Nature Trails

Balos Lagoon Beach

Balos Lagoon beach is located about 60 kilometers northwest to Chania city and at the end of the Gramvousa peninsula in Kissamos. The turquoise waters and a mix of white fine sand and pink miniscule fractions of seashells contribute to a unique scenery.

Balos can be reached through a truck road from Kaliviani village about 10 kilometers long preferably with a 4-wheel car or through an organized (day long) boat excursion from Kissamosharbor which also makes a stop at the Gramvousa island opposite with a deserted Venetian castle on top and a breathtaking view to the gulf of Kissamos.

Samaria Gorge

Samaria Gorge is part of the White Mountains’ National Park,the only national park in Crete. It centres around the Samaria gorge, at an altitude of 1,200m and continues down to AgiaRoumeli, on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding slopes and a number of smaller gorges branching off from it, Samaria Gorge forms the whole of the area designated as a national park, a status that offers protection to over 450 species of plant and animal, 70 of which are endemic to Crete. The Samaria gorge is the longest in Europe (total length 16km), and one of the most impressive gorges in Greece. It starts from Xyloskalo, at an altitude of 1,230m. Thewidth of the gorge is 150m at its widest point and 3m at its narrowest.

Elafonisi Beach

Elafonisi (or Elafonissos) is a small islet connected to the rest of Crete by a shallow reef that can be crossed when the sea is calm. This islet lies 82 km northwest of Chania town and can be reached by boat from Paleohora or by car from the village of Vathi, until a point and then cross the reef. Elafonisi (Island of Deer) is like paradise on earth and has a wonderful beach with pink coral sand and crystalline waters. It is considered as one of the most beautiful beaches in the country.

Therisso Gorge

The Gorge of Therisso (named also Eleftherios Venizelos) is located near the city of Chania. You can go there by car. The main gorge is six kilometers long. The vertical cliffs are impressive and the lush vegetation has nothing to envy of the other Chania Gorges. The place deserves a visit, even with a vehicle, cobined with a visit in the historical beautiful village of Therisso, that is built at the foot of the White Mountains at an altitude of 580 meters, just 15 kilometers from the city of Chania. A visit here is something that will remain unforgettable to every visitor.

Lake Kournas

Lake Kournas is the largest natural lake in Crete and is located in an enchanting landscape, between the west slopes of the White Mountains and the fertile plane of Georgioupolis. It is located near the village Kournas, 2.5km south of the beach of Georgioupolis, 43km east of Chania and 20km west of Rethymnon. Lake Kournas and its surroundings constitute a very important ecosystem for Greece, as the wider area of Apokoronas is one of the very few areas of Crete where plenty of fresh water is stored throughout the year.

Lake Ayia

Located only 10 kilometers west of Chania, near the small village AgiaAgia Lake (also known as LimniAgias) is a popular place for birdwatching. The small lake houses over 200 species of migratory and native birds, as well as insects such as dragonflies and although it is artificial, it is part of the Natura 2000 network due to its biodiversity. The lake’s waters come from the mountains known as Lefka Ori and the river Xekolomeno and they do not dry out during the summer. A stroll around the lake will allow you to explore the thriving ecosystem and admire both the naturally occurring and the planted vegetation. The best times of the year to go there for birdwatching are autumn and spring. It is also recommended to visit the lake early in the morning or before sunset.
The tourist facilities available in this area include two cafes that have become quite popular due to the views. While walking around the lake, you will get to see the former hydroelectric power plant, a bridge and the old Church of Panagia.


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