The Gorge of Aradena

The Gorge of Aradena: Address, The Gorge of Aradena Reviews: 4.5/5

The Gorge of Aradena
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ACM007
Sligo, Ireland2 contributions
Couples
Walked from Loutro up the mountainside (escorted by Griffin vultures) via Anopolis to Aradena Gorge. Spectacular with only the goats for company. Lots of fun with metal ladders and stone slopes to clamber over. Much better and quieter than Imbros. Recommended for younger, fitter walkers.
Written June 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jiri56
Brno, Czech Republic2 contributions
I spent in Greece 1 month and visited many areas from Bulgarian border to Crete. However, one of the most interesting places in Crete and perhaps during the whole trip was the area around Anopoli, namely the Aradena Gorge and southern slope of the Lefka Ori Mountains. I visited 3 other well-known gorges in Crete: Kourtaliotiko, Kotsifou and Imbros, but they cannot match Aradena. Apart from Aradena’s extraordinary scenic beauty and rather adventurous walk, there are also some rare animals and plants there which I could not see in other parts of Greece. Another highlight was trekking in Lefka Ori to Pachnes, the second highest peak in Crete which is in walking distance from Anopoli. Last but not least, I found incredibly hospitable people in Anopoli Rooms and Tavern.
Written March 12, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Dingens25
19 contributions
Solo
So, I won't add much about how awesome this hike is. If you want to do a gorge hike on Crete, and following the hundreds of bus tour tourists through Samaria is not your idea of a great time, go here - it's absolutely stunning, and you get it mostly for yourself.

Instead, as I was a bit lost when looking for info about this, I'll describe my itinerary for a day trip from Chania through the gorge to the beach and back to Chania. Please mind that this review was written for June 2019, so double check departure times yourself.

1) Bus ride Chania - Chora Sfakion

There's a morning bus leaving Chania at 8:15 am. Be at the main bus station by around 8 to buy a ticket at the counter. The bus ride takes you about 1:40h and was a little over 8€.

2) From Chora Sfakion to Aradena

There's one bus going up to the deserted village where the hike starts, but that leaves at 9, so no public transport for you. I took a Taxi (fixed price, 30€). There is a counter of the taxi company in the supermarket on the harbor promenade (sign outside). I've been told hitchhiking works as well, but didn't want to gamble due to time constraints.

3) The hike through Aradena Gorge

Bring enough water (>2l per person) and proper hiking boots. It's a hike, not a walk. You occasionally need to use your hands, and should be sure-footed and not afraid of heights. Trust the arrows and signs, even if they seem misleading at first. As it's still reasonably early (around 10:30) when you start, there's still some shadow in the gorge and the heat isn't too bad. Plan 2-3 hours depending on how fast you are and how much time you spend taking pictures and admiring the views.

4) Marmara Beach

The hike ends at the lovely pebble beach of Marmara. There's a tavern with a marvelous view over the bay with great food and drinks for very reasonable prices. Fuel up, go for a swim, relax for a bit.

5) Marmara Beach to Chora Sfakion

Now you have two options. There's a taxi boat leaving Marmara Beach at 5 pm going to Loutro. I am relatively sure that if you take that one, then the next ferry from Loutro to Chora Sfakion you should be able to reach the last bus back to Chania, but that was too risky for me. Instead, I followed the E4 hike (yellow and black markings) along the coast line back to Loutro, which took me a little over an hour and was pretty exhausting in the afternoon sun. I left at around 3 pm. The treck starts right at the beach of Marmara and is occasionally not very well marked. Loutro is a cute small coastal village, but nothing special. From Loutro there are frequent ferries going to Chora Sfakion, including one at 5 pm, which I took. The ticket was around 6€, and the boat ride took maybe 20 minutes.

6) Chora Sfakion back to Chania

The bus leaves at 6:30 (some schedules say 6:15), after some ferry that comes along the coast arrives. In my case it was delayed by about half an hour, so don't trust on this one if you have to catch a late flight out of Chania. You're back in Chania at 8:30 to 9 pm. Again around 8€.

All in all I spent around 50€ on transportation, plus food and drinks, and was on the road for about 13 hours. If you are in Chania and don't plan to stay a night on the southern coast, this is definitely a way to enjoy a fantastic gorge hike with some relaxing time at a beach. I hope this write-up helps a few people.
Written July 3, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

LN1946
Varde, Denmark7,960 contributions
Couples
We took in car the road from Chora Sfakia uphill the naked mountain with a fantastic view, and then through Anopoli to Aradena, where a fairly new bridge is made across the gorge to a little church, few houses and many ruins in the old village Aradena.
You can take a difficult path to the bottom of of the gorge.
We didn't, but we had an outstanding experience.
Written July 29, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Peter B
Manchester, UK32 contributions
Couples
The Aradena gorge is a must! I had first thought that we would do the Samaria Gorge but when travelling to Crete I had the thought - let's ask the locals, they might say Yes the Samaria is the longest but the XXXXXX Gorge is better!!! ....Well the XXXXX Garge is the Aradena!!! Beautiful as you go down and not as much travelling to or from the Gorge so it's less tiring. But the Gorge has a red and green route - both the same except for a short distance after the Aradena bridge on the descent. I've done both and much prefer the red route. It's not really that difficult - it's more of a mental challenge if heights bother you!!!
Written July 9, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Lars K
Aalborg, Denmark27 contributions
Couples
Lack of research, bad maps and bad tips from the locals lead me up the E4 path from Loutro (when we finally found out it was kind of too late to turn around), not the gorge - fine walk, but after going to the gorge afterwards to see it from the bridge I felt really bad that I didn't have the time and energy for a trip down. Took the boat from Hora Sfakion to Loutro (5€ per person) and the owner of a local taverna gave a lift from Anapolis to Hora Sfakion for 25€'s - a bit steep but no taxis were in sight. There's free parking in the upper part of Hora Sfakion but the lower is 3€.
Written July 17, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Zinzanfamily
101 contributions
Friends
Brilliant alternative to busy Samaria (we did this the following day). Parked in Hora Sfakion 0700 Hours and tried to find a taxi to take us to Aradena - no luck. Too early for Greek taxi drivers! Undeterred we caught a water taxi to Marmara beach for €30 and started at the bottom of the gorge instead. A great gentle 3 1/2 hour walk with lots of photo stops on the way. Saw about 5 other people the whole time. Great ladder climb with a path for those who don't like ladders. There is a bit of a steep trek out of the gorge by Aradena bridge but if you are reasonably fit is is ok. There is nothing once you get to the top. We started walking along the road hoping to hitch a lift when a mercedes taxi drove past and for €10 gave us a lift back to Hora Sfakion. Once you get there I would highly recommend "Despina's Cafe" by the harbour. Amazing homemade cakes. The only concern we had when we planned the trip was how we would get back to Hora but it worked out for us. There are a few cars about and I really don't think hitching a lift would be a problem. I would however recommend an early start to avoid the sun.
Written June 4, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

sophie_rc
Chania, Greece23 contributions
Friends
Aradena gorge is spectacular, far less people walking it than the Samaria gorge, it's a bit tricky at the beginning or at the end of the summer, especially after rain there are often rocks falling.. so be careful! A stunning gorge with amazing cliff and some 'sporty' parts (sliding down rocks etc). Marmara (or Dialiskari) beach at the mouth of the gorge is a wonderful place, the water is always refreshing and the cafe offers delicious light meals ('mezze') and coffees - it's a must!
Written May 7, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

asamasa29
Turku, Finland4 contributions
Couples
We did roundtrip by feet: Loutro, Anopoli, Aradena, Marmara, Loutro. Took total 7,5 hours with chill pace and 45min lunch break. Loutro-Anopoli 2h, Aradena gorge 2,5h. Lunch @ Platanos in Anopoli centre 5 stars. Gorge was magnificent with tall walls, variable nature and mountain goats here and there. In the upper/mid part of the gorge there is one section where you have to take the stairs by the side instead of the hazardous bottom with a ladder.
Written April 29, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Andrew T
Copenhagen, Denmark16 contributions
Friends
Aradena Gorge is a spectacular gorge that combines the beauty and the calmness. The only problem is to find a way to get there all other are just perfect ! Its about 3 hour walk with some stops and leads directly to Marmara beach. There you can enjoy a nice swim at the crystal blue waters of Marmara beach and get something to drink and eat.
Written June 12, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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