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Astrakiano Gorge

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Gorge description

The Astrakiano and Kounaviano canyons are two verdant gorges that converge near Skalani village and empty out onto Karteros beach. The combined length of these canyons is roughly 21 km. Situated to the east of Heraklion city, these gorges are part of the broader Mount Jiouktas area. They offer easy walking trails, making them perfect for families and children.

The longer of the two, Astrakiano, begins at the Paliarda location in Kolomodi and extends to the area beneath the deserted Kato Astraki village, after crossing the picturesque Astrakiani Kamara bridge. From Kato Astraki, a brief trail leads to the Neraidospilios site, known for its stunning pond and gushing water caves.

The path along the Karteros river commences from this point, offering a lush green trail equipped with wooden bridges and railings. After crossing the Aitania bridge at Kaki Rachi, we reach Kali Rachi where the Astrakiano and Kounaviano Gorges, originating from Peza, merge. From Kali Rachi, the river continues to Karteros along a well-structured path. This section, known as Karteros Gorge, passes by ancient water mills and the historic Saint Nicholas Church (Agios Nikolaos). Near the Karteros gorge exit, at the Mesa Karteros spot, you’ll find an old inn and a second chapel dedicated to Saint Nicholas. This location, accessible by car from Karteros, is an ideal picnic spot.

The Astrakiano canyon (Astraki – Kali Rachi) measures about 7km, with a hiking duration of 3-4 hours. The Kounaviano Gorge (Peza- Kali Rachi) is roughly 4km long, requiring about 2 hours for trekking. The shared section of the Karteros gorge (up to the second Saint Nicholas chapel (Kali Rachi – Mesa Karteros)) is approximately 6km.

The canyons’ route is abundant in natural, morphological, aesthetic, historical, and cultural aspects. The landscape boasts exceptional natural beauty, featuring springs, ponds, rivers, mini waterfalls, and lush vegetation. Prior to World War II, the canyon housed 10 watermills, and locals would fish for eels and crabs, some of which still exist today.

Gorge details

Location

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Most frequent asked questions

How accessible is the Astrakiano Gorge?

The Astrakiano Gorge is accessible via a dirt track.

What is the length of the Astrakiano Gorge?

The Astrakiano Gorge is 11 km long.

How difficult is the Astrakiano Gorge?

The Astrakiano Gorge has a difficulty rating of 1 out of 10.

How long does it take to hike the Astrakiano Gorge?

It takes approximately 5 hours to hike the Astrakiano Gorge.

What is the altitude difference in the Astrakiano Gorge?

The altitude difference in the Astrakiano Gorge is 150 meters.

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Stays near Astrakiano Gorge

  • 9.1 / 10
  • Skalani

Offering a garden, Scalarea Estate Residences offers accommodation in Skalánion. Heraklio Town is 9 km from the property.

The accommodation features a satellite flat-screen TV. Some units are air conditioned and include a seating and/or dining area. There is a private bathroom with a shower in every unit. Towels and bed linen are featured.

Scalani Hills Boutari Winery & Resi also includes a terrace. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant.

Hersonissos is 19 km from Scalarea Estate Residences, while Bali is 40 km away. The nearest airport is Nikos Kazantzakis Airport, 7 km from the property.

  • 1.5 km
  • 10 / 10
  • Liapaki

Located in Skalánion, Crete’s Hidden Treasure: Family Villa with Pool and Majestic Views provides accommodation with a private pool, a balcony and garden views. This property offers access to a terrace, free private parking and free WiFi.

The villa is equipped with 6 bedrooms, a flat-screen TV with cable channels and a fully equipped kitchen that provides guests with a dishwasher, an oven, a washing machine, a microwave and a fridge. Towels and bed linen are provided in the villa.

Guests can relax in the garden at the property.

The Palace of Knossos is 4.9 km from the villa, while Venetian Walls is 11 km away. The nearest airport is Heraklion International Airport, 6 km from Crete’s Hidden Treasure: Family Villa with Pool and Majestic Views.

from

€655

/night

  • 2.2 km
  • 9 / 10
  • Ιφιγένειας

Boasting air-conditioned accommodation with a private pool, pool view and a balcony, Villa Luna is located in Skalánion. This property offers access to a terrace, ping-pong, free private parking and free WiFi.

Featuring a PS4, the villa has a kitchen with a dishwasher, an oven and a microwave, a living room with a seating area and a dining area, 5 bedrooms, and 4 bathrooms with a bath and a shower. Towels and bed linen are provided in the villa.

Spa and wellness facilities including a hot tub and a fitness room are at guests’ disposal during their stay at the villa. A an indoor play area is also available at Villa Luna, while guests can also relax in the garden.

The Palace of Knossos is 4.3 km from the accommodation, while Venetian Walls is 10 km away. The nearest airport is Heraklion International Airport, 8 km from Villa Luna.

from

€49

/night

  • 2.2 km
  • 9.2 / 10
  • Σκαλάνι

Situated in Skalánion, 4.8 km from The Palace of Knossos and 11 km from Venetian Walls, Studio Flower offers a garden and air conditioning. This property offers access to a balcony, free private parking and free WiFi.

The apartment has 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, bed linen, towels, a flat-screen TV, a fully equipped kitchen, and a terrace with garden views.

Heraklion Archaeological Museum is 11 km from the apartment, while Cretaquarium Thalassocosmos is 15 km from the property. The nearest airport is Heraklion International Airport, 8 km from Studio Flower.

from

€44

/night

  • 2.3 km
  • 8.5 / 10
  • Skalani Village

Boasting pool views, Romantic, homely Villa Aura w pool features accommodation with a patio and a coffee machine, around 4.5 km from The Palace of Knossos. This villa features a private pool, a garden, barbecue facilities, free WiFi and free private parking.

The villa with a terrace and mountain views has 1 bedroom, a living room, a flat-screen TV, an equipped kitchen with a dishwasher and an oven, and 2 bathrooms with a walk-in shower. Towels and bed linen are available in the villa.

A car rental service is available at the villa.

Venetian Walls is 10 km from Romantic, homely Villa Aura w pool, while Heraklion Archaeological Museum is 11 km from the property. The nearest airport is Heraklion International Airport, 8 km from the accommodation.

  • 2.4 km
  • 8.5 / 10
  • Skalani

Offering a garden and garden view, Terra Zeus Skalani is situated in Skalánion, 10 km from Venetian Walls and 11 km from Heraklion Archaeological Museum. The air-conditioned accommodation is 4.7 km from The Palace of Knossos, and guests benefit from private parking available on site and free WiFi.

The villa has a terrace, 1 bedroom, a living room and a well-equipped kitchen with an oven and a stovetop. Towels and bed linen are offered in the villa.

Cretaquarium Thalassocosmos is 22 km from the villa, while Nikos Kazantzakis Museum is 8.2 km from the property. The nearest airport is Heraklion International Airport, 8 km from Terra Zeus Skalani.

from

€118

/night

  • 2.8 km

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