Trekking & Bird Watching At The Platania Gorge Amari Valley

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Trekking & Bird Watching At The Platania Gorge, Amari Valley, with an English-speaking specialist in bird watching.

  • Small Group
  • Full Day
  • History & Culture
  • Trekking & Hiking
  • Cretan Villages
  • Birdwatching
  • Wildlife & Nature
  • Agrotourism/Ethnography

This is the perfect tour for you if ...

... you would like to discover the steep gorge of Platania in the lush valley of Amari, in Rethimno to seek the birds that have touched Cretans more than any other. Please note that this trip takes place in the majestic Geopark of Psiloritis - A Geological Heritage of Unesco, Protected by Natura 2000 for its biodiversity.

In the southwestern foothills of the massif of Psiloritis lies the Gorge of Platania zigzagging uphill through predator’s colonies, impressive landforms and cultural elements of mainland Crete. Platania Gorge has been acknowledged as an outstanding natural site for hikers, wildlife explorers and photographers, and curious and enthusiastic travelers.

We will observe the behavior of Vultures’ daily life. Touring their last viable micro-communities is accompanied by an exploration of the bird fauna of the island and the role this king of the Vultures plays in it. 


- The marked, well-preserved path climbs the hillside in a weaving, manner crossing a scenery of unique landforms and great naturalistic, landscaping value at the western boundaries of Psiloritis Geopark.
- Psiloritis Range is the mountainous backbone of Crete with the highest peak of the island at 2.456 m. and has the second-largest alpine zone after Lefka Ori or the White Mountains on the west.
- All four kinds of native oak trees are represented in the region. Beautiful Valonia and Downy Oak forest (Quercus macrolepis & Quercus pubescens respectively), sprawl themselves from the northern Rethymnon till the steep western slopes of the Psiloritis. Kermes Oak (Quercus coccifera) and Holly Oak (Quercus ilex) trees form clusters and sparse forests in the steep slopes surrounding the gorge.
- The path escalating the gorge is an entrance to the unknown world of birds of prey over ecosystems of inland Rethimnon. Because of a viable livestock economy and the survival of traditional forms of agriculture, the sub mountainous zone is characterized by mosaic habitat, endangered in other areas of the Mediterranean, which offers abundant food for small mammals of Crete, thus “generating” prey for predators and scavengers.
- Crete has some of the biggest worldwide insular populations of big raptors, such as Lammergeier (Gypaetus barbatus), Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), and Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus). The vertical eroded walls bordering the marked path are used by a thriving vulture colony and one active territory of Gypaetus barbatus.

The Tour 

- Up to the mountains: trekking or alternatively driving into “Natura” landscape.
- The oldest lady of East Crete: visiting the ancient olive tree inside the valley of Kavousi.
- Archeological treasures: tour to the archeological site of Azorias (12th-6th cen. BC).
- Tasting a local snack at a local kafenio.


Starting from 55 Euros per person (in a group of 12 people)
- Children under 12 years can not participate.
- Children from 12 to 18 years old, can participate, as long as they have a significant trekking experience.
- Discount is not valid if the participants are only 2.


- Experienced mountain guide with a specialization in bird-watching and environmental studies
- Personal accident insurance, powered by Lloyd's Insurance company
- Excursion booklet
- Binoculars, to be shared among the participants
- Walking poles (on request, depending on availability)
- Light lunch in nature
- First Aid kit
- Water (1 lt)
- Third Party Liability
- Taxes

Not included

- Transport from your accommodation to the sites proposed and back to the hotel (upon request with extra cost)
- Beverage (soft drinks)
- Personal expenses, tips
- Anything that is not mentioned in the paragraph above


4-5 hours (Starting from Platanias Village) 


7 km

Elevation gain

Elevation gain: approximately 600 m.
Max. Altitude: 950 m.
Min. Altitude: 420 m.


Amari Valley in Rethymnon, Gorge of Platania, Geopark of Psiloritis - A Geological Heritage of Unesco, Protected by Natura 2000 for its biodiversity 


- Medium difficulty (2A**)
- Not ideal for people having vertigo
- Suitable for ages over 12 years old (experience required)


Greek, English
Note: For other languages, the possibility to have a translator, with a supplement.

Please Note 

- Suitable for ages over 12 years old (experience required)
- Necessary personal equipment: Sunscreen oil, hat, sunglasses, trekking poles, windproof, shoes for walking - trekking & small rucksack with your personal items
- PLEASE INFORM US of any dietary needs/particularities you might have (allergies, intolerances) or other health issues we have to take into consideration. Many thanks.


Honest Reviews

The reviews for the Trekking & Bird Watching At The Platania Gorge Amari Valley

Reviews ( 1 )

  • John B

    A fabulous and well organized tour, ideal for all birdwatchers.

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