The path in the gorge begins just below the village of Imbros and the path to the entrance to the gorge is clearly marked. Inside, the trail descends gently down the gorge towards the south. It is never steep and not particularly difficult, but like everywhere in Crete, the path is stony, so we have to be careful where we put your feet.
As we continue inside the gorge, we can notice that it is small in height as well as in length, so we are always right next to the slopes and cliffs and we have a much better opportunity to observe the unique plants and flowers nearby. Thankfully, since the gorge is quite narrow and there are a lot of trees, we will be accompanied by shade most of the time!
The flora of the gorge is rich and it is surprising that between so many rocks where there is no soil, various trees grow; in particular lianas, rare herbs and all kinds of herbs, with the exception of cypresses, azylakous, wild fig, agriomygdalias, olive trees, wicker and shrub with aromatic sage.
The rarest Cretan plants grow in ravines or on steep mountain slopes, such as Ebenus cretica, Linum arboreum (flax), Campanula pelviformis (bellflower), Staechelina arborea and Petromarcula arboreum. The flourishing plants we will probably observe in the plains and high peaks are the Tulipa bakeri and the saxalite Tulipa (tulips), tge Anchusa caespitosa (alcanet), the Scabiosa alborincta and theScabiosa minoana (scabiosa). The fauna is presented in a semi-wild form, with various species of birds like partridge, Kotsifi, thrushes, hawks, crows, eagles and other rare species of wild birds.
After about 90 minutes of walking from the entrance to the gorge, we will pass an impressive stone arch on the right; this marks almost the end of the hike and, if we’re feeling exhausted, we can stop here and return to our starting point to have lunch. If we continue after that, we’ll observe that the gorge widens a bit and after about 15 minutes we will arrive back on the road and at the village of Komitades, where we will find many taverns with traditional Cretan flavors, in order to enjoy lunch and relaxation after this beautiful hike.
Finally, after lunch, we will be driven by a local back to our transfer vehicle in the entrance of the gorge, in order to start our visit to Chora Sfakion.
Chora Sfakíon or simply Sfakia is a town on the south coast of Chania in West Crete. It is the capital of the remote and mountainous region of Sfakia, and is a small town of almost 300 inhabitants. It lies on the south coast near the exit of the imposing Imbros Gorge, 74 km south of Chania. It has two small harbours.
There is a quiet local beach, called Vrissi, just west of the village, and several pebbly beaches nearby.
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