Chochlakies Gorge

The Chochlakies Gorge lies far east of the island. It gets across the village of Chochlakies to the scenic bay and beach of Karoumes. The canyons are full of amazing geological formations. The Chocjlakies Gorge is accessible by walking from the village of Agathias by Palekastro. After reaching Chochlakies, one needs to take the bus back to Palekastro, and this 2nd route takes about 4 hours. There is a curve alongside the cliffs of Chochlakies Gorge, and it ends on the beautiful beach of Karoumes.  Tourists who have visited the Chochlakies Gorge have nothing but good words to say about the gorge. What they love about it is the accessibility of the gorge and the lovely deserted beach of Karoumes. The rocky green landscapes make the charming Chochlakies a worthy tourist spot. The best time to visit Chochlakies Gorge is in all seasons. However, during spring, hikers need to do some rock climbing to get around the pools of water. It would take less than 2 hours to walk in Chochlakies Gorge, and it has an easy level of difficulty. Compared to some gorges in Crete, Chochlakies is not well known, but that doesn’t make it less attractive.

Almost all Crete canyons require a lot of walking and hiking. The island of Crete is home to many gorgeous gorges, ranging from the most technical ones to the easier trails like the Chochlakies gorge. Hiking through the Chochlakies gorge is considered to be manageable. The hike is almost two hours and at the end of the hike, a secluded beach awaits hikers.  Tourists need a car to get to their location and explore the island. Car rentals are very accessible on the whole island of Crete. They offer different kinds of services, and packages depending on the location a tourist would visit. In Crete, a car can be rented for just a day trip, up to an entire month-long holiday. Car rental in Crete is highly recommended for tourists not fans of hiking and adventure. One can drive around the beautiful island of Crete and enjoy the breathtaking view of the canyons.

What is the history of Chochlakies Gorge?

Chochlakies Gorge is located in one of the most isolated areas of the island of Crete, near Zakros. Chochlakies Gorge gathers water through the Flega stream from the plain of Chochlakies, and empties it into the sea. There is not much history relating to the Gorge, however the region where it is located holds much historical value. The region of Itanos is a big and powerful ancient city in eastern Crete. Itanos was established in the prehistoric period, and m=named after Phoenix or the Curette Itanos. It is a big harbour of cross-trade, particularly to the East. Itanos was involved in conflicts with its neighbouring cities Praissos and Ierapitna during Hellenistic times. The city was blooming towards the first Byzantine period as the several massive churches reveal, and it was believed that it was inhabited during the Venetian rule.

What is the archaeology of Chochlakies Gorge?

Chochlakies Gorge is full of impressive geological formations. Impressive caves are created on vertical rocks, where lots of avifauna species are seen. Many rare and important plants grow in the riverbed. Several rocks are seen in the area such as Vitex agnus castus, Bellevallia sitiaca, Aristolochia cretica, to name a few. Chochlakies gorge is a basic Cretan gorge, where the most interesting details are found in the forms and holes in the rocky surfaces. In some areas, the rocky surface looks like Swiss cheese.

What are the myths about the Chochlakies Gorge?

No particular myths refer to Chochlakies Gorge, but the entire island of Crete is full of myths and legends. One famous myth about the island is Talos, a bronze giant made by Vulcan, and offered to King Minos 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 Chochlakies Gorge formed?

Crete has several gorges ideal for hiking. People who get to see these stunning gorges will surely appreciate their natural beauty. Some of Crete’s gorges are so impressive and people wonder how these gorges were formed. Crete’s breathtaking gorges were formed particularly in carbonate rocks, like limestone and marble, due to continual land uplift, and erosion by the water of the rivers. The land uplift is typically caused by faults, or “cracks in the earth.” Since the late Miocene period, 5 to 10 million years ago, the strong lift of the whole Cretan area, due to plate tectonics, and accelerated karstic weathering, established these gorges, caves, and plateaus.

Chochlakies Gorge

How is the Chochlakies Gorge preserved?

The area of Chochlakies Gorge is part of the Sitia Geopark and a protected area of the European Ecological Network Natura 2000, the area of Zakros is well-preserved and protected. These protected areas of Zakros include its coastline, the mountains west, east, and south. The flora and fauna, archeological sites of the Minoan, sites of palaeontological interest, and other historical settlements.

How does the Chochlakies Gorge map look?

Below is the map of Chochlakies Gorge.
Chochlakies Gorge Map

What are the hiking routes in Chochlakies Gorge?

The hiking route in Chochlakies Gorge begins at the settlement of Chochlakies. The walk through the gorge, leading mainly through the riverbed, takes about less than 2 hours. The hike ends at the beautiful bay of Karoumes. In spring, hikers need to climb some rocks to get round the pools of water. The Chochlakies gorge is the last part of the E4 European Long-distance path in Crete.

How long is the hike to Chochlakies Gorge?

The hike to Chochlakies Gorge takes an average of 1 hour and 45 minutes to complete. The walk is considered to be an easy route. The gorge is about 3.5 km long, and the course is part of the European footpath or E4. Hiking along the torrent is fascinating, as the canyon with its high rocks meanders between the mountains. The walk through the gorge is relatively easy with a well-identified path mostly over rocks. Hikers will be treated to a lovely surprise at the end of the course. The fabulous beach of Karoumes is a nice reward for a strenuous hike. The beach is perfect for a swim and a day picnic.

Do you need a guide to hike the Chochlakies Gorge?

No, a guide won’t be needed when hiking the Chochlakies Gorge. Considered to be an easy hike, the Chochlakies Gorge is perfect for people who love nature sightseeing. The hike will take about 1.5 hours of walking time. There are not many challenging or dangerous places in the gorge. The whole Chochlakies gorge is easy to walk through.

What are the risks in hiking Chochlakies Gorge?

Hiking in Chochlakies Gorge is considered to be an easy hike. However, during the winter, the gorge is inaccessible because the riverbank is full of water. During spring, hikers need to climb some rocks to overcome the water ponds on the way. Chochlakies Gorge is not a technical gorge and does not require any special mountain climbing tools. Hiking in general requires physical strength and endurance. Chochlakies gorge is quite wide, it has high rocky walls, and it is exposed to strong winds. Hikers need to wear proper hiking shoes and a pair of gloves when climbing over the stones. There is a brook that flows through the gorge most months of the year, and hikers must be extra careful not to step on loose stones.

Chochlakies Gorge Scenery

When is the best time to visit Chochlakies Gorge?

The best time to visit Chochlakies Gorge is during summer. Going to Chochlakies Gorge during June before the crowds of July and August.  Like the rest of Crete, the Kotsifos Gorge enjoys a warm Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild winters. The weather in the southern part of Crete is ideal from June to September.  The riverbed is usually dry during the hot summer, so crossing it is easy. Another perfect time to go for cooler temperatures is in the spring and autumn.

What are the things to bring when visiting Chochlakies Gorge?

Hiking through the Chochlakies Gorge requires only a normal physical condition. However, proper hiking shoes and a pair of gloves are ideal when climbing the rocks. A good wide-beam hat will be perfect, especially during the hot Cretan summer. Always bring a bottle of water and some snacks when hiking the Chochlakies Gorge. Wear sun protection lotion and long sleeves top as the area is exposed to strong winds.

What are the nearby attractions in Chochlakies Gorge?

Listed below are the nearby attractions in Chochlakies Gorge.

  • Karoumes beach: Karoumes Beach is located 110 km east of Agios Nikolaos, and 29 km southeast of Sitia. Karoumes Beach is formed at the exit of Chochlakies Gorge. Access to the beach is done through hiking in Chochlakies Gorge. Karoumes Beach has small pebbles and calm waters. Several trees are in the area, providing shade during the hot weather. KAroumes Beach is ideal for people who love seclusion because its location is away from urban centres and big crowds.
  • Skinias beaches: Skinias Beach is located on the eastern coast of Crete. The small bay forms two beaches, with crystal clear waters surrounded by towering cliffs. The southern part is pebbly, but the northern region has coarse sand. The two beach areas are ideal for swimming. Rocks frame the area in between. The fastest way to reach Skinias is along a dirt road starting from the settlement Agathias, 1 km east of Palekastro to the Plativola area and the little temple of Agios Spyridon.
  • Pelekita Cave: One of the largest caves in Crete is the Pelekita Cave. It has a length of about 310 m. Pelekita Cave’s unique features consist of rich stalactite and stalagmite, and its spectacular boulders. The cave is called Cave Sikia (fig tree), named after the old fig tree near its entrance. “Pelekita” or “carved,” comes from the ancient quarry along the cave used to extract boulders for constructing the Minoan Palace of Zakros.
  • Roussolakos Minoan Town: Roussolakos Minoan Town is located 91 km southeast of Agios Nikolaos, right next to the beach of Hiona. Archaeologists have discovered an important town of Minoan Crete in the area. The city was excavated by the British School of Archaeology in the 20th century. The town is divided into 9 districts, separated by the main road.
  • Maza Gorge: Maza Gorge starts in Karydi and ends outside Adravasti. It is a long gorge with impressive landforms. However, the trail is only for experienced hikers as it requires canyoneering. Maza Gorge used to be the main route between the settlements of the area.

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

The tourism industry, especially on the island of Crete, has become the fastest-growing tourism market in Greece. It has recorded a 60% growth in the last six years. Crete is known to have several traditions and history, especially in culture. It is very safe for tourists from around the globe. There are many great places to visit in Crete, including the Chochlakies Gorge. Crete has numerous gorges that most tourists and hikers are fascinated about. Tourism is very prominent on the island of Crete. In 2021, overall, inbound air arrivals on Crete totalled roughly 2.8 million.

Chochlakies Gorge

Can you rent a car going to Chochlakies Gorge?

Yes, visitors can visit the Chochlakies Gorge with a car rental. Different car rental packages are available for everyone, depending on their needs. Others may prefer smaller cars when driving in Crete because of its challenging roads.  However, visiting some mountainous areas like gorges will require a bigger car with enough power for off-road. Customers who wish to avail of a Crete Car Rental service can easily book online and follow the procedure. Renting a car has a lot of advantages when travelling. It allows travellers to have more flexible time, the way they want it. Car rental allows one to go to different places without following a schedule. It provides privacy for travellers who prefer to travel alone and away from crowds. It is highly recommended to rent a vehicle for more convenience when travelling.

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

The beautiful island of Crete is a must-see place for people who love the rich culture and its historical past. There are different ways to explore the majestic island, but one way to enjoy it is by renting a car. Learning how to choose the right vehicle to rent in Crete will definitely make the most of one’s time enjoying the beautiful tourist spots.

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

  • Insurance: Car rental insurance is essential, as it protects a passenger against the cost of damage when renting a car. Crete car rental includes insurance for collision damage waiver, and a driver’s credit or debit card is required as a guarantee.
  • Driver’s age: The legal age requirement when driving in Crete is 18, although the minimum age to be able to rent a car is 21 years old. The driver must have a valid driving licence for at least 12 months and essential documents like an national ID or passport.
  • Driver’s gender: Women and men are permitted to drive in Crete. As long as the driver is of the legal age of 18, driving is allowed in Crete, regardless of gender.
  • Car type: Travelling with groups or family members requires a much bigger car. Car rental companies in Crete offer a variety of vehicles to choose from. Selecting a smaller car is best when driving in Crete. The reason for that is that some Greek roads are narrow. Travellers must learn how to choose the right car to rent in Crete to have a comfortable driving experience.
  • Documents needed for renting a car: One important document required for renting a vehicle is a valid driving licence. However, a credit or debit card may be presented as well, including a passport or an ID card.

How much does a car rental in Crete cost?

The island of Crete is best travelled using a rented vehicle. Visitors get faster to Crete’s top destinations using a rented car. Crete car rental costs vary depending on the number of persons, itinerary, car type, destination, and duration. The average cost of renting a car in Crete is around €30 to €40 per day. A car rented for a whole week will cost an average of €250. Renting a vehicle for the weekend will cost around €78. Crete car rental rates differ depending on the car type. Car rental companies offer a variety of cars depending on customers’ liking. Most car rental shops in Crete provide an online booking system, whenever customers want to book a car. Simply follow the process and instantly book a vehicle on their website. Before availing of a rental car service in Crete, check and secure all the requirements.

Is overnight car rental in Crete allowed?

Yes, overnight car rental in Crete is possible. Most car rental companies in Crete provide flexible schedules for car rental. Rental days are calculated on a 24-hour basis. Rented cars must be returned on time to avoid incurring additional charges. Customers 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 fully 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 Chochlakies Gorge?

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

  • Hiona Holiday Hotel: Hiona Holiday is located in the eastern part of Crete, and belongs to the municipality of Itanos in Palaikastro. Hiona Holiday Hotel is just 1 km away from Hionas Beach. It has a swimming pool, and a snack bar that serves a breakfast buffet. All rooms are air-conditioned, and have a balcony. Hiona Holiday Hotel has a single room that accommodates one person, a double room ideal for couples, and a family room spacious enough for a group of four. Hiona Holiday hotel receives an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars due to its homey and relaxed vibe.
  • Elia Studios: Elia Studios is situated in Agkathiain Palekastro 1.3 km from the centre. Elia Studios is just 15.1 km from Sitia Public Airport. It features a wide range of services such as sunproof rooms, a lovely outdoor swimming pool, breakfast served in the room garden, massage, individual safes, Internet services, and a parking space. Elia Studios receives an average customer rating of 8.4 out of 10 stars due to its quiet location and spacious rooms.
  • Hellas Hotel: Hellas Hotel is just 20 minutes walk from the beach, and is situated in the heart of Palekastro. The location of Hellas Hotel is within walking distance of restaurants, cafés, small markets, and a bus station. Hellas Hotel’s rooms are furnished and equipped with a mini fridge, and a TV with satellite and cable channels. All rooms feature a private bath with a shower, air conditioning, and a private balcony. The restaurant in Hellas Hotel serves Greek and local Cretan cuisines.  Hotel Hellas receives an average customer rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.
  • Castri Village: Castri Village is an ideal hotel for people who want comfort, and convenience. Castri Village is located on Kouremenos beach, Palaikastron, Crete. Among its many amenities are a pool, free internet, free parking, bicycle rental, a game room, and free breakfast. Children are provided with books, DVDs, music, and Children’s television networks. Rooms have a view of the ocean, and are equipped with a refrigerator, air conditioning, a kitchenette, and a housekeeping service. Castri Village receives an average customer rating of 4.0 out of 5 stars. Customers love its beautiful view and the kind staff of the hotel.

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

Yes, hiring a hiking guide is possible in Chochlakies Gorge. However, it is not a requirement. Hiking in Chochlakies Gorge is considered to be a relatively easy level of difficulty. Independent hikers mostly hike the area without a hiking guide. The hike in Chochlakies Gorge is about 1.5 hours, and almost anyone in perfect shape is free to hike the trail. Guides are ideal in gorges that are difficult to access and require special mountain climbing tools.

Chochlakies Gorge water

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

The best vehicle for visiting Crete is a large SUV like the KIA S-Tonic. It is a very popular vehicle for Crete car rental companies. It has custom interior features, power and control, suitable for long drives and mountainous roads. When one travels, comfort and convenience are a must, especially when driving. The KIA S-Tonic SUV has advanced safety features, comfortable seating, and, best of all, great fuel efficiency. It is suited for groups of travellers because it has a spacious cargo area where all their luggage surely fits. Several car rental companies in Crete offer the best prices. Car Rental Crete costs vary depending on the number of passengers, itinerary, car type, location, and duration. The average cost of renting a vehicle in Crete is around €30 to €40 per day.

Can elderly people hike the Chochlakies Gorge?

No, hiking the Chochlakies Gorge is not recommended for people with reduced mobility, like the elderly. Although hiking through the Chochlakies Gorge is considered a manageable level of difficulty, it is not recommended for the elderly. Hiking, in general, is an activity that requires strength and endurance. In some cases, hikers need to climb rocks, an activity not suitable for elderly people. Elderly people might step on loose rocks and cause them injury. The area of Chochlakies is exposed to strong winds, and elderly people do not enjoy harsh weather conditions.

Can a couple hike the Chochlakies Gorge?

Yes, couples can hike to Chochlakies Gorge. Chochlakies Gorge is perfect for couples. It is an easy hike with a surprise treat at the end of the hike, the Karoumes beach. The hike is less than 2 hours and the gorge is 3.5 km long. However, hikers must still wear a particular protective shoe ideal for hiking. At the end of the hike, hikers will find the lonely Karoumes Beach. It is an ideal beach for swimming and the area is less crowded.

Is hiking Chochlakies Gorge child-friendly?

Yes, the Chochlakies Gorge is child-friendly. Hiking through the Chochlakies is considered to be an easy hike. However, the gorge is inaccessible after rainfalls, so make sure to visit the canyon during pleasant weather. Hiking through the Chochlakies Gorge takes around 1 hour and 45 minutes. During the walk, hikers get to enjoy the nice scenery. Children will get to see goats roaming around the area too.  After a strenuous hike, hikers are able to enjoy the Karoumes beach at the end of the hike. Children will definitely enjoy a swim or a picnic at the deserted beach.