Hiking in Crete

Tripiti
Gorge

Chania

Tripiti Gorge
(10 votes)

Tripiti is the second large gorge parallel to Samaria gorge after Klados gorge. The entrance can be accessed from Omalos plateau through the trail of Gigilos peak that crosses Linosseli spring. In order to approach its entrance there is a dangerous passage where you risk getting stuck in huge landslides, so that you can neither walk on nor turn around and go back. Therefore, you should never attempt to cross this place without the escort of an experienced hiker.

Tripiti is one of the longest gorges in Crete and requires two days, as there is no road approaching its entrance. In the first day you can start from Plateau Omalos (altitude 1200 meters) and ascend to the peak of the inhospitable Gigilos (2080m). The trail runs across the spring Linoseli (1,400m) and then you should ascend to meet the col (mountain ridge) at 1700m where the trail from Koustogerako meets the trail of Gigilos. From the ridge actually starts the downhill route to the riverbed of Tripiti gorge and this point can be accessed from Omalos in 3 hours. You can spend the night on the ridge or walk a bit more till the ruined sheepfold of Tzatzimos.

On the next day follow the trail down to the point where it meets the river bed at an altitude of 700m and then, along the bed, reach the South Cretan Sea on the beach of Tripiti. 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, it is not rare for hikers to meet the endangered Cretan ibex wandering around the pine trees.

Near the beach of Tripiti, formed at the Cape Tripiti, you’ll see a water cistern, a small goat pen and the scenic chapel of Saint Nicholas. The peninsula of Tripiti was the site of the ancient town Pikilasos, which served as a port for the powerful town Elyros. 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 the Turkish tower of Voukelasi 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 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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