Location: Crete, Greece
Length: 4,3 km
Width: 5 m standard, 2 lanes
Surface quality (out of 10): 7
Highest point: 600 m
Operating times: all year round
via Epar.Od. Rodakinou – Sellias
Route: from Sellia to Kanevos
Kotsifou Canyon Road Description
The Kotsifou Canyon is a gorge located on the island of Crete, in the prefecture of Rethymno. It’s one of the most beautiful canyons on the island, and the road doesn’t disappoint either. Continue reading to get all the details you need to decide if you’ll be planning a drive through this canyon.
The road links Kanevos and Sellia and, even if it’s pretty short (only 4,3 km), it’s very entertaining. The drive is a beautiful one and the scenery breathtaking. As you drive through this canyon, the road will run through a narrow slit in the rocks. The Canyon has a total length of 1,800 m, and some of its slopes are almost vertical, reaching an elevation of 600 m. As you begin the drive, the road has approximately a 10 m width, but it gets wider soon after.
One of the most beautiful canyons in Greece
As you reach the interior part of the Kotsifou Canyon, the landscape will turn into a magical one. The path is surrounded by tall, vertical rocks and there is also a small chapel, the Agios Nikolaos, built of the stone. The bottom of the gorge is contrasting. It features thriving vegetation with brushwood and chasmophytes.
Continuing the drive, the road will pass through narrow and steep cliffs. Some of the sections are barely narrow enough for two cars to pass at the same time. The pleasure of driving on this route will be amplified by the winding road and the curves you will slide on. It has many blind and sharp curves, as well as hairpin switchbacks.
You can drive this road no matter of the season. In summer it gets very hot, while in winter, an impressive waterfall, 20 m tall, forms here. If you start your drive from the village of Kanevos, the riverbed and the waterfall are about one hour away by hiking. There is also a bridge here that connects Sellia and Mirthio. As you get closer to the bridge, the Kotsifou Canyon will turn into a large valley.
There is also a lake here, formed by the springs of Kotsifou Canyon. The villages in the area get their water from this lake. Many twists and turns allow you to see the gorges from every angle. Sliding through them is an exceptional experience for any driver that loves this kind of roads. Moreover, you will be able to enjoy a beautiful landscape formed by the gorges.
Since the path goes through the mountains, it gets very windy in here. It is not without a reason that you will see no warning sign. Drive this winding road and step into another world as you get inside the gorge. You will be surrounded by imposing rocks and lush vegetation. Even though the route is a short one, it’s entertaining enough, and you will love every minute of the drive.
Photo sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kotsifos_Gorge, https://www.greece.com/photos/destinations/Crete/Rethymno/Settlement/Kanevos/Kotsifou_Canyon/913507, https://www.pinterest.ie/pin/496170083931894526/, https://www.kalispera.se/greece/crete/rethymnon/kotsifou-gorge-in-plakias-crete.html