Gorges of extraordinary beauty traverse the mountains and mountain ranges of the prefecture: The ravine of Kourtaliotis, which is 3 km long, ends at the famous Lagoon of Preveli; the ravine of Kotsifou, which starts at the village of Kannevos and ends near the village of Sellia; the gorge of Patsos, in the Amari district; the gorge of Prasses, which ends at the village of Platanias at the north coast east of the town of Rethymno; the gorge of Arkadi and a number of smaller ones.
The Gorge of Kourtaliotis with its imposing precipices reaching to a height of 600 m starts shortly after the village of Koxare and ends at the Lagoon of Preveli. This magnificent gorge is worth visiting. Approximately half way through the gorge and on the left-hand side of the road from Koxare to Asomatos are steps, which lead down to the bottom of the gorge and to the chapel of Aghios Nikolaos. The river Megalos Potamos runs through the gorge, which at this point is called river Kourtaliotis.
The Gorge of Kotsifou begins at the village of Kannevos and ends at the village of Plakias. Just 10 m wide at the entrance, the beginning of this gorge is very narrow, however, eventually the gorge widens out to 600m. It is 1,800m long in total and its almost perpendicular walls reach a height of 600 m. A small chapel built into a rocky cavity is situated in the gorge.
The gorge of Patsos is easy to walk through. Both the gorge and the cave, which hosts the Church of Aghios Antonios, have been improved by the Forest authority and are an excellent destination for short tours and a picnic.
The gorge of Arkadi starts at the Arkadi Monastery and leads you through a magnificent landscape to the village of Pikri, which boasts important elements of Venetian architecture.
Finally, the Prassano Gorge, which starts south of the village of Prasses, offers you a three-hours-walk. Its impressive rock faces and a few rather difficult points of access make this tour particularly interesting.
The Church of Aghios Nikolaos in the Kourtaliotis Gorge
The Gorge of Kotsifou