The morphology of the Cretan soil is characterized by large mountains with sharp folds and deep valleys, resulted wild deep and beautiful gorges.
Gorges usually end up in the water and allow easier hiking, especially during the summer months. Because of the high temperatures of the season is much easier for the visitors to descend a gorge than to climb a mountain. In the steep cliffs shelter many species of rare plants and birds of prey.
The Prefecture hosts some of the most impressive gorges of Crete. Undoubtedly the number one is the Samaria Gorge which is the longest and most imposing of all Europe! As well Gorge Aradaina, Gorge of Imvros, the Catholic Gorge (Katholikou) and the Gorge of Agia Irini. In Kissamos the impressive Gorges of Sirikari, of Stomio, the Topoliano and the gorge of Roka.
Sirikari: starts from the village Sirikari and impressive chestnut forest from the village Marouliana, passes through the neighborhood of Koustogianidon continues in other neighborhoods of Sirikari and ends at Polyrinia. It’s longer than 6km. and in many places it is steep, widens and narrows and the path is often difficult. The route includes the magnificent forest of towering chestnut trees, small waterfalls and running brooks. Here also grow cardoon, burning bush and wild sage and generally an impressive flora with rare plants and trees. While small colorful songbirds playing, fluttering and chirping, form a wonderful harmony.
Stomio: starts from Louhi passes from the village Perivolia, the village Kuneni (today Vathi) and Plokamiana. Reaches the Stomio, where is the narrowest point. Various streams starting from the surrounding slopes, to arrive at the end, where now builting large reservoirs.
Topoliano: stretches from Topolia until Katsomatados and stretches lengthwise of the road leading to the Nine Villages and Elafonisi. The magnificent and wild gorge of Topolia, length 1500m., has lush vegetation, flora and fauna (trees, wild olive, dwarf trees, oriole, arbutus , hares and birds). The slopes, with many cavernous cavities, reaching 300m. height and width of the bed ranges from 5 to 50 meters.
Roka: Small in length canyon, about 1000 m, but not the height of up to 200 m, with a great history in the matter of flora and fauna .
In its prime, the gorge hosted numerous animals and birds of the forest, such as hares, badgers, partridges, black pigeons, crows and hawks. The gorge continues to the villages Astrika and Delliana of Kissamos. Worth a visit, for everything mentioned.
Balos Travel offers daily tours for hiking to some of those Gorges or information how to go alone. You can also rent a bicycle and explore the Gorges or the Villages near.