Gorges in Crete



Martsalo Gorge
(11 votes)

Martsalo gorge has a length of about 2km and is located in the south coast of Asterousia Mountains, in Heraklion Prefecture. It starts from the north and ends at the Libyan Sea, in the small picturesque beach of Martsalo.

Apostle Paul is said to have stopped in Martsalo, during his journey to Rome. In the middle of the gorge, you’ll find the amazing cavernous church of the Virgin Mary, dating from early Christian times. This is believed to have served as a catacomb, where Christians took refuge to escape the persecution from occupiers of Crete. Around the church, someone can see the carved cells-caves in the rocks and traces of old buildings. Moreover, a characteristic of Martsalo is the large colony of Cretan date palm trees, that is one of the most important in Southern Heraklion.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Heraklion Prefecture
  • Type: Hiking gorge
  • Water: Generally dry
  • Length (km): 2
  • Altitude difference (m): 170
  • Difficulty (0-10): 2
  • Hiking Hours: 1
  • Accessibility: Dirt track
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