Agios Nikolaos gorge

The gorge of Agios Nikolaos is considered as the most important gorge of Psiloritis and of Central Crete

The gorge of Agios Nikolaos is flanked by the peaks of Ambelakia, to the east, and Samari, to the west. It is considered as the most important gorge of Psiloritis and of Central Crete, and it was named after the Byzantine chapel of Agios Nikolaos which is located at its southern entrance. It extends along the imposing southern part of Psiloritis, from the north heading south, and it connects Rouvas forest to the north with the valley of Koutsoulidis river to the south, in the Zaros area.

The gorge is 4 kilometres long in total. It begins north of the chapel of Agios Ioannis, where there is a recreation area, and ends up at the Monastery of Agios Nikolaos, to the south. Passing through the gorge takes 4 hours. 

The largest section of the route, which is 2,7 kilometres long, is landscaped and ideal for mild recreational activities, such as walking, mountaineering, rock climbing. This magnificent environment is also great for those who love nature and enjoy watching wildlife species in their habitat.  

Indeed, this is one of the richest ecosystems in Greece, rich in flora and fauna, and full of breathtaking ravines, interesting geological formations and vertical slopes of rare beauty. Up until the beginnings of the 20th century it was a Cretan wild goat habitat. In 1994, though, a certain part of the forest was destroyed at the southern entrance, due to an extensive fire. 

  • Tips, Suggestions, Iseful info
  • History, Culture
  • What to do (Activities)
  • What to see (Culture, Nature)

Additional Info

  • region Zaros - Rouvas Forest, Phaistos, Heraklio
  • activities Hiking, Mountaineering, Climbing, Bird Watching
  • suggested period

    All year round

  • path description

    Ε4.57 Rouvas - Zaros

  • path length

    5 km (10 miles roundtrip from Rouvas Forest)

  • difficulty level

    Relatively easy trail, quite tiring though (especially in case of a roundtrip: Zaros-Rouvas-Zaros); altitude difference of 540 meters

  • relevant routes

    Heraklion - Krousonas - Zaros

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