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Gorge walk with kids

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Madrid, Spain
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Gorge walk with kids

We will be in Chania next week with kids aged 11-14. Is there a shortened gorge walk we could take? I am afraid 6 hours may cause a revolt in my family! Also, is it too hot at this time of year for a nice walk? We will have a car, so we do not need to rely on public transportation.

Thanks in advance!

Agii Apostoli...
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1. Re: Gorge walk with kids

Gorges for Kids (time is one way):

Imbors gorge (2 hours)

Aradena gorge (3 hours)

Agia Irini gorge (2 hours)

You can take boat from Sfakia early in the morning, and walk part of Samaria gorge. The narowest point (Portes) is 2 hours one way. Then take boat around 17:00 to return to Sfakia.

There are many more gorges to do, its cooler to hike early in the morning, the gorges have more shadow and its ok to hike the above with the kids....

Aylesbury
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2. Re: Gorge walk with kids

Hi ASMteacher

your car won't be much good at the top of the Samaria Gorge, as there is no way back to it, other than climbimg the stairway again. I think you can get a boat to the Roumeli a village at the bottom of the Gorge and walk up as far as you want to, most go to the Iron gates. You can then turn back and get a return boat back and pick up your car. Others will tell you the best place to catch the boat and where to leave your car.

Just to give you an idea what it's like

tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g644209-i12036-k…

London, United...
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3. Re: Gorge walk with kids

First, the logistics.

The thing about all gorge walks reached by car (not just the Samaria gorge, though it's the most difficult in this respect) is that at the end of them, you have to retrieve your car. In the case of the Imbros and Agia Irini gorges, but not from Samaria, this can easily (and expensively) be done by taxi from the gorge exits. The fares, at a guess, would be about 30 euros from the bottom of the Imbros Gorge, and 40-50 from the bottom of the Agia Irini gorge.

Both the Imbros and Agia Irini gorges can be reached by bus from Chania, but the return to Chania is complicated. (I can explain how, but it's time-consuming, so please ask only if you are seriously thinking of doing either of the walks independently and by bus.)

There are organised tours to the Imbros gorge, which solves the car-retrieval problem, but unless you hang back and let everybody go on ahead, you'd be walking down the narrow trails in a crocodile with a group. I don't think there are organised tours to the Agia Irini gorge: at least I've never seen one, and I've walked it many times.

Now about the gorges themselves.

The Imbros Gorge is an easy walk, wjth nothing especially challenging about it, as long as you're reasonably fit and as long as you've all got good hiking shoes or boots with thick soles and good grip. The Agia Irini gorge is about the same length as the Imbros, but a bit more difficult: there are several long "ups" as well as downs as you make your away around its huge rock falls.

I've never walked either the Imbros Gorge or Agia Irini gorges in less than three hours: not because I'm particularly slow, but because I like to stop and look around me occasionally. I don't see the point of doing these walks in a hurry: these are magnificent, unique places, to be enjoyed and savoured, not rushed through.

Your 11 and 14 year olds would be able to walk either of the two gorges. The Aradena Gorge is a different matter. It requires fitness and some skill: it is not really a "walk" because you are climbing down boulders much of the time. The clliff-side "path" around the biggest rock fall that was built as an alternative to the ladder several years ago is not well maintained, and its unstable handrail is seriously scary. The ladder can still be used; both routes are challenging and many people who suffer from vertigo find them equally un-doable and have to turn back. Only you can judge your capacity for this walk: here is a description to help you decide:

http://www.west-crete.com/aradena-gorge.htm

You would have to be really enthusiastic to do the Aradena: it can't be reached easily from Chania, and if you did want to do it, it would be a very long day's outing. Most people who do it are staying in Loutro or Chora Sfakion.

"Samaria the (so-called) Easy Way" is a possibility, and there are organised tours. Having taken the bus from Chania to Chora Sfakion, and the ferry to Loutro, you arrive at Agia Roumeli at around noon, with a good five hours ahead of you. You can go further than the Gates, and I would certainly recommend that, as long as you keep an eye on the time so you don't miss the return ferry. The first hour of the walk, before you reach the National Park entrance, is considered boring by most people - not by me, as I think it's a thrilling approach, but you'll be walking it at the hottest time of day, and there is no shade.

I hope these details aren't too discouraging. All the walks are wonderful and rewarding. If you can get your kids interested in the whole of the Samaria walk, it's really the easiest to do, transpost-logistics-wise! There are organised tours, but it can be done independently very easily, by public bus from Chania, and ferry.

Edited: 01 July 2012, 12:19
Weesp, The...
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4. Re: Gorge walk with kids

the St.Anthoy gorge http://www.nat-adv.gr the best with kids, short walk, swimming, villages and nature for young and old

London, United...
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5. Re: Gorge walk with kids

Yes, the St Anthony Gorge is a lovely gorge! Not, perhaps, as easy to reach from Chania as the others, but lovely.

Madrid, Spain
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6. Re: Gorge walk with kids

Thank you for all of the information. Am I correct then, that hiking the gorges, even the St. Anthony one must be done with a guide? I can't seem to find information except from companies offering tours. The St. Anthony gorge and monastery nearby look perfect for our group, but I wonder if it is possible to just walk around by ourselves?

London, United...
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7. Re: Gorge walk with kids

>Am I correct then, that hiking the gorges, even the St. Anthony one must be done with a guide?<

No. How can you have got that idea from the replies you've had?

Yes, you can walk around by yourselves. The only issue is how you get there, and if you take your car, how you get back to it. The St Anthony gorge won't be too much of a problem from that point of view, as it's not as steep as the others, so you can walk as far as you like along it, and then retrace your steps.

Madrid, Spain
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8. Re: Gorge walk with kids

I guess I got that idea because one of the replies linked to a website that was for a tour company, and the many sites I found on line about the gorge were for other tour companies.

Aylesbury
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9. Re: Gorge walk with kids

Hi ASMteacher

Ours was with a booked Travel office in the high st but they just dropped us off at the top of the Gorge and we made our own way down.

London, United...
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10. Re: Gorge walk with kids

Thanks ASMteacher: I see.

Yes, there are loads of tour companies offering organised trips to the various gorges, but that doesn't mean you have to use them. And to be clear,if you do use them, they aren't guided tours. The company simply organises the trip, the tickets, and the buses: basically, it gets you to the top of the gorge and takes you away from the bottom of it.

Depending on which gorge you want to visit, the tours can be the best way of doing it: they save you making arrangements, researching bus timetables, etc. The Samaria Gorge is just as easy to visit independently as with a tour company; the Imbros not so easy.

I don't know if there are organised tours to the St Anthony gorge, and I'm pretty sure there aren't any to the Agia Irini gorge.

Here's a nice link to a description of several of the gorges.

www.summerincrete.com/en/activities/walks.htm

Edited: 02 July 2012, 10:16
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