Hiking in Crete

Eligia
Gorge

Chania

Eligia Gorge
(4 votes)

The gorge of Eligia is wild, long and impressive and runs parallel to the Samaria Gorge. The most common trail to reach the gorge's bed starts in Agios Ioannis village in province Sfakia (780m altitude, 92km from Chania), near Anopolis. After hiking for 3.5 hours in the gorge bed, you reach the amazing Agios Pavlos beach, which is full of pine trees, and then you need 1 more hour to the west to reach the harbour of Agia Roumeli.

This part however covers only the one third of the total gorge length that reaches about 13km. Thus, if you wish to hike the entire gorge, you need an experienced guide and two days time. The route starsts from Omalos plataeu, comes from Kallergis shelter, crosses Melidaou Peak (2.133m altitude) and before reaching Katsiveli shelter the route turns to the position Potami that is the entrance to Eligia. The route from Omalos to Potami requires 6 hours and the hike from Potami to Agios Pavlos 6 more hours.

The canyon is full of pine trees, while in some places the descent is so steep that ropes have been placed. Also, near the starting point of the gorge we meet the debris of one Belgian aircraft, which crashed here during NATO exercises in 1976. Then two aircrafts had crashed and there were no survivors. 

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Additional Info

  • Location: Chania Prefecture
  • Type: Hiking gorge
  • Water: Generally dry
  • Length (km): 13
  • Altitude difference (m): 1500
  • Difficulty (0-10): 4
  • Hiking Hours: 6
  • Accessibility: Walking
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