Hiking in Crete



Platania Gorge
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Platania Gorge is located in the Amari valley, 38km southeast of Rethymno, on the western outskirts of Psiloritis. It is a unique trail, with impressive cliffs, vertical limestone rocks, rock roofs and caves. The trail is recommended for experienced mountaineers, although the first part of the trek is quite easy and well pathed, even for children who are physically fit. You will meet the chapel of St Anthony, built in the cave. The path, after the stone arch and the arch formed by the trunk of an olive tree, is quite dangerous for inexperienced climbers.

Many species of birds nest in the gorge, such as harrier eagles, vultures, wild pigeons and crows. Visitors will also come across abandoned olive groves, as well as a wide variety of indigenous and other plants of Crete, e.g. jerusalem sage (Phlomis fruticosa), campanula (Campanula tubulosa), kermes oaks, maples, and pines. The trail leads to the cave of Pan, which was named thus, as according to the myth, this is the birthplace of the ancient God Pan, the god of shepherds. In the cave’s interior one can see decorations on the walls that may date back to the Minoan period and imply that this was a place of worship.

The entrance of the gorge is located at position Kokinoharako, close to Pan Cave, and is accessed through dirt road from Vistagi. The gorge bed is very dangerous, but amazingly beautiful and is only passable with canyoning equipment. The highest rapel is 40m high. The gorge was firstly explored by the team of Yannis Bromirakis and Christopher Cheiladakis.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Rethymnon Prefecture
  • Type: Canyoneering equipment needed, Hiking gorge, Signed trail
  • Water: Water till spring
  • Length (km): 2.5
  • Altitude difference (m): 400
  • Difficulty (0-10): 3
  • Hiking Hours: 3
  • Accessibility: Paved road
  • Maximum Rapel Height (m): 40
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