Some of the most popular activities you will enjoy engaging in are walking and cycling, especially during spring and autumn time. Southwest Crete is known as the land of the gorges! Throughout the centuries, the land has been carved by heavy streams of water, thus creating these majestic formations that shelter unique flora and fauna species, protected from human intervention.
In the general area, the best known gorge and one that has been pointed out for decades as one of the top destinations to visit in southwest Crete, is the Samaria Gorge. With a length of 16km, it is the longest one in Europe and one of the most diverse, in terms of flora and fauna. This gorge is open to the public from May till October.
Other, shorter gorges, but as diverse and magnificent, are the Anydri Gorge, the Agia Irini Gorge (easy 7km) and the Aradena Gorge (medium 5.5km). These gorges are open to the public throughout the year. Besides the unique Cretan gorges, there are plentiful trails and paths in excellent condition, you can choose the one that best suits your level of difficulty and experience. For enthusiastic walkers or thrill-seeking mountain riders, the most popular trail is the E-4 long distance path that follows the Cretan west-east axis and is open throughout the year. We urge you participate in such activities if you are looking to capture the essence of Cretan nature.