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Smiliano Gorge (Kalamafka)

Gorge description

Located approximately 100km southwest of Heraklion city, north of Ano Meros village, you’ll find the Kalamafka or Gorge Smiliano. The Lygiotis river, originating from the Gerakari valleys and the Samitos Mount slopes, flows through this gorge. The 2.5km long canyon begins near Vrysses village, close to the deserted settlement of Smile, and concludes north of Ano Meros, accessible via an asphalt road.

During winter, the gorge is filled with water, making entrance risky even for experienced canyoners. However, an alternative route via a dirt road descending from Drygies village leads just above the gorge. Here, the canyon’s steep walls form a slope with a trail, allowing relatively easy descent to the gorge’s heart, precisely at the point where the stunning waterfalls are formed continuously. The gorge comprises about 10 remarkable rappels, with the tallest waterfall being 13 meters. The ponds formed beneath each waterfall are equally breathtaking, and it’s worth noting that Gorge Smiliano boasts the largest and deepest ponds compared to any other gorge in Crete.

A journey through the canyon (as described in June of a particularly rainy year)
Starting near Smile, we first cross a small arched bridge. After just 50m, we enter the gorge’s main section, greeted by a large pond. The canyon then narrows to about 2m and forms a deep pond, 2-3m deep, requiring swimming. The first small rappel we encounter ends in a large, deep pond (perfect for jumping), where the depth exceeds 3m.

Following this, a rock lodged between the canyon walls forms a natural arch. After swimming for several meters (over 25) without touching the ground, we continue our journey unimpeded. We soon encounter the first high waterfall, and the gorge narrows further (1-1.5m). To continue through this narrow section of the canyon, ropes are required. Alternatively, we can walk alongside the canyon until we reach the 15m high rappel that ends in a very deep pond, perfect for a big jump.

The gorge extends eastward, and the deep ponds gradually become small, shallow ponds. Towards the end of the gorge, the water almost disappears, making it impossible to anticipate the aquatic paradise that lies just a few meters ahead.

Gorge details

Location

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Most frequent asked questions

Is there water in Smiliano Gorge (Kalamafka) all year round?

Yes, there is water in Smiliano Gorge (Kalamafka) all year round.

How accessible is Smiliano Gorge (Kalamafka)?

Smiliano Gorge (Kalamafka) is accessible via a paved road.

What is the length of Smiliano Gorge (Kalamafka)?

Smiliano Gorge (Kalamafka) is 2.5 km long.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how difficult is Smiliano Gorge (Kalamafka)?

Smiliano Gorge (Kalamafka) has a difficulty level of 5 out of 10.

How long does it take to hike Smiliano Gorge (Kalamafka)?

It takes approximately 3 hours to hike Smiliano Gorge (Kalamafka).

What is the altitude difference in Smiliano Gorge (Kalamafka)?

The altitude difference in Smiliano Gorge (Kalamafka) is 200.

In which region is Smiliano Gorge (Kalamafka) located?

Smiliano Gorge (Kalamafka) is located in the Rethymno region.

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User reviews

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Things to do near Smiliano Gorge (Kalamafka)

Stays near Smiliano Gorge (Kalamafka)

  • 7.9 / 10
  • Amari

Boasting air-conditioned accommodation with a private pool, pool view and a balcony, Amazing Villa Amare with stunning views is situated in Amárion. It features a garden, garden views and free WiFithroughout the property.

The villa with a terrace and mountain views has 4 bedrooms, a living room, a flat-screen TV, an equipped kitchen with a dishwasher and an oven, and 2 bathrooms with a bath. Towels and bed linen are available in the villa.

At the villa guests are welcome to take advantage of a hot tub. A car rental service is available at Amazing Villa Amare with stunning views.

Psiloritis National Park is 20 km from the accommodation, while Museum of Ancient Eleftherna is 24 km from the property. The nearest airport is Heraklion International, 87 km from Amazing Villa Amare with stunning views, and the property offers a paid airport shuttle service.

from

€175

/night

  • 2.4 km
  • 9.8 / 10
  • Amari

Located at the top of Amari Village, offering panoramic views over the surrounding mountains and the valley, Amari offers stone-built villas with free WiFi access and spacious terraces. The villas are traditionally decorated and feature a living room with fireplace. Arkadi Monastery is 12 km away.

Fitted with beamed ceilings, tiled floors and dark-wooden furnishings, each villa at Amari has 3 separate bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, a dining area and 2 bathrooms. Facilities include air conditioning, a fridge, an oven and flat-screen TV with CD/DVD player. Only one of the villas features a private pool and a sun terrace with sun loungers and BBQ facilities.

Guests can enjoy al fresco dining at the spacious, furnished terraces with views over the lush surroundings. Homemade Cretan cuisine can be enjoyed on request and at extra charge, while a variety of local products can be found in the village.

Amari Villas lies within a 50-minute drive of both Rethymno Town and the famous Phaestos Palace. The archaeological site of Ancient Syvritos is at a distance of 6 km. Nikos Kazantzakis International Airport is 100 km away.

from

€175

/night

  • 2.4 km
  • 10 / 10
  • Sivritos

Boasting garden views, Amari Krini House offers accommodation with a patio and a coffee machine, around 20 km from Psiloritis National Park. This property offers access to a balcony, free private parking and free WiFi.

The holiday home is fitted with 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, bed linen, towels, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a dining area, a fully equipped kitchen, and a terrace with mountain views.

If you would like to discover the area, hiking and walking tours are possible in the surroundings and the holiday home can arrange a car rental service.

Museum of Ancient Eleftherna is 23 km from Amari Krini House, while Archaeological Museum of Rethymno is 36 km from the property. The nearest airport is Heraklion International, 86 km from the accommodation, and the property offers a paid airport shuttle service.

  • 2.4 km
  • 9.4 / 10
  • Petrochori, Amari

Surrounded by Psiloritis Mountains, Aposeti Villas offers spacious fully equipped villas with shared swimming pools, in Petrochori village. It has a tavern and provides free Wi-Fi access.

Aposeti features traditional accommodation with a fully fitted kitchen with dining area. The living room offers a fireplace, as well as a satellite LCD TV and DVD player. Each villa has a balcony, or veranda with access to the garden.

Aposeti guests can dine at the stone-paved tavern with views to the property’s garden. It serves traditional Cretan dishes made with fresh products and locally produced olive oil.

The seaside village of Agia Galini is 25 km away from the villas. The port of Rethymno is a 45-minute drive away. Free private on-site parking is available.

  • 3.1 km
  • 9.2 / 10
  • Meronas Amari

Featuring pool views, Villa Angelica Meronas offers accommodation with a balcony and a coffee machine, around 21 km from Museum of Ancient Eleftherna. This villa has a private pool, a garden, barbecue facilities, free WiFi and free private parking.

The villa with a terrace and mountain views features 6 bedrooms, a living room, a flat-screen TV, an equipped kitchen with a dishwasher and an oven, and 4 bathrooms with a walk-in shower. Towels and bed linen are featured in the villa.

The villa offers a picnic area. If you would like to discover the area, cycling is possible in the surroundings and Villa Angelica Meronas can arrange a car rental service.

Psiloritis National Park is 21 km from the accommodation, while Archaeological Museum of Rethymno is 32 km away. The nearest airport is Heraklion International, 86 km from Villa Angelica Meronas, and the property offers a paid airport shuttle service.

  • 3.9 km
  • 9.5 / 10
  • Γερακαρι Αμαρι Ρεθυμνης

Offering a garden and garden view, Tulip House is situated in Yerakárion, 26 km from Museum of Ancient Eleftherna and 26 km from Psiloritis National Park. This holiday home is 36 km from Municipal Garden and 37 km from Venetian Harbour.

With free WiFi, this 2-bedroom holiday home features a flat-screen TV, a washing machine and a kitchen with kitchenware.

Guests at the holiday home can enjoy a continental breakfast.

Tulip House offers a terrace.

Archaeological Museum of Rethymno is 37 km from the accommodation, while Arkadi Monastery is 18 km from the property. The nearest airport is Heraklion International Airport, 91 km from Tulip House.

from

€81

/night

  • 4.0 km

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