Saturday, June 20, 2009

Walking Imbross Gorge

Crete is home to many gorges, most of which can be hiked. Samaria Gorge, the longest in Europe (16 km) is no doubt the most challenging gorge to walk. A shorter, less challenging alternative is Imbros Gorge, which runs parallel to Samaria. Following the Battle of Crete during World War II, thousands of Allied troops walked through Imbros gorge to reach Hora Sfakion, where they were evacuated to Egypt.

Imbros Gorge is 7 km long and can be walked in 2-3 hours. It starts at the village of Imbros and ends just outside the village of Komitades. Before heading out on your hike, make sure to stop at one of the tavernas in Imbros to boost your energy with a famous "Sfakiani Pita" (a sweet cheese pie covered with honey) and a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice.

From the village of Imbros you will see signs directing you toward the entrance to the gorge, which is about 1 km from the main village. You must pay a fee to enter the gorge, but it is only about 2 euro.

Upon entering the gorge one of the first things you will notice is the aroma of wild sage, which you will smell throughout your entire walk. After about an hour of walking, you will reach the narrowest and most spectacular part of the gorge.

Here, the gorge is only 2 meters wide in some spots, and you will feel like you are walking through a tunnel.

Once you pass the narrowest point, you may find that you have company- the goats, owned by local shepherds are quite used to visitors passing through, and while they won't let you get close enough to pet them, they will pose for a picture or two.

Near the village of Komitades, the gorge widens and is filled with trees.

Once you exit the gorge you will see a couple of small snack bars where you can hire a "taxi" to take you back to your car in Imbros. These "taxis" are driven by the local villagers- you may find yourself riding back up the mountain in the back of a pickup truck!

1 comment:

  1. From thousands of feet to few on seashore of Libya, Crete’s Samaria George happens to be attractive, crude & adventurous trek on land of ancient civilization of Greece. By the time of the break comes, there is a worthy visit to 14th century old chapel of Osia Maria, origin of Samaria George. Its nature offers a delight of 450 rare vegetations & wonderful wild life, which includes famous natural goats; kri-kri.