Details

Distance

4.7 miles

Elevation Gain

1922.6 ft

Route Type

Point-to-Point

Description

Added by Andreas Brokalakis

A popular gorge worthy to hike

The gorge of Aghia Irini takes its name from the village located near its entrance. Aghia Irini is a small village on the road from Chania to Sougia, approximately 43km from the city of Chania.

The gorge is one of the most popular gorges in Crete, attracting several thousands of hikers each summer when it is accessible to the general public. The trail that crosses the gorge is clearly marked, it is generally maintained by local authorities and it is part of the European hiking trail E4. The gorge is among the NATURA 2000 protected areas. It hosts the endangered Cretan Ibex and it is the natural habitat for many species of wildlife. The variety in flora is very important, from trees (cypress, pine, maple, plane, oak, holm oak) to shrubs, brushwoods and fine herbs such as dittany.

You can find water springs at the beginning and near the exit of the gorge and a forest outpost in the middle where you can rest. There is a small fee to enter the gorge (if I remember correctly 2 euros).

To cross the gorge you need to be reasonably fit. Although it is generally a descent as its exit is near the sea, there are multiple ascents as well. The hike is mostly carried out in shade, so it is ok even in hot days. To complete the hike it takes 3 to 3.5 hours. At the exit of the gorge there is a tourist canteen where you may find drinks and snacks. The exit of the gorge is near the beach vilalge of Sougia (approx. 5km), where all kinds of facilities can be found (super markets, restaurants, rooms to let, etc). Swimming at the beach of Sougia is the perfect way to end you hiking adventure.

There is frequent bus service to take you from Chania city to the entrance of the gorge, as well as from Sougia back to Chania. If you decide to use your own car, there is a parking lot at the entrance of the gorge. Once you complete the hike, at the tourist canteen you may arrange for a taxi to take you back to your car (it takes less than 20-30min).

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Features

Photography
Hiking
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
River
Scenic

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