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Platania Gorge in Amari valley in Crete

Just before Fourfouras, which is the largest village in the Amari valley, lies the small charming village of Platania. Above the village is one of Crete's most unknown gorges located, it is not even included on all maps. The gorge is also called Platania (Platania Gorge) and depending on which route you take, the trail is between 2.6 and 4.4 kilometres long.


The beginning of the hike in the Platania Gorge in Crete.

The beginning of the hike in the Platania Gorge.



The Platania Gorge offers extremely beautiful views across parts of the Amari valley. It also offers scary precipices, scary paths with railings and a rich bird life. At the entrance of the gorge there are warning signs saying that this is a "dangerous path". You should be an experienced hiker if you walk this trail, and you should absolutely not have fear of heights. Like I have.


View of the Amari valley from Platania gorge in Crete.

View of the Amari valley from Platania gorge.


The first part of the trail ascend steeply and is quite easy to walk, even children should be able to walk the first part according to the information signs. I don't agree. We walked about half way before we gave up. We didn't have the courage to walk farther.

Hike in the Platania Gorge in Crete.

The Platania Gorge.


The reason why we went to the gorge at all, was due to the fact that we had heard that Bearded vulture is nesting here. Since we are birders and Bearded vulture is an extremely rare bird (about 500 pairs in Europe) we had virtually no choice than to search for it.



After a large number of observations of Griffon vulture, and after about 45 minutes of waiting, then finally a Bearded vulture came gliding! At first we didn't believe our eyes! It is one of the most magnificent bird observations we have ever experienced.


Bearded vulture in Platania Gorge in Amari valley in Crete

Thumbs up as we got to see the Bearded vulture!


I highly recommend you a walk in the Platania Gorge if you are interested in birding, not otherwise. Unless you are a hard-core hiker, then you have a great adventure ahead of you.

Parts of the gorge are really scary to walk, although there are railings, but they do not feel particularly reliable. If you are in the area I recommend a hike in the Rouvas Gorge instead. Platania Gorge is located in Rethymno regional unit and Rouvas Gorge is located in Heraklion regional unit.


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