Martsalo gorge

Martsalo gorge is one of the most characteristic and most beautiful gorges of South Central Crete

This is one of the most characteristic and most beautiful gorges of South Central Crete. It is located at the western foot of the Asterousia mountain range, right next to Agiofaraggo, and south of Odigitria Monastery. It is 2 kilometres long and the elevation difference between the entrance and the beach of Martsalo, where it ends up, is approximately 145 metres.

Passing through the gorge is fairly easy, with the exception of one very steep downhill section, from the cave-chapel of Panagίa to the stream bed, where some caution is required.

What makes Martsalo so special is its uncommon landscape, which looks more like a Middle East scenery. Many kinds of trees and plants grow in the watercourse, such as Cretan date palms (Phoenixtheophrastii), centuries-old olive trees, carob trees, tamarisks and tall oleander trees. Numerous wild kri-kri goats also find shelter there, and can often be seen along the way.

The stream bed ends up at the gorgeous little Martsalo beach, which is known for the exquisite, deep green sea waters. 


  • Tips, Suggestions, Iseful info
  • History, Culture
  • What to do (Activities)
  • What to see (Culture, Nature)

Additional Info

  • region South of Odigitria Monastery, Phaistos, Heraklio
  • activities Hiking
  • suggested period

    All year round

  • path description
  • path length

    about 2 km

  • difficulty level

    Relatively easy trail, altitude difference of 160 meters

  • relevant routes

    Route at Asterousia

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