The gorges and trekking routes in the area each have their special traits and beauties.
The first gorge that you can easily walk through is the famous gorge of Kato Zakros, also known as “Gorge of the Dead”. Its name derives from the Minoan tombs found on its vertical slopes, inside caves.
The path upwards toward Zakros will take you a couple of hours to walk, underneath trees and sheer cliffs, among wild herbs, overwhelming smells and sounds that shall linger in your memory long after you’ve left the place.
The trekking route starting at Choclakies will take you about two hours to go and another two to return. The gorge follows a turn to the left, along sheer cliffs. You are mostly moving on the river bank (it is inaccessible in winter), and in spring you should be prepared to climb some rocks, to overcome the water ponds on the way.
At the end of the route you will be rewarded with the view of Karoumes beach, solitary and beautiful, with trees that offer their shade freely for you to rest.
You can also make a start from the village of Agahtias and the route is the following: Palaikastro – Agathias – Platyvola Plateau – Skinias beach – Karoumes beach – Karoumes gorge – Choclakies – Palaikastro.
You will need about four hours to complete this second route.
ZAKROS – XEROKAMBOS
The gorge Zakros-Xerokambos is rather small but impressive and you can find it at about 1 km north of the beaches at Xerokambos.
The first kilometer is not particularly difficult. Later it breaks off in two directions: while the path on the left stops after a few meters, the right hand side continues for another 1,5 km.
In this part access is problematic, because there is no clear path, whith the rocks and shrubs making it difficult to proceed. The gorge ends almost midway between Zakros and Xerokambos.
KARIDI – ADRAVASTOI – KELLARIA
The gorge following the route Karidi-Adravastoi-Kellaria is one of the less well-known gorges in the area. You will find its exit 1 km north of Adravastoi or 3 km from Zakros.
You can cross it by starting either at Karidi or at the Magassa settlement. The gorge is not very deep. Initially, the mountains create basins, which turn out to be a beautiful but really hard route, since there is no path; you must be really experienced and fit to cross it.
The harshness of the landscape combined with the wild beauty of the rocks create impressive formations and images you will never forget.