Imbros Gorge, Crete 1998

The second week we rented a car, which gave us a lot more freedom to travel farther afield. We drove to Hora Sfakion on the south coast. From the road through the White Mountains we could look down on the Imbros Gorge. On another day we hiked the Imbros Gorge (we were too early in the season to hike the Samaria Gorge; the danger of sudden floods is too high), then drove along the south coast eastwards to Frangokastello and on to Moni Preveli before turning northward for "home".

Imbros Gorge from road above
Looking down on the Imbros Gorge from the road to Hora Sfakion. This photo is looking north towards the head of the gorge.

Imbros Gorge from above. The flowers in the foreground are yellow asphodel (Asphodeline lutea).

Imbros Gorge from road above
Imbros Gorge near top
The path through the gorge is obviously the riverbed. We checked the weather very carefully before starting out. A sudden downpour in the mountains can quickly change a dry riverbed into a raging torrent.

Evidence of past floods in the gorge - this dead tree looked like a giant antler.

Dead tree in Imbros Gorge
Imbros Gorge

The gorge is getting deeper - the walls are at least 20 metres high.

There is a surprising number of trees and plants growing in the gorge. Many are quite rare species that have adapted to the very special habitat in the gorge.
Imbros Gorge
Imbros Gorge gets narrow
The gorge is getting narrow...
...and narrower...
Imbros Gorge gets narrower
Imbros Gorge get narrowest
...and narrowest. I could touch both walls with outstretched arms. One wouldn't want to be caught here in a flash flood!
Bill emerging from the narrows into the sunshine. Not a rain cloud in sight.
Imbros Gorge leaving first narrows
Imbros Gorge - 2nd narrows
The walls are closing in again.
The gorge is getting very narrow again.
Imbros Gorge 2nd narrower
Imbros Gorge - Bill in 2nd narrows
Not much sunshine down here. Bill is trying to estimate how high the walls around him are.
Nearly at the end. Here the path is roughly paved with stones. The Imbros Gorge used to be the main way to Hora Sfakion on the south coast before the road over the mountains was built. Back then donkeys were the main mode of transport.
Imbros Gorge old road
Stone arch in Imbros Gorge
A final surprise before we reach the sea. Here the river has cut an archway through the stone. The man standing at the left side of the arch gives you an idea of the size.
We drove the car to the village at the end of the gorge and took a taxi back to the top, so we didn't have to hike back up the gorge.
From Imbros village to the sea is about 8 km, is downhill all the way and took us just over 2 hours.
We then drove eastwards along the south coast to Frangokastello.

All photographs are my property and may not be copied or used without my written permission.

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November 19, 2013
©copyright 1998, 2004 Vicki Sherwood

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