A Beautiful Gorge in the Middle of Crete
by / Juhani

Updated 06.04.2014

Patsos is a verdant and especially in the early parts easy gorge in the middle of the island, southeast from Rethymno. After the easier few hundred metres in the beginning, the gorge turns more and more difficult especially for steep descents and ascents, or slippery surfaces during rainy periods. There is a trail on both sides of the gorge. Both trails are worth taking, and the choice has to be made at the first bridge into the gorge. There are no services in the gorge, and our experiences reviewed here limit to the first half of the gorge. The gorge requires normal health and condition, and is not suitable for anyone suffering from fear of heights or vertigo, except for the first few hundred meters in the beginning.

The gorge is verdant almost throughout the year. It is quite narrow and the trees shade the trail nicely. The St. Antonius chapel is at the end of the easy part. It is an interesting site, as local people bring there according to traditional Cretan habits symbolic items or pictures in metal sheets about things that burden them or to which they wish the saint would heal or make better. There are for example many walking sticks, which people who wish they could walk have left there in order to heal. A lot of prayers are asked for children from St. Antonius.

Inside the chapel of St. Antonius.

The chapel of St. Antonius is at a place where different cults have been known from as early as the Minoan period. Archaeological findings date back as far as 2000 BC, and different types of worship and services were carried out as late as during the Roman period around 400 AD.

There are several fine details in the gorge. In the picture is one of them, an exceptional dripstone kind of section of the cliff.
There are many different kinds of rocky surfaces in the gorge. On the left side of the gorge the trail descents quickly to the bottom of the gorge, where the sound of the flowing brook mixes with the rustling sound of the gigantic trees. 

From the Patsos gorge you can climb up to the top of the rock with a scenery view, provided that your condition and courage stand up for the challenge. 
There is a ladder and a bridge on a serpentine trail in a steep cliff after about a half an hour of hiking on the right side of the gorge.

Additional Information:

Coordinates for Patsos Gorge: 35°15’17.46″N 24°34’11.93″E