Kotsifos Gorge

Kotsifos Gorge

The gorge of Kotsifos is smaller than the neighbouring Kourtaliotiko gorge but equally impressive. It is located between the peaks of Kouroupa (984 m) and Krioneritis (1.312 m) and is 2 kilometres long. The elevation difference between the highest point of the route in the gorge and the outlet is 390 metres.

This location is important from an ornithological point of view and it has more vegetation than Kourtaliotiko gorge. The beautiful chapel of Agios Nikolaos can be seen on the western slope, at the southern outlet of the gorge. A little to the south, deep in the gorge, and down below one can see the ruins of the traditional watermill of the Vavouris family, and a small old stone bridge next to it. A small yet impressive waterfall flows during the winter months on the eastern slope, after the northern entrance.

Kotsifos Gorge

From the nearby village of Agkouseliana, the E4 European long-distance path trail passes through, on its way to Spili through the village of Koxare. Starting in Rethymno, the gorge is located less than 30 km away. The road will take you through the village of Armenoi and various archaeological points of interest, Minoan ruins and verdant hills.

The vertical cliffs surrounding the gorge reach a height of about 600 m. The northern entrance to the gorge starts at the village of Kanevos, and large boulders often block the way in certain parts. When the gorge of Boutsinas and Kotsifos intersect, you will spot the impressive 20 m waterfall. The riverbed is usually dry during the hot summer months. After exiting the gorge, you can reach the remote southern coast of the island and relax in one of the small bays of the area – less than a 10-minute drive. The long sandy beach of Plakias is popular with tourists looking to unwind away from the crowds and especially families with young children.  In the high season, daily boats depart from Plakias towards Preveli palm forest and lagoon. Alternatively, you can drive the short 18 km distance and hike down to the beach yourself. Access is challenging due to the long hike so make sure to bring appropriate footwear. On the other side of the valley, Kourtaliotiko gorge awaits visitors looking for an additional challenge.