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Kapni Gorge

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Gorge description

The Kapni Gorge, one of Eastern Sfakia’s most stunning canyons, remains largely undiscovered. The gorge begins as an open stream south of the Akones peak at Hionistra, located on the road between Askyfou and Asfendou villages. It concludes in the village of Nomikiana in the Sfakia province. In Hionistra, two streams in calcareous soils converge to form the Kapni Gorge after an hour’s walk. The canyon is extensive, requiring around four hours to traverse. It is among Crete’s challenging and perilous trekking gorges, with a rugged riverbed that forms dry waterfalls in certain areas, necessitating climbing.

It is not advisable for those inexperienced in mountaineering. The riverbed features several small caves that were previously used as sheepfolds. In one of these caves, there is drinking water, the only source in the harsh Kapni region. This water source is hard to find unless one is very familiar with the area. Kapni is home to beautiful vegetation, including maples and oak trees, and stunning walls of platy limestone in several places.

The name Kapni, meaning smoke, traces back to a story from the Venetian era. East Sfakia was once densely forested, providing refuge for Cretans fighting the Venetians. To counter this, the Venetians burned these forests, including the one in Kapni, which was so dense that the fire burned for weeks. The narrowness of the gorge created an oven-like effect, trapping the fire and significantly raising the temperature. The intense heat baked the mountain rock, similar to a lime kiln, and smoke lingered for days after the fire ceased. That autumn, a massive flood swept through the bare, fire-scorched hillsides, moving rocks with immense force to the gorge’s exit. This event resulted in a large deposit of sediment, creating the most impressive scree (locally known as sara) in Crete, visible from miles away. This scree starts at the gorge’s exit and extends to the village of Nomikiana.

Most frequent asked questions

What is Kapni Gorge?

Kapni Gorge is a hiking gorge located in the Chania region of Greece.

What type of gorge is Kapni Gorge?

Kapni Gorge is a hiking gorge.

Is there water in Kapni Gorge?

Generally, Kapni Gorge is dry.

How accessible is Kapni Gorge?

Kapni Gorge is accessible via a dirt track.

How long is Kapni Gorge?

Kapni Gorge is 5 km long.

What is the difficulty level of Kapni Gorge?

On a scale of 1 to 10, Kapni Gorge has a difficulty level of 4.

How many hours does it take to hike Kapni Gorge?

It takes approximately 4 hours to hike Kapni Gorge.

What is the altitude difference in Kapni Gorge?

The altitude difference in Kapni Gorge is 820 meters.

Gorge details

Location

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Things to do near Kapni Gorge

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  • Price from
  • €31

Stays near Kapni Gorge

  • 8.6 / 10
  • Imbros

Featuring air-conditioned accommodation with a private pool, pool view and a balcony, Archodiko Villa Imbros is located in Ímbros. It features a garden, garden views and free WiFithroughout the property.

The villa comes with 5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, bed linen, towels, a TV with satellite channels, a dining area, a fully equipped kitchen, and a terrace with mountain views.

The villa can conveniently provide information at the reception to help guests to get around the area.

Archaeological Museum of Rethymno is 48 km from Archodiko Villa Imbros, while Fortress of Frangokastello is 24 km away. The nearest airport is Chania International Airport, 61 km from the accommodation.

  • 2.7 km
  • 9.9 / 10
  • Countryside

Olive and Aloe Villas features sea views, free WiFi and free private parking, located in Nomikianá, 700 metres from Koutelos Beach.

Featuring a kitchen with a dishwasher and an oven, each unit also comes with a safety deposit box, a satellite flat-screen TV, ironing facilities, desk and a seating area with a sofa. There is a private bathroom with walk-in shower in some units, along with bathrobes, slippers and a hair dryer.

The villa offers a picnic area. There is also a business centre and a an indoor play area on site.

Barbecue facilities are available and guests can also relax in the garden, beside the infinity pool, or on the sun terrace.

Pera Koutelos Beach is less than 1 km from Olive and Aloe Villas, while Fortress of Frangokastello is 8.5 km away. The nearest airport is Chania International, 81 km from the accommodation, and the property offers a paid airport shuttle service.

from

€162

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  • 4.0 km
  • 10 / 10
  • Fraggokastelo

Boasting air-conditioned accommodation with a private pool, sea view and a patio, Villa Olvía is set in Sfakiá. This beachfront property offers access to a balcony, free private parking and free WiFi.

The villa has a terrace, 4 bedrooms, a living room and a well-equipped kitchen with a dishwasher and an oven. Towels and bed linen are offered in the villa.

The villa offers a beauty services. Both a bicycle rental service and a car rental service are available at Villa Olvía, while snorkelling and cycling can be enjoyed nearby.

Archaeological Museum of Rethymno is 49 km from the accommodation, while Fortress of Frangokastello is 5.6 km from the property. The nearest airport is Chania International, 81 km from Villa Olvía, and the property offers a paid airport shuttle service.

from

€47

/night

  • 4.1 km
  • 8.8 / 10
  • Koutelos , Sfakia

Located a few steps from Koutelos Beach, Votsalo Studios & Apartment offers air-conditioned accommodation with a balcony.

Each unit is equipped with a terrace offering sea views, a satellite flat-screen TV, a well-fitted kitchen and a private bathroom with shower and a hair dryer. An oven, a fridge and stovetop are also provided, as well as a kettle.

Pera Koutelos Beach is 60 metres from the apartment, while Fortress of Frangokastello is 9.3 km away. The nearest airport is Chania International Airport, 81 km from Votsalo Studios & Apartment.

  • 4.4 km
  • 9.5 / 10
  • Φραγκοκαστέλου

FYSIOPHYLIA VILLAS has mountain views, free WiFi and free private parking, set in Frangokastello, 600 metres from Vatalos Beach.

The villa provides guests with a terrace, sea views, a seating area, satellite flat-screen TV, a fully equipped kitchen with a dishwasher and an oven, and a private bathroom with shower and slippers. A microwave, a toaster and fridge are also offered, as well as a coffee machine and a kettle.

Guests can enjoy the infinity pool and garden at FYSIOPHYLIA VILLAS.

Frangokastello Beach is 2.9 km from the accommodation, while Archaeological Museum of Rethymno is 48 km from the property. The nearest airport is Chania International Airport, 84 km from FYSIOPHYLIA VILLAS.

from

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/night

  • 5.2 km
  • 9.7 / 10
  • Petres 0

Set in Ammoudari, Villa Skyphos features a private pool. It has garden views and free WiFi.

With direct access to a balcony, the villa consists of 3 bedrooms. The accommodation is fitted with a kitchen.

Chania Town is 50 km from the villa, while Rethymno Town is 46 km away. The nearest airport is Chania International Airport, 56.2 km from the property.

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