Arvi Gorge – Vianos

Arvi Gorge – Vianos

The gorge of Arvi, one of the most spectacular gorges of Crete, has a north to south orientation. It begins in the Amiras area and ends up by the southern coast looking over the Libyan Sea. The outlet of the gorge is next to the Monastery of Agios Antonios, a little to the north of the current coastal settlement of Arvi. The gorge can be visited all year round, except in the wintertime, due to rainfall.

The route follows the watercourse; however, passing through requires caution. The morphology is spectacular; the incline in the gorge varies, and thus small waterfalls are formed at places. The width ranges between 2 and 3 metres deep in the gorge, and its vertical slopes have a negative incline at certain places. In some spots, they rise as high as 400 metres.

The route difficulty also varies, because the gorge is flat and easy at certain locations, but also rough and inaccessible at others. For example, the outlet of the gorge can be accessed only through the watercourse, which is why climbing skills and special equipment are essential. The gorge is 2,5 kilometres long in total.

The area has a notable wealth of flora and fauna, which has come about as a result of the great variety in geomorphology and the local climatological conditions. Reaching the gorge is quite easy from the northern part of the island. From Agios Nikolaos, the distance is 95 km and from Heraklion 67 km. A visit to the area can be combined with more mountain hikes; the Dikti Mountains (or Lassithiotika Ori) with its tallest peak, Spathi (2148 m) are located nearby. The forest of Selakano, one of the most important ecosystems on the island for apiculture is another option for nature lovers wishing to explore the area.

Heading towards the coastal area, the small village of Arvi, inhabited since at least 2600 BC, offers a quiet and relaxing spot for holidaymakers and is popular with families. There are a lot of stunning beaches, however, the tourism sector has been developing slowly, a fact that seems to suit those seeking to stay secluded.