Hiking in Crete

Platania
Gorge

Rethymnon

Platania Gorge
(9 votes)

Platania Gorge is located above the village Platania, connecting the southeast slopes of Psiloritis range with the Amari valley, about 38km southeast of Rethymno. The river that flows through it gathers the water west of the peaks of Migia (1584m) and Spathi (1779m) and transfers them toRiver Platys, which ends in Agia Galini. A very steep, but safe, path ascends to the starting point at location Kokkinoharako, coming aside its steep slopes. From the path the hiker has a terrific view of the impressive cliffs, the vertical limestone rocks with yellow-red colors of erosion, the rock shelters and numerous caves.

On a small plateau formed at an altitude of about 800m, there is the cavernous church of Saint Anthony (Agios Antonios), built next to a spring with water. The path from Agios Antonios continues its uphill route to the northwest and meets a dirt road that comes from the village Vistagi. On the other side of the gorge, to the east, is the cave of Panas, which was named so because according to local legend, the ancient god Pan, the god of the wild, shepherds and flocks, was born there. Inside the cave, one can see petroglyphs dating back to the Minoan period and suggest that the site has been worshiped ever since. The place can be accessed via the same dirt road from Vistagi leading to the adjacent church of Saint Mammes (Agios Mamas), who is also the patron saint of the shepherds in the Christian religion.

The interior of the gorge of Platania is amazing, but ony few people have the chance to see it as it has steep waterfalls and is accessible without technical equipment for canyoning. The largest waterfall is the last with a height of about 40m. The gorge was crossed for the first time in 2008 by the canyoning group of Giannis Bromirakis and Christoforos Cheiladakis. Many species of birds nest on its cliffs, such as vultures, hawks, wild pigeons and crows.

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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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