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  • Kourtaliotiko gorge : The gorge of Kourtaliotis is located in the southern Prefecture, at about 22 kiometres away from the city of Rethymno and has a length of 3 kilometres. It is one of the most impressive natural sights of Rethymno. The huge Rocky slopes of the Gorge are full of openings and caves. From inside passes Kourtaliotis River which crosses part of the Canyon and Lake Preveli slopped.
  • Kakoperatos gorge : The gorge of Kakoperatos is located by Agios Vasilios village at the province of Agios Vasilios. It’s a tributary of the Megalos River (Kourtaliotis) and as its name suggests (bad passage in Greek) it cannot be accessed from humans (by trekking). It is a strikingly beautiful and rugged canyon, ideal for canyoning. It has water most of the year and shapes 7-8 impressive waterfalls with deep ponds with clear turquoise waters, ideal for jumps.
  • Fratiano gorge : Fratiano is one of the long gorges of Rethymno Prefecture, running alongside Kourtaliotiko gorge. The gorge is accessible on foot, but swimming is needed in several places, making it ideal for a summer river trekking destination.
  • Kotsifou gorge : The gorge of Kotsifos starts from Kannebos village and ends in Plakias. The point of departure is very narrow with a width of about 10 metres which gradually grows and reaches 600 metres. The total length is 1800 metres, and nearly vertical sides which reach the height of 600 metres. In the Gorge there is a small temple, built in Rocky cavities.
  • Prasses gorge : The wild Prassano gorge is located 10 kilometres southeast of Rethymnon city and is accessible only from June to October, because of the water flowing through it. Starting south of Prasses village, it offers a three-hour walk through the stunning gigantic rocks and through some relatively hard accesses, which make the passage very interesting. The Prassano gorge is located next to the bare hills of Gargana. It is a very important biotope of Crete, since it hosts buzzards and a small population of Bonelli’s eagled. Botanists consider the gorge as important as that of Samaria.
  • Agios Antonios or Patsos gorge : This gorge is located 8 kilometres southwest of the Monastery of Arkad A beautiful attraction of the gorge is the cavernous church of Agios Antonios in the rocky walls, a former temple of Hermes. On the sides of the gorge there is an observation deck for birds in the area.
  • Kollita gorges : These 2 gorges are located 22 kilometres southwest of Rethymno city, close to Argyroupoli village. They are named so, as they consist of two parallel canyons that end near Kato Poros settlement and they are both part of the E4 European trail. The first gorge on the east is called Moudriano Gorge, while the west gorge is Kato Poros Gorge, mostly known as the main Kollita Gorge or Vilandredo. Hiking in the gorges is ideal for non-expert walkers as it is very easy and the beauty is amazing.
  • Petres gorge : Petres Gorge is located 13 kilometres west of Rethymno and its mouth is situated on the beach of Episkopi. The river of the gorge is fed by the waters of Kollita Gorges and the surrounding area, covering almost half Rethymnon Prefecture. It has water all year round and forms an important wetland of Crete, especially at its mouth near Episkopi. It is accessible by everyone and its ideal appropriate for swimming in the ponds formed along it. There is only one point that needs a little attention, where there are large rocks and require some climbing.
  • Mili Gorge : Mili Gorge is located north of the village Chromonastiri and south of Xero Chorio, and hosts a huge number of plants and trees, a real botanic garden. The abandoned village Mili, is found almost in the middle of the gorge. Its name is taken after the water mills that were housed in the gorge, about 30 of them. The villagers were mostly millers and almost all cereals in the region and the surrounding villages were milled at Mili.
  • Karantale gorge : Karantale Gorge is located in the center of Rethymno Prefecture and gets its name after the abandoned village of Karantale, which is located close to its entrance. The length of the gorge is about 3 kilometres and walking in it, is very easy.
  • Karines gorge : This small but impressive gorge lies approximately 2 kilometres northwest of the village Karines. This canyon is completely unknown as the entire surrounding area is not included in the tourist routes. However, the surrounding area has exceptional natural beauty and hosts one of the most impressive oak wood of Crete with huge ancient trees. This is one of the very few gorges in Crete formed in flysch grounds (and not in limestone). Along its route there are plane trees and there is water till early summer, shaping 4-5 beautiful waterfalls. Because the canyon is relatively wide crossing it does not require special equipment as there is always a passage to overcome the waterfalls.
  • Gallos gorge : The beautiful canyon Galliano starts southeast of Gallos and ends at the town of Rethymnon. It is 5.5 kilometres long and the walk is along a verdant ravine. Along the way we meet the mill of Saounatsides used till the 20th century, with traces of an old chapel next to it. In the gorge there is also the temple of Agios Antonios.
  • Platanias gorge : Platania Gorge is located in the Amari valley, 38 kilometres southeast of Rethymno, on the western outskirts of Psiloritis. It is a unique trail, with impressive cliffs, vertical limestone rocks, rock roofs and caves. You will meet the chapel of Agios Antonios built in the cave. The path, after the stone arch and the arch formed by the trunk of an olive tree, is quite dangerous for inexperienced climbers.
  • Margarites gorges : The series of small parallel gorges around the area of Margarites, Orthe and Eleftherna villages, are developed in white-yellow marly limestone of the Upper Miocene period (8-10 million years ago) as a result of the uplift of the whole area and the erosion by water. The most impressive characteristics of the gorges are the rich flora and the unique surroundings. Small tufts and /or copses of the horizontal branched cypresses (Cupressus sempervirens var horizontalis) are mixed with low shrubs, wild flowers and aromatic plants. Small paths have been developed by the Local Authorities that introduce visitors to the beauty of the area.
  • Arkadi gorge : The Gorge of Arkadi starts just north of the Arkadi monastery and after a scenic route of 2 hour, it ends near the village Pikris, where visitors can admire important Venetian architectural monuments. In the gorge of the exceptional natural beauty, the visitor has the opportunity to admire representative species of Cretan flora and fossils.
  • Agia fotia gorge : Eastern of Spili, next to the main road connecting Spili to Agia Galini, you will meet the chapel of Agia Fotini, also known as Agia Fotia. Next to the road, you will find the springs of Agia Fotia, an old mill and a quite high waterfall (in winter).
  • Smiiano Gorge or Kalamafka : This gorge is located north of the village Ano Meros. Through the gorge runs the Lygiotis river which is supplied by the valleys of Gerakari and the slopes of Samitos Mount. The 2.5 kilometres long canyon starts near the village Vrysses and next to the abandoned settlement of Smile. It is very wild and hiking especially in the initial part, with the many waterfalls, requires tough trekking from the sides. The highest jump from the many waterfalls with very deep ponds, is about 15m, probably the highest in Crete.
  • Idaion Antron : It is located on Psiloritis Mountain, 78 kilometres from the city of Rethymno. This is the cave where, according to mythology, Zeus, the father of the mortals and the gods, was raised. goddess Rea hid her newborn baby son, Zeus, in the cave to save him from Kronos, who used to eat his children, fearing that one of them might take his throne. Hidden in the cave, Zeus grew up with the milk of goat Amalthea and when he cried, the Kourites covered his cries by loudly beating their bronze shields. The cave, as it was associated with this myth, became very famous in ancient times and was a timeless worship centre from the Minoan times to the late Roman times.
  • Melidoni cave : Melidoni cave was the mythological home of the bronze giant Talos, who protected the island from enemies, making the rounds of twice a day. The legend says that Medea pulled out the nail which was closing the only vein, resulting in Talos to die from bleeding. The cave had been a place of worship during the classic years and has played an important role in later years, particularly in the Ottoman period. The cave can be visited.
  • Gerani cave : The cave is located in the west of Rethymnon near the homonymous village and discovered by accident in 1969, during the construction of the new national road.  It consists of six rooms with wonderful stalactites and the archaeological research in addition to three human skeletons, unearthed and numerous bone and stone tools from the Neolithic era. Also found great paleontological material that should have belonged to over a hundred endemic deer who should have died at the end of the Pleistocene era. The skeletons belonged to people who probably were trapped inside the cave, perhaps due to an earthquake. Yet, they have also found bones from numerous people of Candiacervus ropalophorus endemic deer that lived on the island during the Pleistocene era.
  • Afios Antonios cave : Agios Antonios cave is located in Patsos, Amari. It is another cave with devotional character a and, as proved by archaeological surveys, was an important center of worship of the Subminoan up to the Roman times. The Church located in the cave is dedicated to Saint Anthony, Saint of children. The cave can be visited.
  • Sfentoni Cave : Sfentoni lies in Zoniana Mylopotamou, about 45 kilometres from the city of Rethymno. It has a very rich decor of stalactites and stalagmites of different colors and shapes, that decorate the 14 rooms of the cave. Sfentoni cave belongs to the Natural Park of Psiloritis, which is protected by UNESCO. Its length is 550 meters and the total area covered is 3250 square meters. Archaeological survey identified Neolithic installation inside the cave. The cave can be visited.
  • Paul Faure cave : The cave is located north – east of the village Nithavris at an altitude of 700 metres, at position Kalikas. Its dimensions are 100 metres x 40 metres and has a maximum height of 20 metres. Apart from its many names (Onymahos, Kallika Trypa, Notiki Tripa Nithavris, Paul Faure Cave), the impressive entrance with the inscription with the ancient name “ONYMAXOC”, it hosts beautiful stalactites and hides a rich history that testifies that it was inhabited since ancient times. At the center of the first room of the underground, stands a huge stalagmite column that might was worshipped, because the ground around is full with pottery traces, dating from the 2nd millennium BC to the Roman times. It seems that it initially was a sacred cave of a Minoan settlement of the area.
  • Tafkoura cave : Tafkoura cave is located at Petradolakia at an altitude 1480 metres, approximately 13 kilometres south of Anogia village. It is classified as pothole and its explored depth is 860 metres and the total length is 6570 metres. It is considered as the largest and deepest cavern of Psiloritis Mountain and the 3rd in Greece. It is very impressive with many wells, rooms, long tunnels, rivers and meanders. Particularly impressive is the 20 metres high “Room of Rain” located at -220 metres, with many branches, wells and tunnels. It is considered that the waters of the cave communicate with the waters of “Tafkos” and “Diplotafki” caves and conclude at north coasts of Crete.
  • Mount of Ida or Psiloritis : The mountains of Ida, better known as Psiloritis, are located in the center of Crete and cover a large part of Heraklion and Rethymnon Prefectures. Among its many peaks and the offshoots of the main massif, the five highest peaks are the most dominant: Holy Cross (2456 metres), Agathias (2424 metres), Stolistra (2325 metres), Voulomenou (2267 metres) and Kousakas (2209 metres). Indeed the peak of the Holy Cross is just 3 metres higher than of the highest peak of the White Mountains (called Pahnes), being the highest point of Crete. Deep caves, karstic formations, deep gorges, small plateaus, pine and oak woods, villages on the edge of the cliff, bare alpine zones: all that make up the unique scenery Psiloritis.
  • Mount Kedros : Mount Kedros is located southwest of Psiloritis Range, with the valley of Amari shaped between them. The highest peak reaches 1777 metres. From afar it seems to have a conical shape (kentri), after which it takes its name. The mountains are mostly rocky, with bare rocks and wild gorges. At first glance one might say that the vegetation is very poor. However, Kedros has been included in the Natura 2000 network because of its exceptional biodiversity. Vegetation although limited in bushes and brushwood, consists of endemic and rare varieties of plants such as tulips, anemones, orchids, hyacinths, etc. Also, the steep and inaccessible slopes are perfect shelters for rare birds of prey such as hawks, vultures and golden eagles.
  • Dam of Potami : The artificial lake of Potami is shaped by the Potami dam, and was built in 2008. The dam is located in the verdant valley of Amari, 25 kilometres south of Rethymno. The quite new lake has a capacity of 23 million cubic meters and is expected to become one of the most important wetlands in the southeast Mediterranean. Already, many species of birds and animals have appeared in the area.
  • Orne Pond : The pond of Orne is located at an altitude of 300 metres at the southeastern slopes of Mount Kedros, only 500 metres northeast of the village Orne. This small natural lake is formed in the winter by the spring waters of the area transferred from the snowy peaks of Kedros. It is shaped at a small recess of the land covering an area of approximately 40500 square metres, surrounded by dense olive groves. In summer the area gets dry.

There are quite a few small rivers that can be found within the Prefecture of Rethymno, such as River Kourtaliotis, Geropotamos River and Lygiotis River.

Paximadia islands : Paximadia Islands are two small uninhabited islets of the Gulf of Messara, 12 kilometres south of Agia Galini. By far they seem like a single island because they are very close. You may also hear locals refer to these as “Elephant”, since from afar they remind of a lying elephant. Their total length is about 3 kilometres. Almost nobody knows that there are beaches on Paximadia, since they are thought to be two large dry rocks in the sea. However, there is a magnificent protected beach with crystal clear waters and fantastic pebbles on the south side of the easternmost island.

  • Fortetza Fortress : The castle of Fortetza is built on the Hill of “Paleokastro”, North of the modern city. On the hill that there was the Acropolis of the ancient city of Rithymna, where the sanctuary of the Goddess Artemis was also located. The carvings that have been found in various parts of the Hill, bear witness to the existence of the Citadel on the rock. The castle was built during the Venetian period and was founded on September 13, 1573. It is a construction which help in overcoming enemy raids. The total length of the castle is 1307 meters and includes four bastions (St. Luke, St. Elias, St. Paul, St. Nicholas) and three peaks (Holy Spirit, Saint Justina, Saint Sozon). The main gate is located east of the fortress between the bastions of St. Paul and of St. Nicholas. The location was the best, since the East was less risk and had direct contact with the city. The gateway consists of a Grand Lodge that passes between the walls, (26, length 80 m and platoys3 m) tall enough to allow movement of soldiers, wagons and cannons. On the north side of the tunnel, there are three areas (outposts) formatted in the backfilling of the wall. The doorframe is arced, built from rectangular stones with bases and capitals. Over the key of the arc formed rectangular recess in which was the emblem of Venice.
  • Arkadi Monastery : The Arkadi Monastery, one of the most important historical monuments of modern Crete, is located 23 kilometres south – east of Rethymno city, on the Northwest slopes of the Psiloritis mountain at an altitude of approximately 500 metres. According to the inscription, which has been preserved on the frontal support of the belfry, the church was built in 1587 that is during the period of the Venetian occupation on Crete. This explains the plethora of architectural elements of the Renaissance, which the visitor will notice at first sight. According to records the Byzantine Emperor Heraklios founded the Holy Monastery of Arkadi, whereas the Emperor Arkadios, whose name was taken by the monastery, carried out its construction during the 5th century. However, scientists support the opinion that both the monastery’s foundation and its name are owed to a monk called Arkadios. Inscriptions testify that the two-aisled church in the centre of the monastery was built in 1587 and dedicated to Aghios Konstantinos and the Transfiguration of the Saviour. The Monastery of Arkadi became beyond any doubt the symbol of self-sacrifice and freedom during the revolution of 1866-1869, particularly since the besieged inhabitants sacrificed themselves and preferred to die rather than to surrender to the Turks. The brave hand of Kostis Giampoudakis from the village of Adele did not hesitate to set fire to the ammunition chamber, where the besieged had gathered, thus blowing up the entire monastery and turning it into a symbol of bravery and freedom. The sacred banner of the revolution as well as other relics such as monastery utensils, gold embroidered vestments and weapons are on exhibition in the Monastery Museum.
  • The Fort of Monopari : After the 4th Crusade, Crete fell into the hands of Bonifacio I del Monferrato, who sold it to the Venetians after some time. However, in 1206, the Genoese pirate Enrico Pescatore occupied the island, fortified it and Venice only managed to recuperate it in 1210. One of the fortresses built by Pescatore was the Monopari (Bonripario), the last traces of which are visible from the peak of the steep hill Kastellos near the village Ano Valsamonero. A wall was built only on the northern side of the hill, as the remaining area was naturally fortified and inaccessible. Despite the fact that the fortress has not been restored, one can see two series of walls on the northern side with three towers at the entrance, as well as the vestiges of three edifices, two of which were possibly warehouses, as well as a cistern and a well.
  • Ancient Eleftherna : The ancient city Eleftherna is located on the north – western foot of Mount Ida, approximately 30 kilometres south of Rethymnon, 380 metres above sea level. The city’s excavated remains belong to various periods. The city was allegedly named after Elefthereas, one of the Kourites, or after Demeter Elefthous. Eleftherna was the birthplace of poet Linos, philosopher Diogenes, lyric poet Ametor and sculptor Timochares.
  • Ancient Lappa : Parts of the ancient city Lappa have been discovered, which date from the Geometric Times to the Roman Times However, most of the finds date back to the Hellenistic and early Roman times, attesting the prosperity of the area in those years. It is also known from literary texts that Lappa was one of the most important cities of western Crete that flourished in the Roman times. It was destroyed by Metellus in 68 B.C. but after 31 B.C. a new, more glamorous city was built, which had spas and its own currency. In recent years, an extensive Roman cemetery has been discovered at the position «Pente Parthenes».
  • Armeni Ancient Cemetery : The layout of the cemetery seems to have been carefully pre-planned. All the tombs are rock-chiselled chamber tombs with a “dromos”, with the exception of the built “tholos tomb” no. 200. Unworked stones and pyramidal or slab stelae were erected over the tombs as markers. They were all family tombs, containing multiple burials, either placed directly on the floor or inside larnakes. The grave offerings – pottery, weapons, tools and jewellery – provide us with useful information on the art, the religion and the social organization of that period.
  • Axos : In the area of the modern village Axos the ancient city Oaxos existed once, one of the most important cities of ancient Greece, which flourished from the late Minoan and the Geometric Times until after the Roman times. The archaeological excavation has revealed abundant remains of the ancient city, including Aphrodite’s Temple, the Prytaneum, graves and various architectural remnants. The wall of the acropolis must have been impressive. Parts of it are still visible on the top of the hill. Remains of buildings of the classical times were also found. Other buildings were built over them later, mainly Byzantine churches.
  • Vaulted tomb of Fylaki : On a hillslope, at a distance of 1 kilometre northwest of the village Fylaki, an important vaulted tomb of the Late Minoan period III has been excavated. A long and narrow downhill “dromos” leads to a square chamber on which a pyramid-shaped roof is based. The tomb is chiselled on limestone and its chamber is made of elaborate limestone blocks. The “dromos” is also chiselled on the natural rock. Some stones of the roof of the “tholos” are missing, as the tomb had been looted from there at an unknown time. At that time or later the barrier of the entrance was also destroyed. The exact number of graves is not known, although remains of bones were found scattered everywhere. The bones of at least one adult and one child have been identified. Fire traces along with burnt cattle bones indicate that an animal had been sacrificed at the site. Inside the tomb many important funerary gifts were found.