Sfakia report, April 29th - lower Ilingas Gorge Everything you want to ask, read or write about Sfakia, southwest Crete, or Crete island in general.

jean h
Posts: 106
Joined: 15 Sep 2020, 21:28

Sfakia report, April 29th - lower Ilingas Gorge

by jean h » 30 Apr 2022, 15:28

The weather was warm and the atmosphere a bit heavy with Sahara dust. A group of us decided to walk up the Ilingas gorge to the first rock wall you have to climb, then turn back. The old kaldirimi (footpath) from Sfakia to Anopoli crosses the gorge, but it seems like few people explore the gorge itself.

Looking down on Ilingas beach from the road, we could see they have put in more poles for umbrellas and are getting the small cave cleared so they can put the drinks refrigerator and kayak equipment inside. The Ilingas rooms have been divided up amongst cousins, we have been told, so the taverna and landward rooms are a separate business from the seaward rooms, and the beach chairs and umbrellas are run by one of them. It seemed they were getting ready to open for the 1st/2nd of May. Cretan ebony has finally started coming into bloom on the cliff before the gorge, as have the oleanders along the road.

Ilingas beach.JPG

Ebenus cretica.JPG

The walk up the Ilingas gorge is steeper than it may seem at first, and the gorge bottom surface is quite uneven so it’s slow going, but the topography is interesting and changes around each bend, with huge hollows high up in some of the cliffs and swirls of different coloured rock layers. The wall of boulders that we stopped at can be scaled (we’ve done it in previous years), but this was just meant to be a short hike today so we turned back.

Ilingas gorge.JPG

rock layers.JPG

Ilingas gorge rock wall.JPG

In the gorge we found some campanula starting to bloom, and all three types of poppies within a few feet of each other. There were many dragon arums blooming, but many had started to wilt, giving off the smell of dead goats, so we hurried through those sections.


Papaver purpureomarginatum.JPG

Papaver argemone.JPG

Papaver rhoeas.JPG

Dracunculus vulgaris.JPG

We got back to Sfakia as the wind picked up, and there were uncomfortable cold gusts of wind much of the evening, and again in the night.

Today (the 30th), the weather is perfect, and many people have been swimming.

kokkinos vrachos
Posts: 90
Joined: 01 Nov 2020, 20:35
Location: Hamburg

Hike: Ilingis Gorge (Kavros Gorge) - Ilingis Beach

by kokkinos vrachos » 30 Apr 2022, 22:13

I hiked the Ilingis gorge from top to bottom.

The descent into the gorge to the chapel Timios Stavros takes 15 minutes. There are new red color macations above.

The gorge is sometimes very narrow in the upper part. The narrow areas are a little reminiscent of the narrow place in the Imbros Gorge. You move forward quickly and after 1 hour the Anopoli -Limnia gravel road comes on the right side, which leads into the gorge. There are two larger cisterns on the left. Were well whispered.

Then it continues in the lower part of the gorge, where the two climbing points come. There are 2 smaller climbing points and two larger climbing points. You have to look a good place and then climb down carefully.

The gorge always makes curves and it continues downhill. Sometimes the gorge is narrow, sometimes wider. Unfortunately there is also a lot of garbage in the lower part. Also a lot of skeletons of young goats.

After 90 minutes you can see the sea for the first time. After 5 minutes, the old Kalderimi comes on the right and left. The climb from Kalderimi to Chora Sfakion is broken.

After 15 minutes the Chora Sfakion street comes to Anopoli, and a few minutes later you are on the Ilingis beach.

The many curves, the changing width and the climbing points make the Ilingis gorge a little interesting. However, it is annoying that you run on gray gravel all the time (as in the Sfakion gorge). This is boring in the long run .....

The Ilingis Gorge did not make it among my top 5 of the gorges.

I climbed at 12 p.m. and I was on the Ilingis beach at 4:20 p.m. Pure walking time approx. 3.50h. + 30 minutes break.
"I hope nothing, I fear nothing, I am free."
Nikos Kazantzakis

Posts: 25
Joined: 29 Nov 2015, 10:27

Re: Sfakia report, April 29th - lower Ilingas Gorge

by Joan » 01 May 2022, 10:12

Super pictures Jean h! Thank you


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