Richtis Gorge
Richtis Gorge
Nature & Wildlife Areas
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8:15 AM - 3:00 PM
8:15 AM - 3:00 PM
8:15 AM - 3:00 PM
8:15 AM - 3:00 PM
8:15 AM - 3:00 PM
8:15 AM - 3:00 PM
8:15 AM - 3:00 PM
8:15 AM - 3:00 PM
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518 reviews
Very good

Stamina S
1 contribution
Aug 2021 • Family
A two hour walk starting from the Lachanas Bridge near the village Exo Mouliana and ending to a rocky beach, with pure drinking water to refill your bottles and tables and benches to enjoy a lunch if you carry food with you. In the middle of the walk there is the waterfall with the small pond where anyone can dip. Very cold water. Sport shoes are essential. If you just want to go to the waterfall you can also drive about 20 minutes from the village to the beach of Richtis and then walk about 40 minutes to the waterfall. That is the easiest part of the gorge. Although the road you drive is a bit narrow and one needs to be careful. For those start at the Lachanas bridge if they decide to go all the way to the beach, the only way to go back on foot is the same way through the gorge, unless you have a car waiting for you at the beach. Great experience for families also. There is a 3 eur per person entrance fee (for people over 16) and toilets near the beach. During summer after 7 pm it gets dark and during spring and autumn after 4.30pm, so make sure you are back by then.
Written August 17, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Boston, MA1 contribution
Aug 2022 • Couples
We visited the Gorge during our stay on Crete. While the road to get down was intimating, the beautiful hike and waterfall made it all worth it. Even better was Georgia in the admissions booth. She was knowledge about the hike and region, and a delight to chat with before we began our trek through the gorge. Ya know, in fact, skip the waterfall. Just talk to Georgia.
Written August 7, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

London, England, United Kingdom185 contributions
Aug 2011
Richtis gorge is one of the most beautiful trails in Crete; it starts at Exo Mouliana village, which is located on the Agios Nikolaos - Sitia national road near Sitia, and ends at Richtis beach, one of the most secluded beaches on the island. It is a "jungle-like" path with old bridges, ruins, a waterfall and the beach at the end.

If you are looking for an almost completely unspoiled (the only human interventions on the walk are for safety/accessibility purposes) nature/wildlife/beach experience in Crete, this is the real deal!

Things you should know before you visit:

I'll try to cover as many issues as I can think of since there are not many places on the net that will provide comprehensive information about this relatively unknown/untouched path.

Exo Mouliana village is about 1h45min drive from Heraklion, 1h20min from Herssonisos, 45min from Ag. Nikolaos/Elounda, 16min from Sitia, 50min from Palekastro, 1h from Makry-gialos, 1h15min from Kato Zakros.

This walk takes about 3h (4.5km) including regular stops for photos or a snack and another 15min to go back if you have arranged for someone to pick you up by car at the beach. The path is marked and it will be easy to find your way, in fact there is only one way - follow the stream. If you decide to walk back the path add another couple of hours to the total. As of summer 2011 there is no regular service that will pick you up at the beach to take you back. When we visited (a group of two families) two of us went down to the beach with two cars and left one of the cars there to use for our return and then drove back to the village to start our walk as we didn't have enough time to walk the path both ways. Another option, if you chose not to walk both ways, is to arrange for someone to pick you up (a friend or taxi) or to go on an organised excursion that some travel agents in eastern Crete offer.

You can also do it the "lazy way" by driving down to the beach and walking to the waterfall from there (about 1h) and then walk back to the beach. But you would be missing a few things this way. The walking entrance of the path is on the east side of the village and the road on the west side of the village, both start on the national road and entrances are marked. There is no need for an off-road vehicle to drive to the beach as the road is concrete paved throughout and regularly maintained (not an asphalt though), use caution as there are no guardrails on the side of the road (as of august 2011) and the beautiful views can be distracting ;). Walking the road back to the village will take you about 1h35m (5.6km uphill walk).

It is a relatively easy walk, but keep in mind this is still a gorge so no flip-flops. Walking or hiking shoes or boots are recommended. It is not recommended for people with mobility problems or children under 10 years old or any unsupervised children. It is not advisable to walk it solo unless you have a bit of relevant experience. If you visit during winter or early spring when the water is at its highest level you might get your feet wet in places where you have to cross the stream, although this is usually avoided by careful path finding and a little improvisation :). There is not a single commercial establishment (temporary or otherwise) along the path, that means take some food and water with you. Not a lot of water is needed though as there is a clean water source (fresh mineral water coming directly from a mountain source 24/7 all year round) freely available for everyone at the end of the path. You can use your mobile phone for a large part of the walk and although there are areas where the signal will be unreliable, walking further up or down the path from the "blank" areas will fix this and there is good signal when you arrive at the beach area (best when you are very close to the sea).

I have walked the path 3 times (2 in summer, 1 in spring). The last time I visited (august 2011), we were a group of two families and our plan was to walk along the river, have a picnic at the waterfall and then walk further down to the beach for a swim and relax watching the sunset. We started around 12.00 (we had left one car at the beach earlier) from Exo Mouliana village and in about 10-20min we were at the Lachana bridge, a 200 year old stone bridge that used to be part of a very old road connecting Sitia to Ag. Nikolaos. From this point on, the path started to look like a jungle, but without the wild carnivores ;). There were only a few parts from Lachana bridge and further down the path that were not almost completely covered by vegetation (mostly large platanus trees), which was good since it was a particularly hot day. I was the only one in the group that had walked the path before and keeping my mouth shut about the little surprises that lie ahead was no easy task. These included “discovering” the ruins of old water mills almost completely covered by vegetation, picturesque ponds, clearings with stunning views of the mountains, caves and lots of interesting local species of flowers and other vegetation. You can also find local species of butterflies (some tend to rest in large groups in the bushes and burst out when you shake the bush with a stick or while walking), river crabs and small eels in the river and if you are lucky enough you can see wild rabbits, hawks and partridges along the way.

The grand attraction of the path is of course the waterfall. It is an about 16m high waterfall that plunges in a pond surrounded by vegetation forming a very scenic spot for resting and having a snack (there are wooden picnic tables next to the waterfall). We arrived at the top of the waterfall around 14.00 and took the stairs (there are stairs in a few parts of the path to improve accessibility and safety) down to the pond where we had our longest break before continuing to the beach.

The beach is almost completely untouched, so no bars or restaurants or any other commercial establishment. There is however a fresh water source freely available and some tables you can use to have a meal and some utensils left there by the locals who visit regularly. There are a few solar light posts that turn on automatically at night and as far as I could tell there is no regulation against spending the night there. In the evenings, locals from the nearby villages often organise large gatherings with food and drinks at the beach which they usually share, but these are more or less spontaneous, nothing you would find advertised anywhere.
The first thing we saw coming out of the “jungle” part of the path while walking the last couple of hundred meters before the beach was the tamarisk trees and the solar light posts that lie on a large clearing just before the beach. There were a few other visitors (perhaps 6 or 8) already there, I assume all from the same group since they were all taking a nap under the trees or on the pebbly beach. We stayed maybe 4-5h for a swim, a bit of exploring the area and some (more) food that we had brought with us and we drove back to the village at sunset.

We will be returning next year.
Written January 28, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Lier, Belgium2 contributions
May 2022 • Friends
The route to the waterfall and back was quite challenging (climbing over rocks, branches, over water). Be careful that you need to walk the route back up as well (total duration between 3-4u walk).
Not a recommendation for doing this with children.
Written May 21, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Carlsbad, CA16 contributions
May 2016 • Family
This is probably unheard of, but we chose this destination for our wedding simply because it was a large waterfall in Greece. I viewed pictures online and immediately fell in love. Not knowing if it was going to be busy, if it was going to be sunny, or even if it was going to look like the pictures. Our wedding party consisted of 10 people, young and old. The hike was easy according to our standards. There were stairs which went over boulders and plenty of shade with a nice breeze. When we reached the falls, it was everything I had pictured and more. There were only two other people there who left as soon as we walked up. We quickly changed into our wedding gear before more people showed up, which never happened until we were done (so perfect!). The weather was beautiful considering the day before and the day after it rained, we lucked out. For about an hour we had the falls all to ourselves. On the way back there were big groups of people heading down. I can't say enough how lucky we were, it was the perfect day everything just seemed to work out.
Written July 7, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

91 contributions
Sep 2019 • Couples
First of all don't park at the top of the main road , go down the track to the starting point at the bridge , the road is narrow but passable I have drove down worse roads on Crete, the road track is about a mile long so your cutting out a fair walk for nothing and it's steep on the way back up , stating from the bridge make sure you go under not over but it is clearly marked with red and yellow marking every 50 metres, the first 20 minutes is fairly easy just a small stream with stepping stones to negotiate and a small track, it is a bit damp in places but I did it with no problems in trainers , I would not recommend flip flops , as you come to 2 old houses it's starts getting a bit trickier with a little bit of rock climbing and further distances to jump across the streams , some places you will have to slide on to your bum to slide down the rocks , there is many beautiful places with nature and mini waterfalls and deep fresh water pools , there are metal staircases on the highest points to help your decent , after the steps there are a few challenging large boulders you need to take you time getting over , continue like this until you reach the wooden balcony with the steep stairway leading you down to the waterfall , you can see the waterfall from the wooden staircase , at the bottom of the stairs it's about a minute walk to the magnificent waterfall , it's beautiful to look at , there is a picnic bench there for you to enjoy a snack , we got to waterfall about 11am there were about 6 people there sat at the bench resting , there is a fresh water pool under the cascading waterfall , my wife went straight into the pool to cool down under the waterfall and she did see a eel about 4ft long off to the right hand side of the pool but it did not attemot to go any where near her and stayed under the rock , apparently there are 2 in there , I got in shortjy after stayed in the pool for a good 10 mins and had no problems , we also did the extra 30 mins extra hike to the beach , it's not as challenging but there are some tricky bits however I'm not going to judge as we bumped into alot of older people doing to beach to the waterfall route , the beach is just rocks with a shaded tree picnic area , and there is also drinking water , we did not swim in the sea on this day as it were quite rough , we also had the beach to ourselves , it were nice to reach the waterfall for a second time on our way back up from the beach to have a final soak and cool down before the return trip back to the car , it were 28 degrees on the day we did it , there are shaded areas on the hike but when it opens up you do feel the heat , I cooled down in rock pools on the way back up , just take plevty of water and you will have a fantastic time , I would recommend this gorge it's amazing , it took us 1 hr 20 mins from the main road to the waterfall , the whole day took us 5.5 hrs but it's worth it , you can do it quicker by stoping at the waterfall and not going to the beach
Written September 12, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Athens, Greece220 contributions
Aug 2015 • Couples
It is something that you should definately do at Sitia.
It is a very beautiful woodsy route that we enjoyed very much.
Richtis Gorge reaches to the sea but we stopped at the pool that is formed there by the waterfalls!!!!!!!!!!!!

It is a unique sight and an unforgetable swim at 20 degrees celsius (August).

Most of the route is in shade and sometimes you must climb or jumb little.

You should consider that its about 3 hours from the arched bridge that we started walking ( athletic couple 30 & 35 years old ).

I am saying that because you can also start the route from the road which is 1,2km more only to go till the pool.

Consider that in a hot day to start your adventure early in the morning(we started 08.00).

You must wear atlhetic shoes and have water.
Also swimsuit to enjoy a cold swim and a camera for unique photos and video.

Do not forget water.
Do not wear flops.
Do not take infants.
Do not start late in the afternoon to avoid night.
Do not go if it is raining or likely to rain.

You can ignore all the above if you are Indiana Jones or want a life time expierence!!

Enjoy Richtis Gorge and don't leave garbage behind!!!!
Written September 4, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Atlanta, GA27 contributions
Jun 2019 • Couples
After hiking Samaria Gorge a few days earlier, Richtis Gorge was a piece of cake. If you're looking for something to do in Sitia, this is a really nice option.

You can hike all the way to the beach, but we decided to hike to the waterfall and back.

When you arrive at the main road, don't park!! The small road that goes down the hill will take you to the start of the trail. You'll regret it if you park at the main road. A long walk uphill at the end of your hike.

Start the hike at the old bridge. Most of the hike to the waterfall is shady, with a few unshaded spots. The shade makes the hike cooler. It's parallel to the stream which is also nice.

Trail is marked the whole way (yellow/red). Follow the markings.

Bring a snack or a light lunch to share at the waterfall. A picnic table is down there.

It's rocky!! ...even bouldery in some places. We past a family with small children that looked like they were struggling to get their toddler through some of the passages.

All in all, a good 3-4 hour hike. Pretty. Not terribly difficult. Recommend!

Written June 19, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

The Hague, The Netherlands61 contributions
Aug 2019
We checked out Tripadvisor for this one and thought let's go for it and boy we were not left disappointed.

We parked at the top by the highway and set off down the path. This concrete road leads you this bridge and then start the phenomenal hike down the Richtis Gorge. The route can be a bit misleading but you just need to be observant for the red and yellow paint on rocks and on the trees that lead you to the right place.

A walk through the little streams that lead into small waterfalls meandering around boulders and then following the beaten path was a great experience. We hadn't hiked before and possibly underestimated the walk but it was worth it.

The first main attraction you come across is the waterfall which was a great view and has a bench to sit and take in the views.....unfortunately the view is most certainly of groups of people or boyfriends all trying to get that perfect Instagram photo or story!

You can carry on further towards the beach which is still a bit of a trek! We found out after a further hike down the gorge that there is a bottom car park for those who dont fancy the hiking challenge. The beach has a great sheltered area and has fresh drinking water which is well earned after the hike.
The beach was a bit disappointing due to the strong powerful waves being smashed onshore due the high winds. On this day it was way too rough to even consider going into the water. Maybe on another day this would be a different story.
Written August 26, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Maya T
Raanana36 contributions
Apr 2013 • Family
About 3 years ago we didn't have any information about Richtis gorge. We didn't find what is its difficulty level, and only in one place it was said that it should take 3 hours to walk. We were parents + 2 girls (7 and 10 years old). It looks as adventure that I wanted to take, but I had a list of questions mark.
During April, I decided to go for it and take the risk.
It took us an hour to drive from Chersonisos to Agios Nikolaos and from there another hour to Exo Mouliana. As I understood we can enter the gorge from Exo Mouliana and end it in the sea. In this case, it can be that the girls will be exhausted and it might be that we will not find any car to bring us back to our car in Exo Mouliana. I decided to change the direction and start the gorge from the sea and end it in Exo Mouliana where we will park the car. Great Idea, but how can we reach the end point on the sea? I had an idea to pay for a taxi or a car. There was no taxi or a car. I went to a small shop and asked for help. No one understood English. It took me some time to draw pictures and make pantomime to explain myself to a local person. When he understood me he explained that his car is full with luggage and he can not help us. Full with disappointment I had another idea: singe you understand me please ask in Greek someone else. He understood me and went to his village. A young boy arrived and showed us his grandfather transit. After a conversion with his grandfather he allowed him to drive the transit. I was not sure if he had a licence. We offered him money and he refused to take it. We were driving in a big transit in a very narrow pathway on the cliff. When I looked from the window, I felt that I am going to vomit. I did not tell him to return back, just because he was not able to do it. After an endless drive we reached the isolated beach. I gave him money and only because I was shy I did not tell him that I want to return back to Exo Mouliana. The naked beach and sea looked marvelous, and I was afraid to start to walk to the unknown. I was afraid the gorge will be too dangerous for the girls. I saw a sign of Richtis Gorge and yet I was not able to start the walk. As a miracle I saw a woman coming out from The dense bushes. She explained that she started the gorge from Exo Mouliana and now she will return back through the gorge. She gave me the courage to start with my girls.
We were walking through the beautiful bushes along the river. A lot of trees gave some shade to our way and we walked like day dreamers. While walking we understood that she was walking in a group of Crete walkers who make a trail every Sunday. They called her Miss Energy, and it really described her. She was very fast and was very strong. We walked alone until we reach the big waterfall and sat down to watch the beauty of the nature.
One of the group members saw us and told us to be hurry. He told us that if we seat near the waterfall we can stay during the night in the gorge. I told him that we were walking 1:30 hour and we have another 1:30 hour to walk. He told me that we need at least 2:30-3 hours to reach Exo. We walked in their speed, who was very fast for the girls. We jumped from one side of the river to the other and we enjoyed every minute. Sometime we had to hold the roots of a tree to jump above the river. When we had to climb a high rock one of the group members hold my small girl under his arm and walked with her while her feet were floating in the air. The gorge was marvelous and beautiful. Thank god that we saw them. At the end they recommend us that we can take some oranges from the trees. We were very happy since we finished all of our food.... After the orange trees they helped us to navigate through the roads junctions.
We reach Exo after the sun set and we had little light to reach our car.
Thanks a lot to this group members.
I will be happy to stay in contact with them. If someone from this group is reading this review, please send me a message.
After this walk we fell in love with Crete and returned back another 3 times for walking trails.
Unfortunately we did not find another beautiful gorge like Richtis and not a member from this group.
For my opinion, this gorge is really gorgeous by all means, but doesnt fit for small children.
Written December 14, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Richtis Gorge (Sitia) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

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Richtis Gorge is open:
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