A Local’s Guide to Richtis Gorge: An Unforgettable Adventure in Crete

Richtis gorge

Hiking in Richtis Gorge is a one-of-a-kind adventure that marries the serenity of nature with the thrill of exploration. Simply put, the Richtis Gorge hike is an absolute delight for those seeking an exciting escape to the wild beauty of Crete. From the lush vegetation to the mesmerizing Richtis Gorge waterfall, here’s everything you need to know about the canyon of Richtis.

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Richtis Gorge Entrance Fee

richtis gorge

Richtis Gorge is a well-preserved, state-protected park. Hence, the entrance fee is €3 per person, which you must pay in cash. However, if you visit the canyon outside the summer season, chances are you’ll find nobody in the ticket booths. That’s what happened to us, and we paid nothing. 

Still, even when you pay, your money goes toward a good cause: the entrance fee contributes to the gorge’s ongoing maintenance and preservation.

Getting to Richtis

richtis gorge
The bridge at the beginning of the trail.

Richtis Gorge is located in the northern part of the Lasithi region in eastern Crete. Because the most straightforward way to reach the gorge is by car, I recommend organizing your car rental before you land in Crete. For the most seamless experience, I recommend this website:

DRIVING IN CRETE: Looking for a local rental company? Rethymnon Cars offers great value for money and has no hidden fees!

Having your car will allow you to explore the area at your leisure and make the most of your trip. Alternatively, you can take a taxi or ride-sharing service to reach the gorge. However, these options may be more expensive and less flexible.

Gorge Hike

richtis gorge
Part of the path.

The Richtis Gorge hike is an exhilarating journey through the wild beauty of Crete. The trail stretches over 4 kilometers, beginning near the charming village of Exo Mouliana and descending to the serene Richtis beach. 

Along the way, you will relish the stunning views of the lush landscape, vibrant flora, and local wildlife. Above all, you’ll fall in love with the Richtis waterfall and the natural pool it creates.

richtis gorge

As for trailheads, the path is well-marked and moderately challenging, making it suitable for novice and seasoned hikers. Wearing sturdy hiking shoes, carrying a first aid kit, and being cautious of loose rocks and slippery surfaces is best for your safety.

Richtis Gorge Map

richtis gorge

To ensure a smooth journey, have a Richtis Gorge map handy. If you don’t, photograph the map at the entrance. The map provides detailed information about the hiking route, starting from the parking area near Exo Mouliana village, taking you through the gorge’s heart, and ending at Richtis Beach. 

The trail is marked and guides you through the lush landscape, past the captivating Richtis Gorge waterfall, and down to the tranquil beach.

What to Bring for the Hike

richtis gorge
Hiking in Richtis.

Hikers should come prepared with the following essentials:

  • Waterproof bag: Carry everything on this list and be well-prepared! A sturdy backpack will also be handy for bringing all the essentials if you attempt a longer hike.
  • Bathing suit: For a dip in the waterfall’s pool after your long journey down. But please remember not to apply sunscreen if you plan on swimming in the gorge to protect the fragile flora and fauna of the river.
  • Water: Hydration is crucial, particularly during the summer months.
  • Food: Pack enough food for the duration of the hike.
  • Camera: Of course, to capture the stunning views
  • Footwear: Waterproof shoes or secure sandals are recommended for the hike, as they involve crossing streams and potentially wading through water.
  • Clothing: Dress appropriately for the weather. Extra clothes may be necessary to swim in the gorge’s ponds.
  • First Aid Kit: It’s always a good idea to have a basic first aid kit on hand for any minor injuries.
  • Additionally, consider bringing a hat, sunglasses, and a light jacket in case of weather changes.

Best Time to Visit

richtis gorge
Ancient ruins along the path.

Richtis Gorge is accessible all year round, but the best time to visit is between May and September. The weather is warmer during these months, making the trails more accessible. 

If you plan on swimming in the Richtis Gorge waterfall, ensure you visit on a hot day, as the water can be refreshingly cool. 

However, the summer can be pretty hot, so start your hike early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the peak heat. That way, you can get home, relax, and still have the rest of your day to enjoy Crete!

>> Check out this private waterfall hiking tour

Where to Stay

richtis gorge
Richtis Waterfall.

The area around Richtis Gorge is relatively remote, but there are a few accommodations in the nearby villages. Options range from charming cottages with basic amenities to luxurious villas with private pools and stunning views, catering to various preferences and budgets. 

Some popular options can be found here. I suggest you book your accommodation well in advance, especially if you visit during the peak tourist season. That’s the best way to ensure availability.

Richtis Gorge Waterfall

richtis gorge
The waterfall.

Perhaps the most breathtaking feature of the trail is the Richtis Gorge waterfall, a 220-meter-high cascade pouring over high cliffs into a turquoise pool below.

richtis gorge
Richtis waterfall.

The waterfall is not just a sight to behold but a natural wonder that will invite you for a refreshing dip. 

Despite the hot summer, the waterfall maintains a steady flow, creating a serene ambiance that will captivate you.

Richtis Beach

Richtis gorge
Richtis gorge.

If the water in the pond is too cold for you, wait until you finish the hike. The Richtis Gorge trail ends at the stunning Richtis beach, where you can swim in the warmer Mediterranean waters. 

More importantly, you’ll be in a secluded spot, ideal for relaxation and rejuvenation. Imagine a beach filled with tamarisk trees, stone seats, tables, and a potable water fountain. In short, it’s the perfect spot to be after a morning hike.

Richtis Gorge with Kids

richtis gorge
Richtis landscape.

If you’re planning this adventure with children, I recommend you take the shorter route from the Richtis Bridge to the waterfall and back. Even in that case, only children above 12 could reasonably manage the Richtis Gorge hike. 

Nevertheless, the beauty and excitement of the trail make it a worthwhile adventure for families with older children.

Respect the Wildlife

richtis gorge
Richtis Gorge.

Entering the Richtis Gorge hike is akin to stepping into a fairy-tale. The lush greenery, the rhythmic sound of the flowing stream, the thrill of the winding paths, and the cool spray of the waterfall on your face – it’s an experience that will leave you spellbound. 

At the same time, always remember that the beauty of nature is best enjoyed when it’s respected and preserved. So, let’s keep it clean, respect the wildlife, and make the most of this incredible journey while ensuring we leave no trace behind.

Lasithi’s Sarakina Gorge

richtis gorge
Sarakina gorge.

If you’re looking for more hiking adventures in Crete, the Sarakina Gorge is worth a visit. Like the Richtis Gorge, Sarakina offers a memorable hiking experience through its narrow passageways, towering cliffs, and flowing streams. It’s a shorter hike than Richtis, making it an excellent option if you’re up for something quick. 

Samaria Gorge, Crete

Samaria Gorge - Gorges in Crete
Samaria Gorge – Gorges in Crete

Another must-visit hiking location in Crete is the Samaria Gorge. It is located in the Chania region and is known as the longest gorge in Europe.

Samaria offers a challenging yet rewarding hiking experience. Its diverse landscape, rich biodiversity, and historical significance make it a top attraction for nature lovers and adventure seekers.

richtis gorge
Richtis Gorge.

In short, Richtis Gorge is more than just a hiking trail; it’s a doorway to the beauty and diversity of Crete. From the lush vegetation to the mesmerizing waterfall and the tranquil beach, it will leave you with unforgettable memories. 

So, whether you’re an avid hiker, a casual nature lover, a solo traveler, or on a family vacation, Richtis Gorge should be on your must-visit list when exploring the full-of-surprises island of Crete.

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More resources to enhance your Crete adventure

Start by checking out my guide to planning your trip to Crete, packed with helpful essential information. Explore the articles on prices in Crete, common mistakes to avoid, and insider secrets. You can also get one of the digital travel guides I’ve written about Crete. They are affordable and practical to check from your mobile.

When it’s time to plan, explore the best places to visit on Crete Island, discover my tours and activities, and be amazed at Crete’s incredible beaches. If you are exploring specific areas like Heraklion, Rethymnon, Lasithi, and Chania, I’ve got detailed guides to help you make the most of your time.

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richtis gorge

Written by Dimitrios Tsevremes
Passionate about travel, spirituality, and sports, Dimi divides his time between Chania (Crete) and other countries. Writing is a way for him to express himself and his creativity. You can find out more about him and his work here.

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A Local’s Guide to Richtis Gorge

richtis gorge

About me:

Gabi Ancarola | The Tiny Book

Gabi Ancarola

I have lived in Chania, Crete, since 2016. As a local, I have an intimate knowledge of the island. I host culinary and concierge tours and experiences in Crete and write about the island for several travel media. During the last five years, I have helped many travelers plan the perfect holiday in Crete. I co-authored DK Eyewitness Top 10 Crete and had more glasses of frappe than any regular person could ever handle.

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