Hiking in Crete



Kavis Gorge
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The gorge of Iligas (or Kavi) is located a few kilometers west of Chora Sfakion. It starts near Anopolis plateau and ends at the beautiful beach of Iligas, 2km west of Chora. The gorge is very easily accessible from Anopolis plateau. The canyon Kavis is one of the longest and wildest of Sfakia area and despite located next to Chora Sfakion, it remains unknown to many people who usually just enjoy swimming at Iligas. The riverbed is dry almost always, except after several hours of rain. Apart from the main stream, in Kavis fall other 5 sub-gorges, extremely wild.

The Gorge Kavis starts at an altitude of 1080 meters (position Rekti) but crossing its upper part is better to avoid, because you will need rope. Access to its bed is better to be achieved through the ruined village of Mouri or above Anopolis where the road leads to Ahlada position, from where you can follow the trail that leads easily to the bed at the point where there is an 700 years old chapel dedicated to the Holy Cross. The chapel is full of frescoes, completely neglected and forgotten by all. Opposite Holy Cross there is the only water spring at the region in a cave on the path that leads to Mouri. From there, trekking to the exit takes 3 hours and the course is quite easy, apart from some parts with 2-3m high falls.

Another Kavis attraction is the cave where the chieftain of Selino area, Basias, died during the Ottoman period. The main part of the canyon is covered by virgin forest of cypress and asfentamos, one of the largest woods of Crete. As you approach the sea, the forest turns to towering cliffs of hundreds of meters with trees hanging everywhere. The bed is generally wide, but at some points it gets narrow reaching half meter width. Shortly before leaving the sea, you will find the stone-paved trail (identical to that of Aradena Gorge) which descends from one side and ascends to the other, as it was the only route to walk to Anopolis.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Chania Prefecture
  • Type: Hiking gorge
  • Water: Generally dry, Springs
  • Length (km): 12
  • Altitude difference (m): 1500
  • Difficulty (0-10): 3
  • Hiking Hours: 4
  • Accessibility: Walking
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