Roza Gorge – Gonies – Chersonissos

Roza Gorge – Gonies – Chersonissos

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The gorge of Roza, which is located in the municipality of Chersonissos, is essentially a branch of the Ambelos gorge. It is an uphill route 3 kilometres long, with an elevation difference of 300 metres.

The route in the gorge is relatively easy, with a few difficult spots, and takes about 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on your fitness level, breaks and overall pace. Passing through the gorge is permitted from April to November. The gorge begins about 600 metres south-east of Gonies village, at an altitude of 300 metres, and ends up at Kera village, at an altitude of 670 metres.

Roza Gorge – Gonies – Chersonissos

The incline in the gorge is quite steep, that is why this route is also suitable for mountaineering. The gorge possibly owes its name to the pinkish-red colouring of the rock, which contains iron oxides. More than 120 plant species grow here, mainly cliff vegetation, while numerous birds find shelter in the area. Most people chose to park their cars outside the village of Ano Kera, and start their walk from there. Even if you have no time to complete the whole trek, it is worth a short excursion to enjoy the view and take some photos. To the south, the Lassithi plateau and Mount Dikti (also known as Lasithiotika Ori) frame the scenery. The gorge is unique for its pinkish rocks and the impressive number of griffon vultures that nest in the area.

The monastery of Kera Kardiotissa, nearby, is known for the miraculous holy icon of the Virgin Mary and is nowadays operating as a nunnery. Another tourist attraction in the area with archaeological interest is the post-Minoan settlement of Karfi. The E4 European long-distance trail crosses through this area so you can also reach Karfi by following the path that travels through the plateau of Nisimos near Tzermiado village. From here, it is only 40 km to the north coast of the island and the town of Agios Nikolaos so you can finish your day with a refreshing swim.

Similar to most gorges in the area, Roza Gorge tends to dry during the summer. Make sure to bring appropriate footwear, snacks and plenty of water for the long hike.