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If you’re looking for an incredible hiking experience, look no further than Imbros Gorge on the island of Crete. This stunning gorge is located in the heart of the White Mountains and offers hikers a beautiful and rewarding trek. Actually, it’s one of the best things you can do while visiting Crete.
This guide will provide everything you need to know about hiking Imbros Gorge, including how to get there, what to bring, and what to expect. So pack your bags and get ready for an adventure!
What to expect on the Imbros gorge hike
Imbros is a stunning gorge that was once formed by running water. The Imbros Gorge hike is 8 kilometers long with approximately 500 meters of descent over the whole distance. For an average hiker, the Imbros Gorge hike will take around 2,5 hours one way including the photo stops.
The path is not difficult or long, so it’s suitable for hiking with children. Just make sure to wear proper shoes, as the rocks on the path may not be stable.
At the narrowest part of the canyon, the Imbros Gorge is just 1,6 meters wide, while the canyon walls are 300 meters high. It’s an incredible experience to go through it. You’ll see limestone rock formations, dramatic canyon walls, and if you are lucky – even some cute goats.
The entrance to Imbros Gorge is around 1 kilometer outside of Imbros village. There is free parking near the entrance if you are traveling by car. Note that there are many taverns in the village with “Entrance to gorge” signs just trying to lure you in. If you stop there, you’ll have to order something in the tavern to get the “free parking” and will still have to go to the main entrance to the Gorge on foot.
The hike ends at the village of Kommitádes. It’s possible to either go back on foot or to get a taxi back to the starting point if you haven’t gone on a guided tour.
Imbros Gorge opening times
Imbros Gorge is open all year round, and you have to pay an entrance fee only from May until the end of October. The Imbros Gorge hike entrance fee is 2,50 Euros per adult.
The best times for the Imbros Gorge hike are in the spring or autumn when the temperatures aren’t that high or low. You can still find shade in the Gorge during summer, as there are trees and the sides of the canyon, but don’t forget to bring some water with you to cool down.
You shouldn’t hike only if there is heavy rain or snow. Otherwise, the Imbros Gorge is ready for hiking.
It’s better to plan your hike early in the morning because then the temperatures are generally more pleasant. And if you arrive at the hiking starting point later in the day, you might not find a free parking spot, as those are limited.
How to get to the Imbros Gorge
You can get to Imbros Gorge with a rental car, by public transportation, or with a guided tour. If you have a rental car for your time in Crete, it’s quite easy to use it to get to the beginning of the hike. Otherwise, a guided tour is the most convenient option, as public transportation may be rare and only going at certain times that lack flexibility.
Imbros Gorge by car
If you are going by car, try to find a parking spot on the southern side of the Imbros village or at the tavern near the Imbros Gorge ticket counter, which is located about a kilometer outside of the Imbros village.
Note that many taverns in the village advertise that they are the “main entrance” to the gorge, but the real starting point is the actual ticket counter. Taverns just try to lure you in and exchange “free parking” for something that you buy in the tavern.
Imbros Gorge by public transportation
It’s possible to reach both the starting point and the endpoint of the Imbros Gorge by public transportation, as these villages are well connected to the rest of Crete by roads. However, public transportation might be rare during the off-season, and you really have to research the timetables before you go.
Imbros Gorge taxi price
At the end of the gorge, there are taxi stands, where the taxis offer you to go back to the starting point of the gorge. The price for the taxi is approximately 20 euros. So if 4 people are splitting the cost, it is reasonable 5 Euros per person.
Just a note that the typical taxi is a pick-up truck, and the drivers are going fast. Some travelers have said that this is the most adrenaline-inducing part of the Imbros Gorge adventure.
Imbros gorge tour
From the biggest cities in Crete, it’s really easy to join a guided tour to the Imbros Gorge hike. Most tours include a transfer, time for hiking the gorge, free time in the village at the end of the hike, and maybe some stops at landmarks on the way back to the hotel.
If you don’t have a rental car, a guided tour is an easy way how to experience the hike without thinking about the logistics.
What to bring to the Imbros Gorge hike
The hike is not that difficult, bet there are some things that you have to prepare for it:
- Good walking shoes as you’ll be walking over hard rocks. Sneakers should be fine, but feel free to wear some more serious hiking shoes to protect your feet.
- Drinking water, as there is no source of water in the canyon and there is no option to buy water during the hike.
- Sunscreen, as the Cretan sun can be harsh during the day.
- Note that in some places the cell phone reception may not be perfect. But there is a station in the middle of the gorge for emergencies, with a donkey as an emergency transport.
Imbros Gorge vs Samaria Gorge
Samaria Gorge is the longest and most impressive gorge in Crete. It is more than twice as long as the Imbros Gorge, and the hike is much more challenging. It’s also more difficult to get back to the starting point after the Samaria Gorge hike, as it ends in a village with no real roads back to the main part of the island.
Samaria Gorge is closed in the off-season, and from May until October it’s quite crowded with other tourists.
So if you are looking for a bit easier and less crowded hike with almost as many natural wonders as Samaria Gorge, the Imbros Gorge is a great alternative.
Frequently asked questions
8 km, total descent is around 600m and the average walking time is about 2.5 hours.
Only if you are planning to go on a guided tour. If you are visiting on your own, you can go at any time.
It’s fairly easy and will take around 2,5 hours. The Imbros Gorge hike is suitable for children as well.