The Ha gorge (XA in Greek) or the Thripti gorge. Information about the hike: This is an easy hike, where you cannot get lost, through the smallest part of Crete (12 kilometres from North to South Crete). This walk is approximately 5-6 kilometres, but it is also possible to extend this hike up to 10 kilometres.
Special remarks: Do not hike or climb through this gorge by yourself, but always accompanied with a canyon club or climbing instructor.
Hiking time: this is not a long hike, you will walk about 2 – 2,5 hours. Height differences: there are no big differences in height with this hike, only about 100-150 meters.
Equipment fort his hike: sport or hiking shoes. We advise you to also take enough water with you. Marking for this hike: this hiking tour is not marked, but you will see several E4 signs along the way. When you are in the village of Monastiraki, you should not follow these E4 signs anymore!
Walking season: This walk is suitable for summer and winter. After rain, this gorge will become a big waterfall!
Ha gorge on Crete – The Ha gorge is a canyon you cannot climb through without proper experience
The Ha gorge is a real big canyon, we do not advise you to go climbing by yourself without proper experience. From Pachia Ammos you can already see the Ha gorge in front of you, an impressive gap in the mountains! We have created a nice hike for you, but we will not climb through the gorge by ourselves. You will pass the beginning of the gorge, where you have beautiful views in the gorge and the surrounding nature.
The Ha gorge is considered to be one of the most beautiful and challenging canyons of Crete, but is not accessible without climbing experience and climbing gear. The river that ends in the Ha gorge, begins all the way up in the village Thripti, an E4 walking area on Crete.
Walking around the Ha gorge: You arrive from Agios Nikolaos and will pass through the village Pachia Ammos towards Ierapetra. After 2 kilometres our hike starts at the E4 route going to the village of Monastiraki. This E4 route has been marked with several signs. The hiking trail goes all the way to Thripti and Kavousi, but this will be about 30 kilometres climbing and descending through the mountains.
You walk through the olive fields and will enter the village of Monastiraki, a nice old village with natural stone houses. In the village are a small tavern, old Greek houses and an old olive factory. This old olive factory is not in use anymore, but all the equipment is still there. You can see the old mill stones and olive presses. When you walk through the olive fields you are able to see the Ha gorge on your right. You will see a small church just outside the village with impressive old graves. You can enjoy the splendid views to the entrance of the Ha gorge.
Ha gorge on Crete – Visiting the Ha gorge
Visiting the Ha gorge (XA): Keep on descending and follow the riverbed, where you can see another nice old Cretan church. From this point, you hike slowly up to the Ha gorge. From below the gorge you can see how incredible high this gorge actually is. You will see different layers of rock formations in different colours. Going to your left, you see some dots on the rocks. Here you could climb to a plateau higher up, to look into the Ha gorge even better. Be careful though, it is a steep climb! Once you are up on the plateau, you are able to see all the way to Agios Nikolaos.
In the gorge is on the left a metal cable where you can find support. This is the way to get into the first part of the canyon, with an amazing view above you. The stones have different beautifull colours: yellow, black, grey, red, rosé, etc. After heavy rain it is not possible to get here, since it is too dangerous. On your right you see an old water integration system. It looks like a hiking trail, but it is not made for hiking and can be pretty dangerous! We advise you to hike back and do not follow the other spots and marks in the gorge. These dots are there for the canyon club and this route is too dangerous to climb by yourself.
After the Ha gorge: Follow the river while descending, pass the old water mill on the left, back to the olive fields. Through the beautiful olive trees, you hike towards the small village Vasiliki. Vasiliki will be your orientation point, until you are back on the main road towards Ierapetra and Agios Nikolaos at the crossing towards Vasiliki. Now you are back at the start of your hike.
You can extend your trail by hiking up to the village of Vasiliki, past a Minoan archaeological site to the village centre. In the village is a path that brings you back through the olive fields to your original starting point.
The Ha gorge (XA) is a part of the E4 route at Thripti, Crete.
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