Samaria Gorge This stunning natural reserve covering 48.500 square meters is home to the largest, most impressive and beautiful gorge in Europe. The hiking trail starts from Xyloskalo, located 43 kilometers from Chania and at an altitude of 1.250 meters. Typically it takes between 5-8 hours to complete, depending on your pace. You can visit this enchanting place from May to October, when you can enjoy the breathtaking scenery and marvel at the rare and unique geological formations among the presence of 450 different floral species.
Imbros Gorge The entrance to this gorge, is located at an altitude of 780m and 55km away from Chania, shortly after Imbros village. It is a compact and straightforward passage, with some parts only 2m wide, but with impressive rocks towering up to 300m in some areas. The gorge extends for 8km, and if you hike through it, you'll arrive at the exit in Komitades village after approximately two hours.
Aradena Gorge This stunning and stimulating gorge offers an adventurous and fascinating hike. The entrance to the gorge is located in the ruined Aradena village, situated at an altitude of 520m and 87.5km away from Chania. It typically takes around 3.5 hours to traverse the gorge, after which you'll arrive at the delightful Marmara beach. From there, you can choose to take a boat to Loutro or continue walking east for approximately 3 hours, passing through a string of charming villages, such as Likos, Phinikas, Loutro, Glika Nera, and Iligas, until you reach Sfakia.
Eligia Gorge This Wild, small and impressive gorge is accessible through Agios loannis village in Sfakia, located at an altitude of 780m and 92km from Chania. It takes around 3.5 hours of hiking to reach Agios Pavlos beach, which is enveloped by pine trees and an additional hour towards the west to reach Agia Roumeli. However, this hike only covers one-third of the entire distance within the gorge. If you intend to traverse the entire route, which spans from Omalos tableland to Kallergis refuge, Melidaou Peak (at an altitude of 2.133m), Potami of the White Mountains, Agios Pavlos, and beyond, you will require an experienced guide and at least two days. The journey from Omalos Potami takes around 6 hours, and Potami to Agios Pavlos takes another 6 hours.
Sfakiano or Bartholomas Gorge In terms of its flora, this gorge is an incredibly intriguing destination. To access it, you'll need to enter from Imbros village and travel 10km on a rural road that takes around 2 hours to walk. Alternatively, you can use a suitable car. Once you arrive at the ruined Kali Lakki village, it takes an additional 2.5 hours to reach the gorge's exit and the road. The majority of the hiking is along the dry riverbed, which is relatively easy to walk.
Tripiti Gorge This gorge is an absolute marvel, boasting a wealth of beautiful flora and fauna, including the Cretan Wild Goat. However, it is also one of the most challenging gorges to traverse in western Crete, requiring an experienced guide and at least two days to cross. Starting from Omalos tableland, you will ascend mountain Gigilos and arrive at Tzazimos sheepfold (located at an altitude of 2.080m) after approximately 3 hours of hiking. From there, it takes another 3 hours to reach Tripiti beach, and if there isn't a boat waiting for you, you'll need to walk for an additional 3 hours towards the west until you reach Sougia.
Klados Gorge This gorge is the wildest and most challenging to cross, requiring the expertise of an experienced guide and at least two days to traverse. Beginning from Omalos tableland, you'll climb mountain Gigilos before making your descent towards the west, eventually arriving at the stunning Domata beach on the shores of the Libyan Sea after roughly 8 hours of hiking. From there, it takes another 3 hours to make your way towards the east and reach Agia Roumeli.
lliggas or Kavis Gorge This gorge is rich with plant life, offers stunning scenery and is easily traversed. You can begin your hike from Anopolis village in Sfakia (520m altitude, 84km from Chania) and arrive at the Byzantine church of The Holy Cross after two hours on foot (or by a suitable car). From there, you will descend for three hours until you reach the beautiful beach of Iliggas, which is situated 2km west of Sfakia.
Kapnis Gorge Wild and rough, with a significant incline. Its entrance is located 4km east of the road connecting Imbros to Asfendou, at an altitude of 900m. The 3.5-hour hike between the villages of Bouvas and Komitades is full of adventure, situated 5km far from Sfakia and 8km from Fragokastelo.
Asfendou Gorge The small and rugged gorge begins at Asfendou village (770m altitude, 8km from Imbros, 63km from Chania) and offers stunning scenery. After a 4-hour hike, you will arrive at Agios Nektarios village, on the main road to Fragokastelo, which is only 7km from the magnificent golden beach.
Kalikratis Gorge Located in the easternmost part of Sfakia municipality, this gorge offers a stunning landscape and is accessible from the mountain village of Kalikratis (750m altitude, 14km from Imbros). Despite its small size, the scenery is truly impressive, and the hike through the gorge takes around 3.5 hours, leading to the village of Kapsodasos (5km from Fragokastelo).