The Avlaki Gorge, nestled in Arkoudovounia near the Gouverneto Monastery, just 16km east of Chania city, stands as one of Crete’s most significant canyons with a rich religious history. This secluded area provided refuge for numerous monks and hermits in its caves, and also houses the ancient, abandoned Katholiko Monastery, making it known as the Katholiko Gorge as well. Although the gorge isn’t entirely accessible, a marked trail from the Gouverneto Monastery offers a scenic but steep descent towards Katholiko. On the journey, you’ll encounter the Cave Arkoudiotissa and the ancient temple of Artemis after a 10-minute walk, followed by a further 10 minutes to the deserted Katholiko Monastery and the cave of Saint John the Hermit.
Walking for another 15-25 minutes along the riverbed from the monastery will bring you to the sea, passing by caves where hermits once resided. The gorge’s exit reveals a slender, rocky fjord with deep blue waters, a small Venetian well, a tiny harbour used by monks, and a quarry that provided construction materials for the monastery. The area also features a rock formation resembling a boat, said to be a pirate ship turned to stone by a monastery abbot’s curse.
Avlaki Gorge is a hiking gorge located in the Chania region.
Avlaki Gorge is a hiking gorge.
Generally, Avlaki Gorge is dry.
You can access Avlaki Gorge by walking.
Avlaki Gorge is 2 km long.
On a scale of 1 to 10, Avlaki Gorge has a difficulty level of 2.
It takes approximately 1 hour to hike Avlaki Gorge.
The altitude difference in Avlaki Gorge is 280.
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