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Welcome is the main tourism web site for East Crete, run by the Crete Today Development team, where you'll find information on the main tourist destinations, such as cities, beaches, as well as activities, hiking, natural sights, traditional villages, archaeological and historical sites and much more!

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Address: Sitia City, East Crete

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Chohlakies Or Karoumes Gorge

Chohlakies or Karoumes Gorge

The Chochlakies or Karoumes Gorge lies in the far east of the island, 8 kms southern from Palekastro on the way to Zakros and gets across the village of Chochlakies to the beautiful Bay and beach of Karoumes.

The gorge winds in a right-left curve along the steep cliffs. At the end is the reward: the lonely but beautiful beach of Karoumes where trees give shady resting places.

The walk through the gorge, leading mainly through the riverbed, takes about two hours’ time, starting from the village Chochlakies and another two hours’ time for the return journey to Chochlakies. In springtime you must be prepared for some rock climbing in order to get round the pools of water.

The canyon is full of impressive geological formations. On the vertical rocks from left to right impressive caves are created whereas lots of avifauna species, especially raptors, nest on the steep rocks. The best period to observe the flora in the canyon is during the spring.

Lots of rare and important plants grow at the bed of the stream and its rocks such as Aristolochia cretica, Bellevallia sitiaca, Capparis spinosa, Delphinium staphisagria, Vitex agnus castus, Scorzonera cretica, Tulipa saxatilis, to name but a few.

There are also lots of aquatic species in the marsh formed in the exit of the canyon with the Juncus acutus (bulrush) being predominant. Because of the rock erosion on the coastline around the beach called karoumes a huge number of fossils have been revealed.

In the middle of the beach area there is a large group of trees and in the shade of these trees there are good resting places for hikers. The beach is covered by sand and round stones and on both sides sheltered from the waves by the rocks, the water is clear, partly turquoise, and there is almost no rubbish on the beach, so it is a good place for swimming.

You can also start the walk from the village of Agathias by Palekastro. The route is: Palekastro – Agathias – Plativola Plateau – Skinias Beach – Karoumes Beach – Karoumes Gorge – Chochlakies – Palekastro. When you reach Chochlakies, take the bus back to Palekastro (or Sitia – Zakros). This second route takes about 4 hours.

Karoumes Beach: You can approach this completely lonely beach only through this gorge! Karoumes is the most remote beach in Eastern Crete !!

Additional Info
Altitude: 120m – 0m
Starting point: Chohlakies Village
Path Type: Good Marked path (3,5km)
Difficulty: Easy
Walk distance: 4km (Chochlakies Village – Karoumes beach) – 1,5 – 2 hours

From Pelekita cave, the path which becomes hard to discern, descends for about 500 m, to the ancient quarry .

From the quarry and on, where the indistinct path continues along the coast at a higher level, it passes by the mouth of the Adiavato cave and then climbs up to the top of a steep slope.

From this point, you follow the same contour for about 600 m; the entire bay of Karoumes, with the beach at the end of the gorge of Chochlakies lies before you, to the north. You arrive there, passing by a smaller beach and having bypassed the rocky southern slope of the Karoumes main beach.

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