"Guided Walk through the Platania Gorge" in Amari valley on the slopes of Mount Psiloritis is a unique experience for the excursionist as it combines the wilderness of the Cretan mountains with the rich flora and fauna of the island.
The small village of Platania lies in one of the most amazing valleys of Crete.
This is the Amari valley, or ‘Lotus Land’, which is full of small picturesque villages, old Byzantine churches, Hellenistic and Roman settlements and unique nature with some impressive and wild mountains. It was given the name ‘Lotus Land’ by the English soldiers, such as Patrick Leigh Fermor, who helped to kidnap the German General Kreipe during WWII. They found the valley so beautiful and enchanting after spending a long time in the mountains, that they thought of it as paradise.
The area of the Platania gorge has been incorporated in the Natura 2000 network, it is a protected area for the bird fauna, as well as a wild life refuge.
From this small village there is a very beautiful gorge that ascends quite steeply up to a cave-chapel called Agios Antonios. It is a unique trail, with old olive trees, a wide range of endemic and non-endemic plants of Crete, such as phlomis fruticosa (“agarathia”), bellflowers, kermes oaks, maples and pine trees., impressive cliffs, vertical limestone rocks, rock roofs and caves.
The walk starts at an altitude of 430m on the edge of the village and ascends to the chapel at 800m, taking about three hours for the return trip. During the beginning of the walk we pass through old olive groves with some truly large and impresive trees, before starting our climb upwards. The path hugs the side of the gorge and offers some great views down and across the Amari valley. Griffon Vultures, falcons, rock doves and ravens circle overhead and if we are lucky you may watch a Golden Eagle too.
After an exhilarating walk, and after having crossed the final rock ridge, it is at last possible to make out your destination – the rock-chapel of Saint Anthony. It is perfectly situated at the top of the gorge on a small hidden plateau. After a few minutes we will find ourselves enjoy and rest the shade of a large Plane tree. The small chapel is built into the side of a cave and it is easy to imagine how once upon a time a hermit may have lived there in such an idyllic environment.
135.00 Euros per person
Walk duration : 4 hours
Total duration : 7-8 hours
Ascent / descent
400m / 400m
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