Hiking the Imbros Gorge
Imbros Travel Blog› entry 3 of 10 › view all entries
September 21st, 2009 – by: aloneinthecrowd
Before we left home, we researched the internet for some great places to hike. One of the main attractions in Crete is the Samaria Gorge but this one was too far away from our hotel :( While searching for an alternative I found a report with the headline "The little sister of Samaria". This made me nosey and I found out that this gorge is only 1 hours drive from the hotel and not as long as the Samaria. This would be perfect :D
The day before we already did some research about the transport problem, since we didn't want to hike up and down although the gorge is only 8 km long but you have to get over more than 600 m difference in altitude.
You have 2 choices: Either you park your car at the top, hike down to the village of Komitades and take the bus (which comes at 7 a.m., 11 a.m. and 5.30 p.m.) or a taxi (alternatively ask the taverns owner to drive you up) up to Imbros again, or you do it like we did. We left the car in Komitades (since it was the shorter way back to the hotel) at the parking place of a tavern and asked the owner to drive us up to Imbros. He charged 20 € for it. Lots of money you might think. It is, but considering the fact that the bus stop is about 5 km outside the village (no shade when you have to hike there) and he needed about 20 - 25 minutes to bring us up there it's a reasonable price. A second plus was that we were independent and could go up when ever we wanted.
At 9.45 a.m. we reached Imbros. The entrance of the gorge is located more than 700 m above sea level and a cold wind was blowing. We had our jackets with us and pulled them on. A short way down you find a ticket booth where you have to pay 2 € entrance fee. If the booth is closed you have to pay your fee at a booth in the middle of the gorge. Which was an interesting place btw. Lots of tourist left odd souvenirs there. Sunglasses on goat skulls were one of them (I took some photos of it).
The trail is 8 km long and it takes you usally about 2 - 2 1/2 hours but not if you take photos every 5 m as we did :o It was sooooo beautiful down there. Although, since the Samaria gorge is too crowded at peak season, hiking Imbros is increasingly offered by travel agencies. So, it might be crowded in summer, too.
The gorge is easy to hike (down). There are no tricky situations to manage - even kids can make it. But hiking shoes (or at least good trainers) are a must due to the rocks in the canyon bed. Aswell as good clothings. Even in summer it could be cool in the gorge since most of it lays in shade. Strong winds are usual there. We weared a tank top, a shirt and a jacket. As it got warmer at noon we could undress layer by layer ;)
Before the road over the mountains has been built the gorge was the main connection between the north coast and Chóra Sfakion. On some places you can see the remainings of the donkey trail.
Describing the gorge with words is nearly impossible. My photos will say much more. Although it was easy to take proper photos due to the difficult light conditions.
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