Plakias to Elofonissi

For discussion, news, comments, questions and information about Crete & Greece.
Graeme
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Postby Graeme » Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:27 pm

Kilkis wrote:
George wrote:...As I suffer from a form of vertigo...
I've always wanted to do a gorge or two...


I'm not sure vertigo and walking down gorges go together that well? Some of the paths are pretty steep with drops to the sides. Perhaps worth driving to the top of Samaria and stand looking down for a bit before you commit?

Warwick


George, I wouldn't worry about doing the Samaria gorge, I suffer from vertigo to and did the Samaria gorge with no problems, it is steep in places but no sheer drops near the edge of the path, besides the scenery will keep your eyes and mind focused on the surrounding views . :D

George
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Postby George » Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:02 pm

It tends to be vertical drops that set it off. I'm fine with, say, castle ramparts where you look over at an angle. If however I climb on the rampart and look straight down, then I tend to fall over. Looking down steep hills is alright, but looking over cliffs is a no no.

Clio
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Postby Clio » Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:11 pm

Imbros gorge is quite a pleasant, undemanding walk without vertigo inducing heights.

As is the Agia Irini gorge, for which Sougia is the perfect base.

George, I would second Graeme's excellent suggestion, but with a couple of modifications. Agia Irini instead of Samaria, and a bit of a cross-country adventure to start with. As has been said above, roads in the south-west have to go with the (mostly north-south) grain of the mountains or to follow the coastal plains, but you can get from Plakias to Chora Sfakion without a) going up to Vrisses and then down, or b) taking the shadeless, featureless seaside route via Frangocastello.

Head via Mirthios up the Kotsifou gorge, turn left to Kali Sikia, then via Velonado to Arghyroupoli (Lappa). If you don't know the latter, it's a delightful, interesting place well worth a visit in its own right.

But for this longer excursion you pass through, maybe after lunch in the lower village where the food is some of the best in Crete. From there you head to Asi Gonia, birthplace of "Cretan Runner" George Psychoundakis, and then up, up up via Kallikratis to Imbros. This is a wonderful road, probably more so for the passenger, because it ascends really steeply and winds like a corkscrew, with stupendous views.

At Imbros village you can either opt to take a room for a night before heading down to Sfakia in the morning, or to press on to the port and sleep there to be ready for the ferry.

On your return journey you can make a leisurely drive from Sfakia back to Plakias by the coastal route, but bypass boring Frangokastello to stop at one of the lovely beaches below Rodakino which will be a lot less crowded than Elafonissi and to my mind, much nicer.
Last edited by Clio on Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Jean
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Postby Jean » Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:11 pm

I have taken many people through the gorge of Samaria (probably well over 1000 by now) and serious vertigo has never been an issue.

Clio
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Postby Clio » Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:18 pm

If however I climb on the rampart and look straight down, then I tend to fall over.


Ouch! It's ok - we know what you mean really.

Graeme
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Location: Uk

Postby Graeme » Wed Feb 20, 2013 7:46 pm

Clio wrote:Imbros gorge is quite a pleasant, undemanding walk without vertigo inducing heights.

As is the Agia Irini gorge, for which Sougia is the perfect base.

George, I would second Graeme's excellent suggestion, but with a couple of modifications. Agia Irini instead of Samaria, and a bit of a cross-country adventure to start with. As has been said above, roads in the south-west have to go with the (mostly north-south) grain of the mountains or to follow the coastal plains, but you can get from Plakias to Chora Sfakion without a) going up to Vrisses and then down, or b) taking the shadeless, featureless seaside route via Frangocastello.

Head via Mirthios up the Kotsifou gorge, turn left to Kali Sikia, then via Velonado to Arghyroupoli (Lappa). If you don't know the latter, it's a delightful, interesting place well worth a visit in its own right.

But for this longer excursion you pass through, maybe after lunch in the lower village where the food is some of the best in Crete. From there you head to Asi Gonia, birthplace of "Cretan Runner" George Psychoundakis, and then up, up up via Kallikratis to Imbros. This is a wonderful road, probably more so for the passenger, because it ascends really steeply and winds like a corkscrew, with stupendous views.

At Imbros village you can either opt to take a room for a night before heading down to Sfakia in the morning, or to press on to the port and sleep there to be ready for the ferry.

On your return journey you can make a leisurely drive from Sfakia back to Plakias by the coastal route, but bypass boring Frangokastello to stop at one of the lovely beaches below Rodakino which will be a lot less crowded than Elafonissi and to my mind, much nicer.


Clio, do you mean this Kallikratis road ?

http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=huAK5_w9 ... uAK5_w9MAo

......and remember this is the road AFTER being widened !

George, that's a good suggestion from Clio, but I disagree about Elafonisi, yes it gets busy, but if you arrive early before the coach tours arrive then its nice and quiet, after 1030 it can get busy, but the best part of the day is after 1600 when most of the tours have left, and sunset at Elafonisi is just jaw dropping even equalling the most famous of Greek sunsets on Santorini. Personally i like swimming at Elafonisi as its shallow with a sandy bottom, one has to go out some distance before your out of your depth.

One other suggestion is to still take the ferry but instead of getting off at Sougia, continue on to Palechora, then explore the beaches and coastal walks between there and Elafonisi.
The clear advantage of taking the ferry is that you avoid having to drive north, then west, then south, spending best part of the day in the car, much nicer to relax and cruise along the south coast.

Just had another idea, take the ferry again and get off at Agia Roumeli and walk up the Samaria gorge as far as you feel comfortable with then either stay at Agia Roumeli for the night or get the afternoon ferry to either Sougia or Paleohora.
Incidentally you do know the E4 walking route goes along the coast from Elafonisi to Paleohora and I don't think there are any places on that section where your vertigo problem would arise.

Graeme
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Location: Uk

Postby Graeme » Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:14 pm

George, found this video to give you some idea of the ferry cruise and views :D

http://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=rela ... hXfyb9v8Ts

Kathleen
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Location: North East UK/ex Rethymnon

Postby Kathleen » Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:26 pm

Graeme wrote:
Clio wrote:Head via Mirthios up the Kotsifou gorge, turn left to Kali Sikia, then via Velonado to Arghyroupoli (Lappa). If you don't know the latter, it's a delightful, interesting place well worth a visit in its own right.


Clio, if this is the route I am thinking of I remember 'driving' it in a Nissan Cherry with a late partner in the early 1980's. At that time it was a very rough sheep/goat track with several stoney gullies and streams to cross! The Cherry survived, but being an ex rally driver he always yearned to go 'off roading' on more of these tracks with a Land Rover.

Spectacular scenery, passing the sheer cliffs of the marble quarries and getting very odd looks from the shepherds we passed on the way.

The local owner of our hotel at that time did not even know the route existed.

Happy days.

Kathleen

Graeme
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Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:28 am
Location: Uk

Postby Graeme » Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:39 pm

Kathleen wrote:
Graeme wrote:
Clio wrote:Head via Mirthios up the Kotsifou gorge, turn left to Kali Sikia, then via Velonado to Arghyroupoli (Lappa). If you don't know the latter, it's a delightful, interesting place well worth a visit in its own right.


Clio, if this is the route I am thinking of I remember 'driving' it in a Nissan Cherry with a late partner in the early 1980's. At that time it was a very rough sheep/goat track with several stoney gullies and streams to cross! The Cherry survived, but being an ex rally driver he always yearned to go 'off roading' on more of these tracks with a Land Rover.

Spectacular scenery, passing the sheer cliffs of the marble quarries and getting very odd looks from the shepherds we passed on the way.

The local owner of our hotel at that time did not even know the route existed.

Happy days.

Kathleen


A Nissan Cherry huh, lol I bet that bounced around a bit. Can well appreciate your late partners off roading desires, having owned various land rovers in my time, having one in Crete would be great fun and enable one to really get off the beaten track. I usually hire a Jimny when in Crete and had many a fun day exploring "off road".

Clio
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Postby Clio » Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:40 pm

Graeme wrote:

Clio, do you mean this Kallikratis road ?


No no no. That one IS hairy and drops down south-west-ish from Kallikratis. The road I mean is steep and wiggly but only as far as Kallikratis, after which it loops more gently more or less due west via Asfendos to Imbros. Wimpish passenger though I am, I don’t remember being unduly scared along there. Apart from the time when thick FOG descended just as we’d started the ascent from Asi Gonia and it being so narrow there was no going back, and after a bit there was no telling which side was cliff face, which side sheer drop. That was fun. But it was October, and you won’t have that happening in summer. Honest.

Kathleen wrote:

Clio, if this is the route I am thinking


Yes that’s the one, Kathleen, and I also remember doing it in sheep-track days and even in a Land Rover it was an adventure. It’s tarmac now, and no more than usually potholey, but improved no end by the addition of the odd signpost to steer you in the right direction.

George
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Location: Scotland

Postby George » Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:38 pm

The ferry sounds like a good idea as I have driven on many goat tracks over the years due to my wife's incredible map reading skills. Remember passing a stuck jimny in a clapped out fiat punto with our daughter throwing up with either dizziness or altitude sickness due to the goat track we climbed. Drove to Frangokastello last year, but it is not the most picturesque road. Plenty to think about so I'll mull it over until the guardian of the unbeaten track makes her final decision.

Graeme
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Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:28 am
Location: Uk

Postby Graeme » Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:49 pm

George, If your hiring a 4x4 (Jimny) then from Rodakino beach there is an off road track that starts behind the taverna at the west end of Rodakino beach. It runs close to the coast and gives access to a few remote beaches along the way and provides a more interesting route to Frangokastello. Incidentally ...if your staying in Plakias there is a off road route to Ligres beach and Trio Petra beach across the mountains and also to Prevelli, let me know if your interested and I'll give you more precise directions.
I know the cost of hiring a jimny is more than a car but the fun to be had exploring can justify the extra euros :D


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