Imbors gorge - small but full of wildness

When people from Sfakia say "the gorge" they are of course referring to the Samaria gorge which is Crete's pride, as no such other exists in Europe.

They are right, but Imbros gorge is also well worth seeing. It may be small but it is most picturesque and full of wildness.

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Imbros Gorge was the escape route for thousands of Allied troops retreating from the north of the island following the Battle of Crete in 1941 and heading for Chora Sfakion to be taken off by ships.

Imbros gorge originates from the last houses of the Imbros village and ends after eight km in the village of Komitades.

The relatively easy walk takes you downhill through one of the most beautiful gorges in Crete.

An admission charge to enter the gorge, payable at the top, was introduced in 2000. There is a refreshment kiosk halfway down and several tavernas in the village of Komitades at the bottom.

Narrow Passage

Imbros

KTEL buses run from Chora Sfakion to Imbros (and on to Chania) at 7.00 am and 11.00 am. Bus tickets are purchased on the bus, which invariably leaves on time.

The bus zigzags up the mountain road to reach Imbros village 30 minutes after leaving Chora Sfakion.

There are several "entrances" to the gorge from the road, as each taverna owner tries to attract customers.

All the paths from the road lead to the gorge entrance office where the fee is paid.

Keep your ticket as it will be checked later in the gorge. You cannot get lost as the path down is obvious. In spring look out for the spectacular Dragon Lily.

It is worth stopping at the kiosk halfway down the gorge if only to see where and how the drinks are kept cold (Washrooms are available).

Continue, passing the rock arch. At the bottom the gorge opens out and there are several exits to the right, via tavernas.

Alternatively, continue until you meet the tarred road, and then turn right, uphill, to the village of Komitades (There is an afternoon bus, not timetabled, passing the bottom of the gorge towards Chora Sfakion, between 4.30 pm and 5.00 pm.

Halfway SignThe taverna owners can also be called upon to provide a taxi service, or try hitching a lift).

Alternatively, the walk back along the road to Chora Sfakion is straightforward, though it is hot and exposed when walking on the main road.

Shepherd CabinWalk through Komitades on the road and meet the main road from Chora Sfakion to Imbros after 15 minutes (Note that the 2.00 pm Chania to Chora Sfakion bus can be flagged down at this junction at about 3.40 pm).

If you wish to walk back to Chora Sfakion then turn left at the junction and walk down the main road.

After 15 minutes look for a quarry in a bend and, as the bend unwinds, go off right on a dirt road.

Donkey

The dirt road then becomes a path, going towards a concrete stock pen.

Take the walled lane to the right of the stock pen.

After 100 m, look for a section of the ancient paved kalderimi donkey track climbing off left. This route to Chora Sfakion can be taken though the path becomes very broken and is a little difficult to follow.

Alternatively head directly towards the church on the ridge with a bell tower to the side and admire the view along the coast westwards.

Descend from the church, cross the tarred road and take the stony lane opposite alongside a derelict house.

Continue downhill on often poor and overgrown paths, passing both derelict and some refurbished houses. When you reach the main tarred road follow it right/westwards past a recently built church.

Opposite the Mesochori taverna, go off right on a tarred lane, downhill, past the school. Descend to meet the road near the coach park.

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