Agia Irini gorge in Selino of Chania area, a 4 hrs descend (9 km) from Agia Eirini to Sougia. The village of Agia Irini is located in the north side of the gorge, a very beautiful scenery and officially the E4 European path and is the second most visited gorge of Crete.
Where is Agia Irini gorge
Agia Irini gorge is one of Crete’s best place to visit. It is a very interesting gorge to walk, it is the second most difficult gorge after Samaria and it is not recommended to those who are not in good health. The gorge is located south of Selino area, the neighbor gorge to Samaria and the second in distance long after Samaria gorge.
How is the landscape looking like in through Agia Irini gorge?
Agia Irini gorge is starting with rough terrain and in some parts become very steep and dangerous-if you donot wear the proper shoes. The terrain is for adventure and is really good to walk it with friends, never alone, as it hides some difficult parts where you may get hurt.
How could someone go to Agia Irini gorge
If you wish to visit the gorge the opposite way, then Sougia beach is the place you should visit to start entering the gorge, as it is in the south exit of the gorge.
Driving by car
The village and beach of Sougia is located on the southwestern coast of Chania prefecture, about 70 kilometers far from Chania city, you can hire a car to drive to Sougia and the trip will take over 1 hour and 25minutes for the 70 kilometers distance.
Sailing by ferry
There are ferry boats going to Sougia from Paleochora, Agia Roumeli, Loutro and Chora Sfakion. The village is quite remote and only one road reaches it, making it a very peaceful summer destination in Crete.
Drive by local bus
The local bus company drives with urban bus 2-3times a day depending on the period. The way is 70km distance and the time needed to get there is 2hours.
Where is the trailhead startpoint
From the entrance of the gorge of Agia Irini , it is very close to the main road of the village, to the exit of the gorge at the Oasis Taverna the walk is 7.5 km long and the descent is around 560 m. It takes around 3-4 hours to walk on a well maintained path. Most of the gorge is in the shade with plenty of pine trees, plane trees and oleander bushes.
Opening times of Agia Irini gorge – Best Time to Visit:
The gorge is open all year around but there is a small river running through it and after heavy rains it could make parts of the gorge impassable or unsafe, donot risk walking it when the weather is rainy.
When During the tourist season (from April to October) a small fee of 2 Euro is taken at the entrance of the gorge (or exit if you are walking up the gorge from Sougia). The fee is used to pay for maintenance of the path, rubbish collection and generally making sure that things are OK along the walking distance.
Select an organized transfer and guided walk through Agia Irini gorge
There are many local travel agents who do day trips to walk the Agia Irini gorge in all major tourist areas and towns. The most of visitors select this way. It is safer, organized, there are groups with specific number of people and walking procedure is easier. You cannot risk walking alone.
What is prohibited to do in Agia Irini Gorge
- Destroying or removing Park technical works and materials.
- Cutting trees and bushes, uprooting and collecting plants and seeds.
- Collecting and transporting plant soil and firewood.
- Lighting fires in general and smoking in all areas apart from the recreational areas.
- Camping in any form and staying the night within the Park.
- The free movement of any animals accompanying visitors.
- Hunting of all animals in Samaria gorge.
- Swimming in the Park’s rivers and streams.
- Dumping waste in areas other than the waste bins.
How to sail with a ferry to Agia Irini gorge?
The port of Chora Sfakion is the closest port, you cal also sail from Agia Roumeli. The ferry departs and stops over to Loutro village and then to Agia Roumeli and Sougia.
Hotels or accommodation to Stay Near Agia Irini Gorge
There are numerous of accommodation to stay while visiting south Crete. The most important is you make sure you booked an accommodation to Sougia village or to Chora Sfakion, the closest places to the gorge or from Agia Roumeli.
Taverns to Eat Near Agia Irini Gorge
There is a well organized community in Agia Irini village and in Sougia, where you have the chance to stay for a night or to enjoy your meal in a very beautiful tavern.