Hiking in Crete



Attention! The heavy rains of the last years have damaged many gorges and many paths have been destroyed so they are no longer accessible. You could inform us for such cases, so we update the listings in our website.
Skotini Gorge
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Gorge Skotini crosses one of the most remote and wild places of Crete. Indeed, in this solitary place, a sampling station of the University of Crete was established for the study of aerosols. Such a station could be constructed only in such a remote area, away from the polluted cities and from any human activity. From village Finokalias follow the short path that leads northwards, until you see the bed of the gorge. While walking along this, you will cross one beautiful and wild landscape with bare rocks, low vegetation and numerous spices and herbs. In the gorge you will see 2-3 wells with water, while the high walls of the gorge host many caves. Indeed, in one of them locals say that an eerie woman called Datserolenia lived. The cave has a stone wall that still protects its entrance. A few yards away, you'll meet the small beach of Skotini.

Alternatively, from Finokalias you can follow the dirt road leading to the monastery of Saint Andrew, located at Cape Drepani. A part of the church is built in the rock of the mountain, with an inscription that reminds that it was repaired at the expense of Spinalonga patients. In order to approach the beach from there, you need to walk eastwards, along the shore. 

The name Skotini means dark in Greek and it probably derives from the fact that the walls of the canyon in some places are very high and close together. This fact, combined with the shade of the trees hanging over the edges, reduces the intensity of light and the gorge is “dark”. Another version says that it comes after the many dark caves of the canyon.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Lassithi Prefecture
  • Type: Hiking gorge
  • Water: Generally dry
  • Length (km): 2
  • Altitude difference (m): 150
  • Difficulty (0-10): 2
  • Hiking Hours: 1.5
  • Accessibility: Walking

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