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Kourtaliotiko Gorge, Plakias

Wildlife Area · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
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The Kourtaliotiko Gorge (Greek: Κουρταλιώτικο Φαράγγι), also known as the Asomatos Gorge

(Greek: Φαράγγι Ασώματου), is a gorge on the southern side of the western part of the island of Crete.

It is situated where the Kourtaliotiko River flows southwards between the mountains of Kouroupa and Xiron.

The village of Koxare is at the northern end of the gorge. A road runs north to south through the gorge connecting Koxare to Asomatos; it then leads west, to the town of Plakias on the southern coast of Crete.

There is a small church (Agios Nikolaos) in the gorge and a 40-metre-high waterfall.

The cliffs on the side of the gorge provide a roosting site for the Lammergeier vulture.
There is a specific point on the gorge, about 20 metres from the northern entrance, some "claps" can be heard, like hands coming together. These "claps" are the "kourtala", that give the name ο Κουρταλιώτης ( o Kourtaliotis , "the rattle" and "the noisy") to the gorge. These are a consequence of the wind being funnelled through the high caves of the gorge and breaking the sound barrier. The point near the northern entrance is the main point where this sound can be heard.

The gorge leads to a sandy beach Preveli, and is inhabited by native palm trees. An experienced hiker could follow the path across the river in order to reach the beach. It takes about 2 and a half hours at an average pace. However, there is an alternative path, one parallel to the river, which easier and faster to walk through.
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Kourtaliotiko Gorge reviews

TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
335 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Google maps gets you to the right place - there are a few parking options along the road. Take the steps through the roadside arch...there is a fork partway down. To the left takes you to the... 
    Google maps gets you to the right place - there are a few parking options along the road. Take the steps through the roadside arch...there is a fork partway down. To the left takes you to the...  more »
  • Amazing experience, make sure you take water shoes or trainers for some parts of the mountains. Also park a car at the end so you can come back (especially if you are with friends) 
    Amazing experience, make sure you take water shoes or trainers for some parts of the mountains. Also park a car at the end so you can come back (especially if you are with friends)  more »
  • Excellent fresh water swim through the Gorge. We got there early 9am, parked up by the food truck, made the walk down to the split in the path, take the right stairs down if you want to swim through.....  more
    Excellent fresh water swim through the Gorge. We got there early 9am, parked up by the food truck, made the walk down to the split in the path, take the right stairs down if you want to swim through.....  more »
Google
  • Absolutely amazing valley and waterfall system, spilling into a very deep gorge dug by the river. You can get down here on multiple paths, one of which is by climbing down some ~260 stairs, starting at the top where the gate of Agios Nicholaos church (there is an accommodating parking lot very close by as well). You have the option to view the waterfall system from multiple view points and take gorgeous pictures of it, with it. You can also explore the area by stepping on rocks. You can actually cross the river quite safely and continue the exploration of the gorge upstream.
  • Wonderful gorge to do wander around, steps to lead the way. You can talk a leap into the ice cold water at the end, very refreshing. Would recommend water shoes for the bath at the end. Great small hike.
  • Beautiful place. Steps to get there best will be to wear shoes. T junction going down the stairs on the left stairs to church on right stairs to water falls. Most people saying is nice place for a swim didn’t try as is was quote cold.
  • How to make any man feel small, visit the Gorge. It's natural colossal size and beauty can not be captured on a camera because it just looks so unreal in a photo, it really has to be taken in by the naked eye. It took about 2 hours to walk its entirety there and back but could be done in less time if you took the steps where there's an arch and cross just off the main road leading down to a small church.
  • Good place to stop for a short walk only if you plan to travel further on the southern beach. No point planing trip only for this as there is max 20 minutes walk and beside a waterfall and cave not really inviting area. Some works being done and plenty of scrap and junk on the waterside. Approach quite tricky and dangerous in places.

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