Kourtaliotiko Gorge
Kourtaliotiko Gorge
4.5
About
Go hiking along the Kourtaliotiko Gorge to take in the best of Crete’s natural beauty. The hike through the canyon takes you to see a host of picturesque waterfalls, delicate turquoise pools, and rocky scenery. It ends at the beautiful beach of Preveli, where you can relax and recharge amongst the native palm trees. Try to spot a Lammergeier bird, a beautiful type of bearded vulture that roost in the area. Also, listen out for the gorge’s intriguing “clap” sounds during your journey, which are the result of wind rushing through the gorge’s high caves. – Tripadvisor
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  • K P
    Toronto, Canada26 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Stunning canyon and easy hike
    The gorge is a discrete stop on the drive down to Preveli, Kalypso or Plakias. We thought from the description that you could hike down the gorge to the beach, but that was not correct. Go down the steps by the food truck. At the first fork, take the path to the left past the small church, and it is a short walk to the pool. Come back up to the fork, and you can take the right path which takes you down the gorge. It is steep, but with steps all the way and easy to descend. Other reviewers have noted a swim to a waterfall, but we did not see / do this. Walk back up to your car and continue your journey by car.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 21, 2023
  • Deanosaur89
    Edmonton, Canada7,320 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Scenic Gorge
    We rented a car to drive around Crete and check out some sites on other parts of the island and did a detour to go check out this gorge and we are glad we did. It is unlike anything we've seen before and very impressive. We set the GPS to the gorge and the road is very narrow in some parts but there is an area to pull out that can fit a few cars if you want to get out and do a quick hike. We also stopped in another area of the gorge where it was safe to do so to get out for a break and take a few photos. There are two routes down to the bottom and we chose the path down to a small church, bridge and waterfall area. The hike down isn't bad at about 200 steps down into the gorge itself. If you take the other path down you can get closer to the river and there are some pools of water that are safe to go into. There are animals in the gorge like goats and vultures that hang around. We also saw quite a few pigeons and doves near the waterfall we went to. The gorge is about an hour and a half drive from Heraklion and we made it as part of a day trip drive outside of the city to see the Knossos Palace, beaches to the south central of Crete and Rethymno. The gorge was a highlight for our family during our visit to Crete. If you're planning to come here make sure you bring good shoes, water and snacks. We appreciated having our own car so we could be in control of our time at the gorge but we'd recommend getting a small car that has lots of power to help with the mountains of Crete and be comfortable with the narrow and winding roads. The gorge can get windy so you may want to consider dressing in layers in case you get cold but once you start moving you'll warm up.
    Visited March 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written March 25, 2024
  • TenaciousHobden
    Eastbourne, United Kingdom959 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    St-unning!
    Wow! Such a stunning location. Not the easiest to get to (lots of walking and some tricky trails) and some killer roads and parking but it was worthwhile. If you are brave a short swim rewards you with some breathtaking experiences. Top tip - go early. We got there around 930am and we almost had the whole place to ourselves !
    Visited June 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written June 1, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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Beckey86
Northampton, UK39 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Family
We’d seen this as a top visits on TikTok, which described a secret waterfall location.

It’s worth a visit, but beware of the crowds, it’s definitely not a secret.

You can park for free on the side of the main road just up from the church. The road was extremely busy when we went, so it was a bit of a walk to the top of the steps.

There was a food van parked up which sold refreshments and hot dogs. They only accept cash.

You have to climb down a few hundred steps and then climb down a metal ladder to take you to the waterfalls and cliffs. There was quite a queue to get down the ladder.

The actual waterfalls and caves are beautiful. We also saw a turtle which was very friendly. You can swim through the caves to further waterfalls, which is the best part… although be prepared as the water is freezing 🥶

To be honest the water does cool you down for the hot walk back up all of the steps.
Written August 25, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lucy A
London, UK349 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021 • Couples
Absolutely amazing 3km of gorge scrambling. The trail is not too tough with lots of mini break out places to relax in the rock pools. Just ensure you have the correct shoes. You can be rewarded with cold water lagoon, fresh springs to drink, Mini waterfalls. Took us about 1.5hrs to complete the trail and relax. Car parking was easy too we stopped in the main lay-by where google maps took us, took some photos then approx another 1 km down the road you will find the correct trail where you can walk down to reach the valley and start your trail.
Written August 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TenaciousHobden
Eastbourne, UK959 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Family
Wow! Such a stunning location. Not the easiest to get to (lots of walking and some tricky trails) and some killer roads and parking but it was worthwhile.

If you are brave a short swim rewards you with some breathtaking experiences.

Top tip - go early. We got there around 930am and we almost had the whole place to ourselves !
Written June 1, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ShredMrT
Turku, Finland255 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022 • Family
Stumbled upon this awesome scenery when driving to plakias.

Rarely have I been so impressed by the scenery as here. Immense!

Its easy to stop at the side of the road to take it all in. Notice that the gorge can be really windy so take care of your hat!!
Written May 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

K P
Toronto, Canada26 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Family
The gorge is a discrete stop on the drive down to Preveli, Kalypso or Plakias. We thought from the description that you could hike down the gorge to the beach, but that was not correct.

Go down the steps by the food truck. At the first fork, take the path to the left past the small church, and it is a short walk to the pool.

Come back up to the fork, and you can take the right path which takes you down the gorge. It is steep, but with steps all the way and easy to descend. Other reviewers have noted a swim to a waterfall, but we did not see / do this. Walk back up to your car and continue your journey by car.
Written July 21, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mickp1988
Chorley, UK18 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2021 • Couples
I must do when visiting Crete, it was literally breath taking. Probably the highlight of our trip and well worth the 2 hr drive from where we was staying. Brave the water, it is freezing cold 🥶 But you will be well rewarded with an incredible experience, we could see two separate rainbows 🌈 in front of our very eyes 👀 incredible.

When your finished, take a drive to kalypso beach for a swim and refreshments its only 17 mins drive away and worth it 👌
Written September 11, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Susan C
Newark-on-Trent, UK3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2012 • Family
Great experience. Walked along the river the Preveli beach. Very beautiful and is a must. Wear good shoes carry water and any money needs to be of the waterproof kind....
Written August 17, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Conram
Giv'atayim, Israel413 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2014 • Couples
Kourtaliotiko Gorge has a wonderful view of the river waterfall with smaller waterfalls next to it from springs high up on the canyon walls. There are two main lookout points and you should visit both, the second one is an old pumping station with a view of a point where the river widens out into a small lagoon and the view is of many small waterfalls from more springs out of the valley wall.
Reaching this point is easy but almost all the locals who know that it exists, do not know where it is.
Take the road from Asomatos to Koxare, about 1.5 km beyond Asomatos the road takes a sharp left curve northwards and becomes parallel to the Kourtaliotis river and about 1 km after the curve you will find two semicircular parking lots adjacent to the road on your right, park at the second one and walk along the side of the road another 50 meters north and you will see a sign, the English part will read "Church of St. Nicolas the Kourtaliotis of Asomatos" (I believe they were trying to say "Church of St. Nicolas & the Kourtaliotis of Asomatos"). This will be the entrance to the starred walkway down to the gorge. About halfway down you will have a choice of steps going left (North) or right (South). We went left and soon arrived at the Church of Saint Nicolas, well kept and clean, so please close the door after you have visited. By know you can hear the roar of the river through this narrow gorge. Continue after the church and you will reach a bridge that goes over the river without an exit on the other side, it is there as a look out point onto the river waterfall. At this point you can see the unusual sight of small waterfalls pouring out of one side of the gorge, these are springs adding their water to the river. We continued to the end of the path just 50 meters more and turned back climbing back up to the point where the path split and took the second path down. We arrived at an old pumping station from which we looked at a small lagoon formed by a widening of the river, here we again saw small waterfalls as a result of springs coming out of the wall of the gorge. We returned back up to the point where the staired path split. Here you can go back up the stairs and return the same way you came down. We chose not to continue climbing stairs and turned left - south - to reach a dirt road that eventually led back up to the road where we left the car at a point about 500 meters south of the parking space. This way back is longer but a gradual and easy climb.
Lots of flowers along the path, I can't imagine what it looked like if I had arrived two weeks earlier earlier
Written May 18, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Emanuel P
Rethymnon, Greece31 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2011
We're not pro hikers by any means, but this was a beautiful walk that we did as a family (my wife and I, and our children of 12, 8, and 5 yrs old). We were somewhat in shape, as the hike is 8 km, and we did get tired a bit. We were able to stop half-way down and have a sandwich; a park ranger was regularly walking the trail back and forth to check on the travelers.

The hike is a gently sloping walk and ends in (what else, this being greece) a cafe where someone offers you a cold drink and a ride back up to your car's parking spot.

The nature and geography is amazing, really worth seeing
Written July 5, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Boonstra_Familiy
Zeist, The Netherlands183 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2018 • Family
We hiked the gorge with our 3 teenagers, and had a great hike. Trail is (sometimes...) marked with a red dot. The trailhead is hard to find, it starts at the electricity house in the river (park your car at the road, and walk down the gravel path). Just after you've crossed the river at the electricity dam, you will see the trail. From there you can follow the trail. On the trail you'll find several shepard and hippy huts, and beautiful flowers. High above in the air you might see the large vultures, or other predators, soaring above the gorge. It's quiet, the only creatures you probably will encounter are sheep and goat ;-). Highly recommended if you are in te region. Bring you bathing suits, because you will be able to take splash in the river on several spots.
Written May 3, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Kourtaliotiko Gorge - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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