Hiking in Crete

Pelekaniotis
Gorge

Chania

Pelekaniotis Gorge
(5 votes)

At a forgotten area of the region Selino in South Chania, you will meet the well hidden gorge of Pelekaniotis River. It is the river with the most water flow in Selino and it is so important that the whole municipality of Paleochora is named Pelekanos. It has water all year round and forms a lush green valley at its exit, at Maherota location.

The steep canyon cliffs are home to dozens of birds of prey that accompany the hiker throughout the course. To meet the exit of the gorge you should follow the dirt road that starts from the beach Grameno by Paleochora and runs along the west bank of the river. It unfortunately crosses a small area with rubbish and debris. After crossing this dump, the landscape turns to a forested Cretan landscape. Two kilometers later, at the western shore, we meet the chapel of Agios Mamas with frescoes in excellent condition. The existence of Agios Mamas, despite its importance, is completely unknown even to locals. Opposite Agios Mamas, there is also the old whitewashed chapel of St. George (no frescoes here).

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After a kilometer, the dirt track meets a tank with potable water and stops here. From there you can walk in the gorge especially in the summer months, when the water level is not very high. If you are a keen hiker, you should visit Pelekanos Gorge in the heart of winter, when a 25m high waterfall falls in the river from the sides.

Close to the middle of the gorge we find some of the most majestic plane trees in Crete, ageing over 1000 years and have incredible trunk formations. A large part of the canyon is very narrow and sunlight almost never reaches the riverbed. It is a unique sculpture of nature and on its vertical walls you will see many holm oak trees.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Chania Prefecture
  • Type: Hiking gorge
  • Water: Water till spring
  • Length (km): 3
  • Altitude difference (m): 50
  • Difficulty (0-10): 2
  • Hiking Hours: 2
  • Accessibility: Paved road
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