October 27, 2009
Numerous gorges cut across Crete, the largest Greek island and fifth largest in the Mediterranean Sea. Many of these gorges can be accessed by hikers, and one of the most popular among hikers is the five mile (eight kilometer) long Imbros Gorge. Like most gorges on Crete, the Imbros Gorge was formed as a result of weathering of limestone and erosion along a geological fault. At the narrowest point of the gorge (featured above), a visitor can touch both sides of the steep walls that climb 1,000 feet (300 meters). The Imbros Gorge, however, is more than a tourist attraction. Prior to the construction of a paved road above the gorge, a mule track through the gorge served as the principal connection between the region of Chania (Crete’s second largest city) on the northern coast and the southern coast. The Imbros Gorge has also served repeatedly as a retreat route; most recently following the German invasion of Crete during World War II. Only those allied soldiers who managed to reach the southern coast, through Imbros Gorge, could be evacuated to Egypt. Photo location: 35° 14' 31.11" N 24° 10' 3.53" E.