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.
Kydoni Gorge at Karanou
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In the beautiful villageKaranou in the mountainous area of Kydonia near Chania, at the foot of the White Mountains we meet the gorge Kydoni. Its name probably has to do with the area Kydonia and not with the greek word for the fruit "quince", which is also called kydoni. It is one of the greenest gorges in Crete with incredible vegetation with the trees reaching and exceeding twenty meters in height. It starts inside the village Karanou, at the point where the old fountain is located. From there, a descending path crosses an impressive and centuries-old olive grove and the church of Saint Demetrius (Agios Dimitrios), that still  retains parts of old frescoes and, eventually, reaches the bed of the stream. The greenery dominates the whole route in the gorge and there are very few places, where sunlight reaches, which makes its crossing ideal on hot and sunny days.

The fairly easy path that crosses the gorge is one of the bestly signed in  Crete, with signs every 500 meters writing the length of the route. The total course is 2 km and ends at the point where the stream of Kydoni meets the tributary of the river Platanias, Mavropiliotis, in the area Mavra Pila (in the Cretan dialect this means dark muddy soil and indeed the soil in the area is blackish and, when muddy, the mud is black).

The path from the end of the gorge continues into the Boriano gorge, which is parallel to Kydoni and starts from the neighborhood Boriana at Karanou. The stream that crosses Kydoni is dry almost all year round and only in some very rainy periods in the heart of winter there is water. Along the way it forms 2-3 small waterfalls, while the highest one is crossed by a very beautiful wooden bridge that leads below the waterfall next to which there is a rock shelter with small stalactites. The descent of Kydoni needs about one hour of hiking. In the lower part of the gorge, we meet two different old trails that lead both to the nearby settlement Skordalou.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Chania Prefecture
  • Type: Hiking gorge, Signed trail
  • Water: Water till spring
  • Length (km): 2
  • Altitude difference (m): 50
  • Difficulty (0-10): 1
  • Hiking Hours: 1
  • Accessibility: Paved road
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