Kourtaliotiko Gorge, Plakias

#4 of 21 in Things to do in Plakias
Wildlife Area · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
The Kourtaliotiko Gorge (Greek: Κουρταλιώτικο Φαράγγι), also known as the Asomatos Gorge

(Greek: Φαράγγι Ασώματου), is a gorge on the southern side of the western part of the island of Crete.

It is situated where the Kourtaliotiko River flows southwards between the mountains of Kouroupa and Xiron.

The village of Koxare is at the northern end of the gorge. A road runs north to south through the gorge connecting Koxare to Asomatos; it then leads west, to the town of Plakias on the southern coast of Crete.

There is a small church (Agios Nikolaos) in the gorge and a 40-metre-high waterfall.

The cliffs on the side of the gorge provide a roosting site for the Lammergeier vulture.
There is a specific point on the gorge, about 20 metres from the northern entrance, some "claps" can be heard, like hands coming together. These "claps" are the "kourtala", that give the name ο Κουρταλιώτης ( o Kourtaliotis , "the rattle" and "the noisy") to the gorge. These are a consequence of the wind being funnelled through the high caves of the gorge and breaking the sound barrier. The point near the northern entrance is the main point where this sound can be heard.

The gorge leads to a sandy beach Preveli, and is inhabited by native palm trees. An experienced hiker could follow the path across the river in order to reach the beach. It takes about 2 and a half hours at an average pace. However, there is an alternative path, one parallel to the river, which easier and faster to walk through.

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Kourtaliotiko Gorge reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
310 reviews
  • We go through here several times every summer on the way to the Plakias beaches. Good stopping point for the views.  more »
  • Not the Samaria Gorge, but equally good, and almost no people. It takes around 1, 1h30 to walk to Preveli Beach, if you start from the old bridge. If you do the hole track, it takes around 5h. It is.....  more »
  • Very pretty. Steep way to get there unless you park at other Beach and pay for a boat across. Gets busy. Little Cafe available. Worth a visit
  • The water was absolutely amazing! To get to it you have to climb down/over a few rocks wich can be difficult for some but after a little work you will be rewarded with a beautiful view and crystal clear mountain water.
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