Aposelemis Gorge

Aposelemis Gorge is situated in Analipsi and exits at the settlements of Agriana close to Hersonissos in Crete, Greece. Aposelemis Gorge is the most extensive and significant geological Gorge in the northern part of Heraklion and eastern Crete. It is known as “Vulture Gorge”. The Gorge starts at an altitude of 120 metres near Xerokamares Village and directs west of the Agrianá Village to the coast. The small and tight valley is the primary part of the Gorge, while the slopes in the centre are high, with 200 metres and the part close to the Agrianá Village are low hills. The Gorge was made years ago by the shepherds and, today, is still used every day. The elevation gain of Aposelemis is 315 feet (96.01 metres), while the elevation loss is 59 feet (17.98 metres). The maximum elevation of Aposelemis Gorge is 349 feet (106.38 m), while the minimum height is 89 feet (27.13 metres). Aposelemis is possible to hike. The hike is about 8 kilometres to 10 kilometres. The trek difficulty level of Aposelemis Gorge is easy to moderate. Aposelemis Gorge is traversed by the Aposelemis River; However, the water in the Gorge appears after heavy rain. In addition, throughout the rainy season, the river at higher altitudes has water, and the reason behind that is the phyllite rocks. The Gorge has a wall of up to 200 metres and various rock shelters. The purpose of the shepherds on why they built Aposelemis Gorge was to easily navigate their sheep and goats from the mountains back to the valley. The name of the Aposelemis or Abou Selim is an Arabic word that Crete still preserves. Perhaps, it was derived from the name of an Arab who functioned in the region during the Arab occupation. One of the things that makes the Aposelemis exceptional is the abundant flora and fauna. Some trees and plants that grow in Aposelemis are sycamore and walnut trees, while some of the animals that live here are rabbits, pigeons, hedgehogs, and martens.
Hiking in Aposelemis Gorge is possible. The routes are manageable for physically fit and expert hikers. However, it is required to wear good shoes when hiking Aposelemis Gorge. The difficulty level is easy to moderate. Hiking the Gorge involves a lot of climbing and scrambling. The duration of the hike is 2 to 4 hours. Hiking up with or without a guide is possible. However, having a guide is more convenient and safe, as hiking, in general, has various risks. Furthermore, Aposelemis Gorge is best to visit both in summer and winter. Before going to the Gorge, it is necessary to know what to bring, such as proper clothing, food, water, and necessary tools. Moreover, there are other tourist destinations near Aposelemis Gorge. Car Rental Crete is ideal for visiting the closest attractions after visiting the Gorge. Renting a car to get to Aposelemis Gorge is possible. There are various hotels near Aposelemis Gorge where secured parking slots are available. It is easy to rent a car in Crete. There are several car rental companies to choose from. A smaller car is ideal if travelling in pairs. However, bigger groups choose to rent a more spacious vehicle for more convenience. Car Rental Crete offers an easy way of renting a vehicle. One just needs to check out their website and follow the procedures. When renting a car in Crete, it is advisable to note the important factors. To rent a vehicle in Crete, a valid driving licence must be presented. The driver must be at least 21 years old. A credit or debit card with the driver’s name is an important requirement. Choosing an appropriate car depends on the number of passengers. Visiting the Aposelemis Gorge using a rented vehicle makes travelling more convenient and practical. Moreover, Aposelemis Gorge is one of the important tourist destinations in Crete. To preserve the Gorges, the government imposed laws and regulations.

What is the history of Aposelemis Gorge?

Aposelemis Gorge has been recorded in the Corine Biotopes listings of major nature sites. It is a small but breathtaking Gorge with a special scenery of natural charm and lush flora. The Gorge was made numerous years ago by herders or shepherds to direct their sheep and goats from the mountain to the valley. The name of the Aposelemis or Abou Selim is an Arabic word that Crete preserves. It was believed that Aposelemis was derived from the name of an Arab that functions in the region under the Arab occupation.

What is the archaeology of Aposelemis Gorge?

Aposelemis Gorge is one of the important gorges in the Eastern Crete. It has panoramic scenery, lush vegetation and is rich in flora and fauna. There is a complex close to Aposelemis Gorge, called Kalamafka. Kalamafka is located 600 metres over the Aposelemis river bed. It is an inaccessible ridge that hangs high up on the east slope of the Aposelemis Gorge. There are scattered pottery sherds located in the paths on Kalamafka, which indicate that the path was ancient. In addition, there are footholds that are carved in the relic to guide the ascent to the area.

What are the myths about the Aposelemis Gorge?

No particular myths refer to Aposelemis Gorge, but the whole island of Crete is full of myths and legends. One popular myth about the island is about Talos, a bronze giant made by Vulcan and offered to King Minoas as a gift. According to Cretan mythology, Talos was assigned to guard Crete. The giant went around the island three times a day. This giant monster set upon the foreign visitors by throwing rocks and wood and finished them off by burning them.

How was Aposelemis Gorge formed?

Aposelemis Gorge was formed a long time ago by herders. The reason they built the Aposelemis Gorge was to easily navigate their sheep and goats from hills going back to the valley every day. According to scientists, the gorges in Crete were primarily formed in calcium carbonate rocks, such as limestone and marble. They have concluded that the extensive process of geological weathering of rocks by water erosion resulted in the creation of the Gorges in Crete. In addition, another reason for the formation of gorges in Crete is the tectonic activities that happened.

How is the Aposelemis Gorge preserved?

Aposelemis Gorge is one of the significant Gorges and holds important history in Crete. Since tourism is one of the drivers of Crete’s economy, the government imposed some laws and regulations to preserve tourist destinations. In general, the Council of Europe legislation provides that from the beginning of the modern Greek State’s foundation, preserving cultural assets, such as the Aposelemis Gorge, was a state duty. Law 3028/2002, “On the Protection of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage in General”, is the primary piece of legislation governing the protection of cultural heritage. It establishes a thorough and detailed system of protection regarding movable and immovable monuments and artefacts, as well as intangible heritage.

How does the Aposelemis Gorge map look?

Below is the image of the Aposelemis Gorge map.

Aposelemis Gorge Map

What are the hiking routes in Aposelemis Gorge?

The main hiking route and the beginning of Aposelemis Gorge is the Agio Pnevma. It is in Xerokamares, which is located at the regional track of Hersonissos – Kastelli and gets to the elevation of the Agriana Village. The village is situated in Analipsi. It is 4 kilometres from south to north. In the primary part of the Aposelemis Gorge, the path appears like a slim valley, with which the river flows. Eventually, the inclination becomes more remarkable due to the geological formation that grows on its hills. Some of the slant in Aposelemis are likely vertical, with heights of 150 to 200 centimetres. Arriving at the Agriana, there is a scenic valley with a view of olive groves, and the end of it is the mouth of the Aposelemis river. The easiest way to access the Aposelemis Gorge is through its north exit. It is an excellent place for hikers where a lot of climbing is involved. The hiking routes in Aposelemis are relatively easy and ideal for physically fit and experienced hikers.

How long is the hike to Aposelemis Gorge?

The hike in Aposelemis Gorge is about 8 to 10 kilometres and able to be extended from 12 to 18 kilometres. The duration of the hike in Aposelemis Gorge is 2 to 4 hours. Hiking the Gorge needs good walking shoes. Aposelemis Gorge has a magnificent route along the riverbed made by the Municipality of Hersonissos. There are recreation sites on the north and south side of the Aposelemis Gorge as the resting spot of the hikers.

Aposelemis Gorge Hiking

Do you need a guide to hike the Aposelemis Gorge?

No, a guide is not needed and is required to hike Aposelemis Gorge. Aposelemis Gorge is easy for most people, and it takes an average of 2 to 4 hours to hike. However, having a guide is more convenient and recommended. Hiking is one activity that needs physical endurance. A guide is important in hiking the Aposelemis Gorge because it makes the whole hike easier. Guides are the ones who navigate the trail and assist hikers with their needs. Visitors need not worry about getting lost with the help of a guide. Visitors are able to book a guided tour in advance for an easier hike.

What are the risks in hiking Aposelemis Gorge?

There are a lot of risks and possibilities like medical circumstances such as strokes, cardiac arrest and illnesses. Exhaustion, hypothermia, dehydration and heat exhaustion. Injuries from slips and falls on the trail. Injuries due to animals, snakes and insects on the trail. Hikers getting trapped or injured by forces of nature such as flooding, veld fires and lightning. Injuries brought about by criminal attacks, assaults and robberies. There are quite a few mosquitos, so be wary of that. There are difficulties, and one needs to be aware that there is a lot of rock climbing. Aposelemis has some risks. The paths in the Gorge are rocky and steep, according to the people who visited Aposelemis Gorge. Hiking Aposelemis Gorge requires wearing good shoes. In addition, some of the paths have an unclear indication, which sometimes leads to confusion. They said that the path on the first half has markings with the use of ribbons, but the second half was a little more freestyle. The hike difficulty level of Aposelemis Gorge is easy to moderate. However, it is suggested to be physically fit before hiking the Gorge or make sure that there are no severe health issues.

When is the best time to visit Aposelemis Gorge?

The best time to visit Aposelemis Gorge is both in the summer and winter. However, after the rain in winter, it isn’t easy to hike Aposelemis due to the water. Aposelemis Gorge is in the Analipsi. Analipsi has a Mediterranean climate, which is hot, dry summers and mild winters. The best time to go to Analipsi is from June to September. July is the warmest month, with 22 degrees Celsius to 29 degrees Celsius, while January is the coldest month, with 7 degrees Celsius to 14 degrees Celsius. The best time to observe rare birds in Aposelemis Gorge is during summer and winter. One must be aware of the present weather conditions before planning a visit.

What are the things to bring when visiting Aposelemis Gorge?

Listed below are the things to bring when visiting Aposelemis Gorge.

  • Footwear: Footwear specifically designed for protecting the feet and ankles during outdoor walking activities such as hiking
  • Hiking backpack: A large pack supported by an external or internal frame is necessary. It is used especially for carrying supplies when hiking and camping.
  • Rainy Weather Clothing: Water-resistant garment is worn on the upper body to shield the wearer from rain.
  • Proper Weather Clothing: Some cold weather clothes are long coats, coats, socks, caps, scarves and gloves. The basic clothing when hiking are T-shirts, an insulating jacket, socks, gloves and neck protection.
  • Food and Water: To be able to enjoy and endure the increased need for energy, the body needs more water and food
  • Health and Safety Items: Safety vests or brightly coloured clothing decant toiletries into smaller bottles, and Ziploc bags are hiking’s best-kept secret.
  • Navigation tools: A compass helps to orient the map, identify land features and locate the position.
  • Knife or multi-tool: Besides an emergency or extreme situation. It is used to fix or repair camping gear and open packages or wrappers, or slice rope or cutting tape.

What are the nearby attractions in Aposelemis Gorge?

Listed below are the nearby attractions in Aposelemis Gorge.

  • Aposelemi Beach: Aposelemi Beach is situated within the seaside resorts of Kato Gouves and Analipsi and a distance of 19 kilometres from Heraklion. The beach has brown sand and clear water. Aposelemi Beach is ideal for holidays and relaxation. It is accessible and free for all. The beach is where the Aposelemi River flows down to meet the Mediterranean Sea. The length of the beach is 750 metres. There are various restaurants, taverns, accommodations, bars, and café around Aposelemi Beach. The best time to visit Aposelemi Beach is during summer. August is the hottest month in Aposelemi Beach, with an average temperature of 29 degrees Celsius. It is as well the month that the sea is warmest.
  • Skotino Cave: Skotino Cave is one of the huge caves in Crete. The cave is high on a hill Northwest of the village of Skotino. Skotino Cave is known as the Agia Paraskevi Cave. The depth of Skotino Cave is 160 metres, while the width is 36 metres. The entrance of the Skotino Cave is at an altitude of 225 metres. There is no admission fee to enter the Skotino Cave.
  • Karteros Gorge: Karteros Gorge is one of the largest Gorges in the East of Heraklion. Karteros Gorge has a length of 12.5 metres. The routes of the Gorge have remarkable natural, geomorphological and cultural features. Springs, lakes, and rock formations are the features of the Karteros Gorge. The Gorge is ideal and perfect for those who want hiking and mountain biking. Karteros Gorge is suitable for families and children since the paths and routes are unproblematic. The duration of the hike is 3 to 4 hours.
  • Folklore Museum of Gouves: The folklore Museum of Gouves is situated on the main commercial street of Kato Gouves. The museum has a massive collection of original items and photographs that shows how the ancient inhabitants of Gouves and Crete lived in the past, including their daily lifestyle and occasions. In addition, other items that are able to be discovered in the Folklore Museum of Gouves are furniture, tools, ceramic works, pottery, embroideries, and textiles. The museum was launched in 1958 AD by Professor Vasilios Kyriazopoulos. The Folklore Museum of Gouves is open from Monday to Sunday and starts from 9 AM to 6 PM.

Sign to Aposelemis Gorge

What is the contribution of Aposelemis Gorge in the tourism of Crete?

Crete has various Gorges in Greece. One of the breathtaking Gorges in Crete is the Aposelemis Gorge, located in the Analipsi. Analipsi has various tourist destinations that attract numerous visitors every year. According to Statista, there are 2.8 million inbound air arrivals in Crete, and the total contribution of tourism to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Greece in 2021 raised to 75% after dropping in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Tourism is one of the drivers of Crete’s economy. As per the data from World Bank, the GDP of Greece was €219.27 billion in 2021.

Can you rent a car going to Aposelemis Gorge?

Yes, visitors can rent a car to move around Crete. To move around the places, Crete Car Rental is needed. Especially when travelling as a family, renting a car is beneficial to enjoy the beautiful attractions in Crete. Tourists can maximise their time and make their itinerary fit for their liking whenever they’re driving a rented car instead of taking public transportation.

What are the factors to consider before renting a car in Crete?

Listed below are the factors to consider before renting a car in Crete.

  • Insurance. Crete car rental includes insurance for Collision Damage waiver, and a credit or debit card under the driver’s name is required as a guarantee. Rental car insurance protects a passenger against the cost of damage when renting a car.
  • Driver’s age. In Crete, the legal age needed for a car rental driver is 21 years old. A driving licence for at least a year, is also required.
  • Driver’s gender. A driver at a legal age of 18 regardless of gender, is allowed to drive in Crete.
  • Car type. Opting for a smaller car is best when driving in Crete. The main reason is that Greek roads are narrow. There are noticeably smaller cars on the streets too. However, there are other factors to consider and help How to Choose the Right Car to Rent in Crete. There are activities in Crete, such as off-road exploration, in which Four-Wheel Drive (4WD) is needed. 4WD is known for more rugged terrain and typically consists of low and high options.
  • Documents needed for renting a car. Most people think the only necessary document for renting a car is a driving licence. However, a debit or credit card with the driver’s name must be provided, including a passport or an ID card.

How much does a car rental in Crete cost?

The cost of renting a car in Crete varies according to the destination, passenger count, itinerary, car model, and length. The standard rate of Crete Car Rental is around €30 to €40 per day. The standard cost of renting a car for a week is €250, while for the weekend, the standard rate is around  €78. Affordable car rentals in Crete vary depending on the car type.

Is overnight car rental in Crete allowed?

Yes, overnight car rental in Crete is allowed. Most car rental companies in Crete offer flexible schedules for car rental. Rental days are calculated on a 24-hour basis. Rented cars must be returned on time to avoid additional charges. Clients are free to visit some of the websites of several car rental companies in Crete to access basic information regarding car renting.

Does renting a car provide you with the leisure you seek when travelling?

Yes, renting a car gives travellers the leisure they seek when travelling. Among the many advantages of renting a vehicle is the convenience it provides. Renting a car allows one to maximise their trip without following a specific schedule. Travellers have the luxury of privacy when renting a car. They don’t have to share a ride with the crowd as most tourist buses do. Renting a vehicle allows travellers to go to difficult-to-reach areas.

What are the nearest traveller’s inns to Aposelemis Gorge?

Listed below are the nearest traveller’s inns to Aposelemis Gorge.

  • Village Heights Resort: Village Heights Resort provides amenities and leisure facilities, including three pools, a wellness centre, and a kids club. It has dining and entertainment venues. The room types in Village Heights Resort are suites, family rooms, and ocean views. Village Heights Resort offers a salon, spa, dry cleaning, laundry service, ironing service, car hire, and 24-hour front desk. The lowest price of stay in Village Heights Resort is €59.80. The overall rating of the resort is 4.5 stars out of 5 stars.
  • Anissa Beach & Village Hotel: Anissa Beach & Village Hotel offers hotel features, including pools, minibar, air-conditioned rooms, free breakfast, and free Wi-Fi. The room types in Anissa Beach & Village Hotel are ocean views, and suites. Anissa Beach & Village Hotel offers services such as massage, spa, laundry service, dry cleaning, and concierge. The lowest stay in Anissa Beach & Village Hotel is €118.51. The overall rating of the hotel is 4.5 stars out of 5 stars.
  • Palmera Beach Hotel: Palmera Beach Hotel offers hotel amenities, including pools, a sauna, and a spa. The room types in Palmera Beach Hotel are family rooms and ocean views. Village Heights Resort offers services such as a snack bar, airport transportation, dry cleaning, laundry service, ironing service, and a 24-hour front desk. The lowest price of stay in Palmera Beach Hotel is €65.28. The overall rating of the hotel is 4.5 stars out of 5 stars.
  • Sergios Hotel: Sergios Hotel offers hotel amenities, including pools, a sauna, and a spa. The room types in Sergios Hotel are family rooms and ocean views. Sergios Hotel provides a snacks bar, airport transportation, dry cleaning, laundry service, ironing service, and a 24-hour front desk. The lowest price of stay in Sergios Hotel is €65.28. The overall rating of the hotel is 4.5 stars out of 5 stars.
  • Talgo Suites: Talgo Suites amenities include pools, restaurants, a bar and a sun terrace. The room types in Talgo Suites are family rooms. Talgo Suites offers services such as a snack bar, airport transportation, massage, concierge, and car hire. The lowest price of stay in Talgo Suites is €131.62. The overall rating of the suites is five stars out of 5 stars.

Is it possible to hire a hiking guide in Aposelemis Gorge?

Yes, hiring a hiking guide is possible in Aposelemis Gorge. However, it is not a requirement. Hiking in Aposelemis Gorge is considered to be a relatively easy to moderate level of difficulty. Experienced hikers mostly hike the area without a hiking guide.

What kind of car should you rent when visiting Aposelemis Gorge?

Any kind of car is ideal to rent when visiting the Aposelemis Gorge. However, a compact car like the Fiat Panda is perfect for a family of four. Fiat Panda is a small but fuel-efficient vehicle with advanced safety features and excellent power output. Car Rental Crete companies are always available and offer convenience to the clients. It is available at the last minute, and they offer exclusive discounts.

Can elderly people hike the Aposelemis Gorge?

No, hiking the Aposelemis Gorge is not recommended for people with reduced mobility, like the elderly. Although hiking through the Aposelemis Gorge is considered a manageable difficulty, it is not recommended for the elderly. Hiking Aposelemis Gorge involves a lot of climbing and scrambling. Hiking, in general, is an activity that requires strength and endurance.

Can a couple hike the Aposelemis Gorge?

Yes, couples can hike to Aposelemis Gorge. The majestic landscape of Aposelemis Gorge is perfect for couples. The Gorge has easy-to-walk paths, and the couples have the chance to appreciate the Gorge’s beauty. Unlike other technical gorges of Crete, Aposelemis Gorge requires no special hiking tours. However, hikers must wear a particular protective shoe ideal for hiking.

Aposelemis Gorge Scenery

Is hiking Aposelemis Gorge child-friendly?

Yes, hiking in Aposelemis Gorge is doable for children. Aposelemis Gorge is a beautiful landscape to discover on the way and on the road. The area is very much accessible by car. Children accompanied by adults will surely enjoy the hiking experience in Aposelemis Gorge. The Aposelemis Gorge is a must-visit Gorge that offers a spectacular view.