Imbros Gorge is the second most popular gorge for hikers in Crete after the gorge of Samaria. It is a good alternative to Samaría gorge, being only half as long and rather easy to walk. You can also bring along children.
Imbros Gorge is a 11 km long canyon located near Hora Sfakion in southern Crete. It runs parallel to Samariá Gorge, its narrowest part has 1.60 m and it ends at the village of Kommitádes (8 km/ 650 m for hiking). The Imbros village (aka Nimbros) is located at an altitude of 780 meters and is at the south end of the fertile plain of Askyfou.
The legend tells that two brother were banished from Imbros in Turkey and went to live in the Imbros village in Crete.
The Imbros Gorge mule trail was the only connection between Chania and Hora Sfakion before the road was built. Remains of this trail can still be seen. The gorge witnessed an evacuation of several thousands of British soldiers during World War II before heading to Egypt.
Hiking in Imbros gorge
Imbros Gorge Tours
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For some Australians, New Zealanders and Brits walking Imbros gorge is something like a pilgrimage. Many of them are relatives to the people who fought with the allied troops in Crete and walked through the gorge in May 1941 to escape from Crete to Egypt.
Good to know before walking Imbros Gorge
- The entrance fee is €2.
- Easy to pass, it has no dangerous points and you don’t need a guide with you.
- Since it’s not a long trail only a short time is needed, ideal for those who can’t walk for many hours.
- You can pass the gorge all year round except when it’s raining or snowing heavily.
- For those who reach Imbros with their own car, they can leave it there, pass the gorge and return to it with a taxi from Kommitádes or walk through the gorge all the way back again, as it is not so tiring.
- Since the gorge is rather narrow with plenty of trees you will walk in shade most of the time.
- As someone walks downhill 8 km and 650 m, it is something like half of Samariá Gorge. But Samariá Gorge is scree above the river bed, and Imbros Gorge is round scree of the dry creek bed. The trail is still strenuous, so if you are overweight or not wearing good, closed walking shoes, you will find the walk challenging.