Hiking in Crete

Kounaviano
Gorge

Heraklion

Kounaviano Gorge
(9 votes)

The Kounaviano gorge is the richest canyon in vegetation in the whole prefecture of Heraklion with incredible greenery, a real oasis in the center of the province of Pediada. It takes its name from the village of Kounavi in the district of which it belongs, although it essentially starts from the village Peza and should be called Pezano Gorge. It is a tributary of the river Karteros and is parallel to the Astrakiano gorgeAstrakiano and Kounaviano gorges merge in the position ​​Kaki Rachi near Skalani and form the Gorge of Karteros. The entrance of Kounaviano is located at the northernmost point of the fertile plain of Peza, gathering all waters from the area. It has springs in several points of its bed, which in some parts maintain water all year round.

In the last few years, the gorge has been marked and the path has been cleaned with the addition of small bridges, wooden railings and information signs and walking along the trail it is easy and very pleasant, running under the shade of perennial plane, oak and other trees. Walking along the riverbed is easy without major altitude differences and difficulties, while at the starting area of the gorge two small waterfalls are formed. In three different points we meet old watermills used in the past for grinding the cereals of the area, which has always been one of the most productive in Crete. Apart from the watermills, we also meet limestone kilns and various gardens with fruit trees. It takes about 2 hours to walk from the entrance of the gorge at Peza until its exit at Kaki Rachi near Skalani.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Heraklion Prefecture
  • Type: Hiking gorge, Signed trail
  • Water: Water till spring
  • Length (km): 4
  • Altitude difference (m): 100
  • Difficulty (0-10): 1
  • Hiking Hours: 2
  • Accessibility: Dirt track

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