

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Stays near Ambas Gorge

  • 9.7 / 10
  • Τρεις Εκκλησιές

Featuring air-conditioned accommodation with a patio, The South House, Mountain and Sea View is located in Paránimfoi. The property is 57 km from Heraklio Town and free private parking is provided.

This holiday home is equipped with 3 bedrooms, a kitchen with a fridge and an oven, a flat-screen TV, a seating area and 1 bathroom equipped with a shower. Towels and bed linen are offered in the holiday home.

A garden, barbecue and a terrace are available at the holiday home.

Hersonissos is 61 km from The South House, Mountain and Sea View, while Matala is 36 km away. The nearest airport is Heraklion International Airport, 57 km from the accommodation.

from

€122

/night

  • 670 m
  • 9.7 / 10
  • Treis ekklisies

Featuring river views, Seaside mountain view Golden Mar villa provides accommodation with a patio and a coffee machine, around 100 metres from Paralia Tris Ekklisies. The holiday home has access to a restaurant and free WiFithroughout the property.

The holiday home with a terrace and mountain views features 3 bedrooms, a living room, a flat-screen TV, an equipped kitchen with a dishwasher and an oven, and 1 bathroom with a walk-in shower. Towels and bed linen are provided in the holiday home.

The holiday home offers a picnic area. Guests can also relax in the garden.

Kolovrechtis Beach is 400 metres from Seaside mountain view Golden Mar villa, while Nikos Kazantzakis Museum is 48 km away. The nearest airport is Heraklion International Airport, 57 km from the accommodation.

from

€73

/night

  • 690 m
  • 8.6 / 10
  • Tris Ekklisies Paránimfoi

Sunset Home Crete features mountain views, free WiFi and free private parking, set in Paránimfoi, 300 metres from Paralia Tris Ekklisies.

The apartment provides guests with a terrace, sea views, a seating area, satellite flat-screen TV, a fully equipped kitchen with an oven and a fridge, and a private bathroom with bath and a hair dryer. A stovetop and kitchenware are also featured, as well as a coffee machine and a kettle.

Sunset Home Crete offers a picnic area.

A an indoor play area is also available at the accommodation, while guests can also relax in the garden.

Kolovrechtis Beach is 600 metres from Sunset Home Crete, while Nikos Kazantzakis Museum is 48 km away. The nearest airport is Heraklion International, 57 km from the apartment, and the property offers a paid airport shuttle service.

  • 710 m
  • 8.5 / 10
  • Τρεις Εκκλησιες

Featuring air-conditioned accommodation with a balcony, Blue Velvet apartment is located in Paránimfoi. It features a terrace, sea views and free WiFithroughout the property.

The villa is equipped with 3 bedrooms, a kitchen with a dishwasher and an oven, a washing machine, and 1 bathroom with a hair dryer and free toiletries. Towels and bed linen are provided in the villa.

Paralia Tris Ekklisies is 50 metres from Blue Velvet apartment, while Kolovrechtis Beach is 300 metres away. The nearest airport is Heraklion International Airport, 57 km from the accommodation.

  • 720 m
  • Tris ekklisies

Melita apartment in Tris Ekklisies is situated in Paránimfoi, a few steps from Paralia Tris Ekklisies, 300 metres from Kolovrechtis Beach, as well as 48 km from Nikos Kazantzakis Museum. It has mountain views and free WiFithroughout the property.

The apartment features 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, bed linen, towels, a TV, a fully equipped kitchen, and a balcony with sea views.

A car rental service is available at the apartment.

The nearest airport is Heraklion International Airport, 57 km from Melita apartment in Tris Ekklisies.

  • 740 m
  • 9.7 / 10
  • Tris Ekklisies

Situated 200 metres from Paralia Tris Ekklisies and 300 metres from Kolovrechtis Beach, House With View in Paránimfoi features air-conditioned accommodation with views of the mountain and free WiFi.

All units come with a terrace with sea views, a kitchenette with an oven and a fridge, and a private bathroom with bidet. A stovetop and kitchenware are also offered, as well as a coffee machine and a kettle.

The holiday home offers a fitness room.

Barbecue facilities are at guests’ disposal.

Nikos Kazantzakis Museum is 47 km from House With View. The nearest airport is Heraklion International Airport, 56 km from the accommodation.

from

€71

/night

  • 760 m

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