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Greece » Crete » Chania Prefecture » Chania Sightseeing » Agia Irini Gorge
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Agia Irini Gorge

The Aghia Irene gorge starts just off the village of Aghia Irene, at a distance of approximately 40 kilometres at the Southwest of Chania, on the secondary road leading to Sougia; a 1 to 1.30 hour drive from Chania.

At the entrance of the gorge, you will find a map of the route, detailed enough and giving information about the most important spots. The total route (including the paths before entering the gorge and after the exit, until arriving to Sougia) is approximately 12 kilometres; the 7 of them in the gorge. An average walker can cover the distance rather easily in 5 – 7 hours, provided he/she wears the right clothes and shoes suitable for walking and hiking.

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There is a cafe just before the visitor starts walking in the riverbed, dry in summer, but probably with some water before May. The cafe may be the first stop and you can buy water or a sandwich. You will find fresh and cool water also in the gorge; fill your bottle from the springs you will find and don’t worry! It is pure as it comes straight from the mountains.

Leaving the cafe you will see the stone signalling the first kilometres of the route; the kilometres are signalled from time to time on stones along the whole way in the gorge.

Walking in the dry riverbed may present some difficulties as it is paved with pebbles and stones rounded by the water; but the view all over is magnificent: big trees, mainly pines and plane-trees with thick foliage all around, wild flowers and herbs with rich scents on the rocks, at the banks of the river; and at the far end, the steep high tops of the mountains. After you have walked for 1 kilometre and you have already seen the huge stones into the river, making impressive falls when there is water, you will find a spring with fresh potable water and space for a short rest under the shade of the old plane-trees.

The second –and last- spring is found at the middle of the gorge. Here again you may rest for a bit and prepare yourself for the way that follows. Close enough to the exit of the gorge there is a small cute cafe, a good-bye to the gorge and a place of refreshment before setting out to Sougia. After having left the cafe, you also leave the river and enter the road to Sougia, where you may find accommodation, food and drink and a bus to get you back to Chania or a boat to take you to Palaeochora, Chora Sfakion or Aghia Roumeli.
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