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Kato Zakros Gorge

Zakros Gorge

About 1,5 km to east of the village of Zakros, starts the Gorge, which ends at the bay of Kato Zakros, almost near the Minoan Palace area.
This gorge is of outstanding beauty, with large caves in its walls.

In those caves were discovered tombs from the Minoan period, and finds of great archaeological importance. That is the reason why the caves are named “The Caves of Deads” and the gorge “The Gorge of Deads“.

Because of its natural beauty and archaeological significance the gorge attracts numerous visitors every year. Today, the area not only forms a stunning backdrop for country hikes, but is the last section of the E4 path, a Europe-wide trail beginning at the continent’s western-most point in Portugal. From Kato Zakros, you can get the bus to return to the Ano Zakros village, where your car is, without having to walk backward in the gorge.

Additional Info
Altitude: 270m – 30m
Starting point: Zakros Village
Path Type: Good Marked path (7km)
Difficulty: Easy
Walk distance: 8km (Zakros Village – Kato Zakros beach) – 2 hours
This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. The main gorge attractions in Crete are of course Samaria and Imbros. However, this gorge is in my opinion just as good. The only problem is that it is a long drive to the Zakros region. However, if you combine it with a stay at Kato Zakros, then you have an amazing itinerary. If you are staying at Kato Zakros, then there is an early morning bus from there up to Zakros where the full walk begins (bus times and days of operation are dependent on the time of year). The walk is not particularly difficult, but it is spectacular and beautiful. If you are lucky, and start early, you may well have it all to yourself.

  2. Kato Zakros, Zakros Town and the Gorge of the Dead

    You can make a day here and whatever your walking abilities there’s lots to do. All places of interest are at either the town or beach so if you don’t want to walk a gorge you don’t have to.

    The best option is to arrive at Kato Zakros Beach 9am, taxi to entrance A of the Gorge, do the 3hr hike back to your car at your leisure, air con for 10mins in the car and pop back up to the Minoan Palace Ruin (5mins). Using google read up on it and view the entire thing through the wire fence (or pay E6 to get in) Then back to the beach where you can use changing booths to get into your costume and beach shoes, take a half an hour dip in the sea and lie out for half an hour in the shade to drsunbeds owned by Tavernas) Chuck something decent on and some cooler shoes and lunch in one of the many cool tavernas. Use the car to pop back up to the town once the midday sun has cooled down and explore the cheese factory and other interesting options.

    Zakros Town has the museums, cheese factory and other places of interest and Kato Zakros has the pebble and sand beach, 4hr round trip to a cave and the basic Minoan Palace ruin. Connecting the two is the Gorge of the Dead. We never found the burial caves which was disappointing.

    The Gorge of the Dead can suit any category of walker. For those with a foot injury, horrendous sun burn or small children park at Kato Zakros and walk into the Gorge enjoying the signs about shrubs and plants. When you get to the picnic area you can stop for a drink and head back. It’s flat and has a little interest (1 hour max).

    For serious walkers park at Kato Zakros and hike uphill to entrance A or B and then hike back. For great walkers this would be 4hrs round trip with the homeward half downhill.

    For normal people who can walk but don’t like too much, park at Kato Zakros, ask at the first Taverna for the taxi driver (who sits waiting here all day) and taxi up to entrance B (E10 – E12) then walk the Gorge back down to your car.

    We are normal people who like a challenge and no children in tow so parked at Kato Zakros, taxi’d to entrance A (a little further) and walked the Gorge.

    80% of the Gorge is in full sunshine with no shade. From entrance A most of the shade is in the first third of the walk. Follow signs for E4 walk and the little red dots and the path follows a dried up river and dry aquaduct (other reviews mention an active river and Terrapins in the water system but in June there was not a drop of water) It is down hill or flat 98% of the time and no hard up hills of any kind. The bees were very active in the flora and you brush past them a lot so don’t do this if you are scared of bees (we were never stung or bothered by them at all). This is one of the easiest Gorges in Crete but you do need to scramble over some rocks and boulders. You MUST have trainers or walking boots with socks and at least over a litre of water per person. We froze ours overnight so it slowly melted and was cold for the entire walk. Also we would recommend a decent fully brimmed hat. There are prickly shrubs and lots of dirt so you may want long trousers but I wore shorts and was happy to wash my legs down at the other end. We rested at 4points on the walk so don’t miss the shaded opportunities, they can be few. Our walk took 3hours from entrance A to the beach.

    Look out for the helpful pebble piles they usually denote a good photo opportunity in the gorge.

    This is a great, pretty and interesting gorge, if you are staying locally then try to experience one of the options.

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