The gorge of Aradena is one of the most significant and impressive gorges of Crete. Its entrance is located at the deserted village of Aradena, which is to be found at the western end of theplateau of Anopoli Sfakion, below the imposing, high peaks of the Lefka Ori mountain range.
Near the entrance to the gorge there is an iron Bailey bridge, which connects Anopoli with Aradena and the small settlement of Agios Ioannis to the west. It is the tallest bridge in Greece and the second tallest in Europe, therefore ideal for bungee jumping.
The gorge of Aradena is 7 kilometres long and its impressive walls rise vertically for many tens of metres. The walk down the gorge takes 2½ to 3 hours, a trekking route of medium difficulty. Numerous trees and endemic plants grow in the watercourse and on the high walls, while wild goats, other small mammals and many endangered bird species nest in the cliffs.
Passing through the gorge used to be very challenging, because there is a vertical rock at a certain point, which blocks the way. In the past, a shaky iron ladder was used to climb over the rock. Nowadays, however, there is a footpath along the western slope of the gorge, which ensures a safer and easier passage.
The walk down the gorge can be done throughout the year; on the other hand, caution should be taken during autumn and winter, because rainfall can cause the stream to flow in a sudden spate.
The gorge ends up through the characteristic, narrow opening of its outlet, at the lovely, secluded Marmara beach. From there, visitors can take a boat or walk to the quiet coastal settlement of Loutro (about 1 hour) or to Chora Sfakίon (approximately 1½ hour).
- Tips, Suggestions, Iseful info
- History, Culture
- What to do (Activities)
- What to see (Culture, Nature)
- region Marmara beach - Aradaina, Sfakia, Chania
- activities Hiking
- suggested period
- path description
- path length
about 5,5 km
- difficulty level
Trail of medium difficulty, altitude difference 700 m
- relevant routes