Imbros gorge(updated August 5, 2007)
The Imbros gorge is a 7 kilometer long valley between the mountains village Imbros and the village Komitades, which lies close to the Libyan Sea. Like the larger and more common Samaria gorge the Imbros gorge was created by a river, when it cut his a path through the rocks, through the ages. The gorge is located about 60 kilometers southwest of Chania. Compared with the 16 kilometer long Samaria gorge the Imbros gorge is a lot shorter. In the tourist season, however, the Imbros gorge is a lot less busy. According to experts the Imbros gorge is at least as nice as the Samaria gorge.
You can walk through the gorge from Imbros (780 meters above sea level) to Komitades (200 meters), but also in the opposite direction. Most people walk from Imbros to Komitades. The entrance of the gorge lies next to the road from Imbros to Hora Sfakion. Access to the gorge costs 2 euro's.
The Imbros gorge
The walk through the gorge is easy. The route runs through the riverbed and is not dangerous. The most spectacular piece is where the gorge is only 2 meters wide while the walls on both sides rise up to 300 in the air. Larger people can even touch both walls simultaneously. About halfway through the gorge you get to a place where during summer you'll find a man with a donkey. He sells water and soft drinks and helps people who get in trouble during the walk. There is also a natural water source where you can get water. For most people it takes about 2 hours accomplish the trip.
The path through the gorge ends in Komitades, near the Libyan Sea at an altitude of 200 meters. Komitades is a small village. As in Imbros you can find a number of shops and restaurants in Komitades. But unlike Imbros you can stay overnight in Komitades. There also are some churches and chapels in Komitades. Some of them are worth visiting. The 14th-century St. Georgios church for example, in which you can admire some frescoes.
You can visit the gorge all year round, except for when it's raining or snowing a lot. During the winter the village of Imbros is hard to reach sometimes.
Unlike a day trip to the Samaria gorge a day trip to the Imbros gorge at you own opportunity is possible. The entrance of the Imbros gorge can be reached by public transport. The bus from Chania to Hora Sfakion stops at the entrance to the gorge. The ride takes about one and a half hour and costs about 4 euro. For the return you can walk from the exit in Komitades to Hora Sfakion. This hike is about 5 kilometers long. If you are too tired to walk you can also take a taxi to Hora Sfakion. This costs about 10 euro's, for up to 4 people. If you can not find a taxi, you can ask for one in one of the restaurants. There they will call a taxi for you.
The easiest way to go to the gorge at your own opportunity is by rental. From the main road from Rethymno to Chania you take the branch to Vrisses. From Vrisses you follow the road through Kares and Petres to Imbros. At Imbros you leave the car behind and walk the hike through the Imbros gorge. In Komitades you can just relax and then walk back through the gorge or take a taxi back to Imbros where you left the car. Of course, you can also first drive to Komitades and take a taxi to Imbros.
Of course, you can also book an organized excursion to the Imbros gorge. There are plenty of places where you can. For example, with you travel guide, at the reception of your hotel or at a tourist shop in the place where you stay.