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Kourtaliotiko Gorge, Plakias
(4.7/5 based on 200+ reviews on the web)
The Kourtaliotiko Gorge, also known as the Asomatos Gorge, is a gorge on the southern side of the western part of the island of Crete. It is situated where the Kourtaliotiko River flows southwards between the mountains of Kouroupa and Xiron.The village of Koxare is at the northern end of the gorge. A road runs north to south through the gorge connecting Koxare to Asomatos; it then leads west, to the town of Plakias on the southern coast of Crete.There is a small church (Agios Nikolaos) in the gorge and a 40-metre-high waterfall.The cliffs on the side of the gorge provide a roosting site for the Lammergeier vulture.There is a specific point on the gorge, about 20 metres from the northern entrance, some "claps" can be heard, like hands coming together. These "claps" are the "kourtala", that give the name to the gorge. These are a consequence of the wind being funnelled through the high caves of the gorge and breaking the sound barrier. The point near the northern entrance is the main point where this sound can be heard.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Here you will pass on the way to Plakias, if you take the route via Asomatos coming from Rethimnon. Really impressive! A huge stone Canyon, a (sometimes dry) course of the River below, and a small chapel, which is embedded in the rock wall. Very nice!
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  • amazing and stunning landscape a must see for travellers to this region truly spectacular a natural wonder 
  • This Gorge is one of the most spectacular sights of the island. You don't drive past it on the way to the Libyan Sea in Preveli. Stop and stroll. Feel the power of nature.
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Google
  • When your journey goes along this street, you have to make a stop at this mint location. Its a very windy place, but impressive too.
  • After 16 years of Cretan holidays the drive through the gorge still takes my breath away. First timers should always approach from the north to get the full effect. Watch you hats if it's windy
  • The road to the gorge have some stunning scenery, be sure to leave your hat's and caps in the car. It's very windy there.
  • Beautiful. Truly scenic. You feel like your walking in the footsteps of Zeus. Several great panorama/pic opportunities.
  • Just an information: I had been there in July 2016, the river bed was dry, no water, and no cascade as you can see in the pictures. Perhaps this is just the beginning of the gorge and the cascade is some kilometers down the gorge.