Messonas Gorge
Updated: 23 February, 2024 By: Stelios

Messonas Gorge

It is a spectacular, circular route that includes exceptional natural surroundings, historical settlements and wonderful views. The trip is suitable for anyone staying in or near Elounda, Agios Nikolaos, Istron and further south in Ierapetra.

The length of the hike is about 14 km, starts from 130 m altitude and goes up to 730 m. It is one of the greatest hikes in Eastern Crete, highly recommended. 

Please note that If you are afraid of heights, you should know that a good part of the trail is relatively exposed.

We will visit the ancient settlement of Azorias during our hike. Azoria was originally explored by the American archaeologist, Harriet Boyd-Hawes, in 1900.


Although the site has a long history of use—occupied in the Final Neolithic, Bronze Age, and Early Iron Age—the most visible remains are the houses and communal buildings of Archaic date (600-500 BC).

The public buildings of Archaic date cluster close to the peak on the west and south sides of the South Acropolis and cover a total area of over 0.60 hectares. Each produced evidence of destruction and abandonment in the early 5th century BC. This destruction marks the end of the city's life and a long period of occupation.

The Archaic rebuilding expanded the settlement to its maximum size (c. 15 hectares), created a zone of communal buildings on the upper west slope of the South Acropolis, and formalised what can be called civic architecture - generally supra-household communal spaces accommodating a variety of possible activities and configurations of groups.


What to bring?

You will need to pack your lunch. Other than that you will need at least 1.5lt of water,sun glasses, hat and sunscreen. Good hiking shoes are recommended as the terrain is rocky and quiet sleeper in some parts. During winter you will need a waterproof jacket and pant plus a fleece jacket.

Where do we start?

We will meet in Kavousi village.
An email with the exact spot will be send over email.

How to book?

Use the "BOOK" button located above of this page as the booking form has extra details that we need. After submitting the form you will get an email within 1-2 days (usually same day) with a link to pay the 20% of the cost to confirm booking. Rest of the money either by cash when we meet or via credit card payment two days prior the starting date as we need the funds to have cleared by the date of the trip.

What time do we start?

We start by 10 am from Kavousi village.

What about transfer?

We pick up clients from Heraklion and near Agios Nikolaos. Many times we are able to pick up clients from other locations as well but it needs to be on our way to the starting point. If you need transport and you are not sure get in touch with us. Remember to send us the exact location of your hotel, not just the name. Transfer is provided for free.

What will happen if there aren't enough participants?

We do need a minimum of 4 to run this hike; if you are traveling alone will try to put you with another group. If we don't have any other bookings during your dates a full refund will be given assuming you paid the deposit to confirm the trip or you can cover the extra 3 participants and make the trip private.