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.
Kavis Gorge (Iligas)
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The gorge of Iligas (or Kavis) starts south of the peak Kastro of the White Mountains, near the deserted village Kali Laki, and ends on the beach of Iligas, around 2.5  kilometers west of Chora Sfakion. 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 on the beach at its exit. 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 at position Rekti, but crossing its upper part needs rope and it's advised to avoid. Access to its bed is better to be achieved through the ruined village of Mouri or above Anopolis where the road leads to Achlada position, from where you can follow the trail that leads easily to the bed at the point where there is the Byzantine chapel dedicated to the Holy Cross (Timios Stavros). The chapel is full of frescoes, completely neglected and forgotten by local authorities. 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 about 3 hours and during the there are some 2-3m high descents.

Another Kavis attraction is the cave where the chieftain of Selino province, Basias, died during the Ottoman period. The main part of the canyon is covered by virgin forest of cypress and maple, 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. 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 from Chora Sfakion 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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