Hiking in Crete



Tripiti Gorge
(9 votes)

Tripiti is the second large gorge parallel to Samaria gorge and, like Klados, the trail heading to its entrance also starts at Linosseli spring. In order to approach its entrance there is a dangerous passage where you risk getting stuck, so that you can neither walk on nor turn around and go back. Therefore, you should never attempt to cross this place it without the escort of an experienced hiker.

It is one of the longest gorges of Crete that needs two days, as there is no road approaching its entrance. The first day afternoon you should start from Plateau Omalos (altitude 1200 meters) and ascend to the peak of the inhospitable Gigilos peak (2080m). The trail runs across the spring Linoseli (1,400m) where an ancient oracle was hosted. There, you will spend the night near the peak or in the ruined sheepfold of Tzatzimos. Up to there it will take you 2.30 hours. According to the legend here, this peak was the throne of the Crete-born Zeus and starting from the nearby smoother peaks on the west, he started his chariot rides.

On the next day follow the trail from Gigilos to the entrance of Tripiti and then walk till the point where the gorge meets the Libyan Sea. Hiking from Gigilos to the beach takes about six hours. The gorge is truly amazing with its high steep walls, many of which are cavernous (tripiti takes its name after the caves, called tripes (holes) in Greek). Apart from the rich flora, you might see some the endangered Cretan ibex wandering around the pine trees.

Near the beach, formed at the peak of a small peninsula, you’ll see a water cistern, a small sheepfold and the scenic chapel of St. Nicholas. The peninsula of Tripiti was the site of the ancient town of Pikilasos, which served as a port for the powerful town of Elyros. However, almost nothing today reminds of that era.

If there is no boat to pick you, you will have to walk 3-4 more hours along the E4 trail, to the west, in order to reach the seaside village of Sougia. Along that trail you will meet the ruins of a Turkish tower (koules) and the chapel of Profitis Ilias (Prophet Elijah). On the fest day of Prophet Elijah (19-20 July) many people from Sougia visit the chapel either by boat or on foot. The fest of Profitis Ilias chapel, with the panoramic views to the Libyan Sea, is an amazing experience, surely worth feeling.

The riverbed in the initial part of the gorge has steep descends and requires canyoneering equipment. Thus, canyoners can avoid the trail from the side and cross the gorge with technical means in the bed.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Chania Prefecture
  • Type: Hiking gorge
  • Water: Generally dry
  • Length (km): 9
  • Altitude difference (m): 2080
  • Difficulty (0-10): 3
  • Hiking Hours: 9
  • Accessibility: Boat, Walking
  • Maximum Rapel Height (m): 40
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