Mili gorge on Crete, Greece (Rethymnon) The Mili gorge is a fairly easy gorge to walk and starts at the small village Xiro Chorio. The vegetation in the gorge is absolutely stunning. The whole area feels like a jungle with foliage all around, it even has a small creek. The trail is a beautiful old kalderini that has a long and rich history. In between the amazing greenery you will see small empty houses and a tiny deserted village. Many small churches can be admired as well.
Description of the Mili gorge: We start at Xiro Chorio where we will walk down through the village passing typical Greek houses through pretty white streets. At the end of the village the road goes down quite steep. Here we will keep holding left directly to the Mili gorge: don’t panic, there are small signs everywhere. The Mili gorge starts with beautiful fruit trees with oranges, mandarins and lemons. The path takes us further down to the small river that has a flow of water all year round. The pretty stream is never an obstacle though, one can always cross it. After a while we will pass a small white and red church that is an oasis of peace and quiet, perfect for a break. The path now leads us further down to a small deserted village. You can look into all the old houses but do not climb on top cause they might crumble. Through the village we walk up and take a left turn where we will follow the path above the river, passing interesting tunnels and beautiful rock formations.
On your right you will be able to see old sandstone formations that actually show the creation of Crete by all the changing layers: a true paradise for geologists. Further along we will see some small waterfalls with water so clear you could easily drink it. After passing a few more deserted houses we will encounter a watermill with a working mill stone. We will keep following the path until we hit a small church with a cemetery. Here you will be greeted by the most beautiful see views ever: you can even look through the whole gorge. This is the perfect place for bird spotters since a variety of birds fly from one tree to the other. The next deserted village offers a working tavern. You will be delighted by the supply system the tavern uses. A rickety cable cart is attached to ropes leading to the other side of the gorge…. The supplies are simply pulled in at a dazzling height. Food and drinks are great here so a nice stop for lunch. Whenever you are ready you can walk back through the gorge or take one of the alternative routes.
Mili gorge information: The gorge is located about 7 km south of the city Rethymnon (also known as Rethimno). One can hike through the gorge all year round. In summer it is a nice and cool spot, in winter the gorge might be a bit of a challenge after a rainy day due to all the water. The hike through the gorge and back is only 9 km but can be expanded to 14 km. You can reach the gorge either by taxi from Rethymnon or with a rented car. Your hike starts in Xiro Chorio where you could start your day with a necessary dose of caffeine at the kafeneion next to the church.
Possibilities for the Mili gorge hike: The gorge itself has a length of only 4,5 km but offers possibilities to expand. First option is as described above: start at Xiro Chorio, walk till the tavern, have lunch and turn back. This is a hike of about 9 km and is not boring since the gorge looks totally different when walking back. The second option starts at the same spot but we walk around back to Xiro Chorio. After the tavern we keep going straight through the gorge till the end where long stairs lead us out of the gorge. At the top of the stairs we turn right and follow the road going around the gorge back to Xiro Chorio. This hike is about 12 km. The last and longest option is as above, but in stead of right at the top of the stairs, we turn left. We will follow this asphalt road till we take the first possible left after about 3,5 km. We will follow this path all the way down where we will follow the path of the next gorge back to Xiro Chorio. This last option is about 14 km.