Paleochora

Paleochora

GORGES

In the region of Hania there are more than 30 gorges, each with its own unique beauty. As wll as those described below, the gorges of Prasses, Kampanou, Prines, Azogyres, Koustgerakou and Typitis are worth mentioning.

SAMARIA Samaria gorge What can be written about this monument of nature? It is the biggest and longest gorge in Europe. The whole area was protected many years ago and so the Greek government created a national park. Also the area was awarded by the European Community. The gorge is situated between two mountain peaks of 2,000 m and 2,500 m in height, it is 18 km long and its narrowest point is 3 m wide, at a place called the Iron Door. The gorge begins at a height of about 1,200 m and leads down to sea level. The path starts at the Xyloskala (wooden stairway) at the high plain of Omalos and goes down through a magnificent landscape, ending at a beautiful black pebble beach on the Libyan sea at Agia Roumeli. Half way the old abandoned village of Samaria is found, where a telephone, a small first aid point and a helicopter landing pad was built. Along the way one can find a variety of wild flowers and plants. Up in the highest rocks the very shy and unique Cretan wild goat - the so-called Kri Kri is found and in quiet moments the lucky wanderer can spot it.

ANYDROI Anidri gorge This gorge is the nearest to Paleohora. Here nature is both wild and friendly at the same time. One can find here a representative variety of Cretan's plants, flowers and herbs - e.g. diktamo (the famous Cretan Mountain tea), sage, oregano and many others. It is a walk of about 1 hour from the village of Anydroi, which is 5 km outside Paleohora up in the mountains, to the beautiful three beaches of Yanniskari. From there it is another hour Paleohora.

AGIA IRINI The gorge begins at a height of 550 m above sea level at the little village of Agia Irini. Agia Irini gorgeIt has a length of 7 km and is a nice walk of 2.5 to 3 hours through the gorgeous nature of Western Crete. The dominating plants of this gorge are pine and plane trees. Along its steep slopes a great variety of herbs and wild flowers grow. Within the gorge there are 13 caves. It ends near the little village Moni and from there a road leads down to the Libyan sea and the village of Sougia.

KALOGIROU This gorge is situated in an almost untouched landscape, man has not interfered yet. This part of Western Crete is rewarded with rich vegetation and awonderful. It begins in the village of Aligoi, northwest of Paleohora and ends up in Kountoudiana / Sassalos after about 5 kms. The gorge is very twisty and the slopes are steep. The vegetation consists of evergreen trees, chestnut trees and many other kinds of plants, especially at the damp places along the riverbed.

TOPOLIANO One of the well-known gorges of the region, it begins at the village of Kotsomatsadas. The road from the south to north up to Kastelli / Kissamos winds along steep slopes, finding its way through the rocks. One of two tunnels in Crete is found here. The village Topolia is built on the slopes of the gorge - a very green place with chestnut, plane and olive trees and colorful oleanders and beaugainvilleas.

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