Chania area Scenic Road Trips

Road trip Crete Theriso: Theriso Gorge, Zourva, Meskla (half-day)

Half-day road trip Crete Theriso gorge


Half Day Tour
The road trip to Theriso is perfectly suitable for visitors who want to use their rented car part-time and enjoy the rest of the day at the beach and the ocean. In the winter time one should expect the necessary use of snow chains, as the roads go up to the level of 720m.

The route takes us through a relatively pristine spots of Crete on the lower slopes of the “White Mountains” and the streets are all paved. Nevertheless, one should proceed with caution in the curves, not infrequently we met a wider 4×4 pick up car.

Kilometers from/to Chania: ca. 50
Duration (without lunch): 2-3 hours

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The gorge of Theriso

From Chania take the road south direction Theriso, soon will you come to a road fork without signs, take the left road here.
Until the village Theriso the road leads through quite impressive, 15 kilometers, beautiful green and partly precipitous cliffs.
The vegetation is lush and the river Kladisos in the lower part of the gorge carries plenty of water.

Half-day road trip Crete Theriso gorge

River Kladisos in the gorge of Theriso

The village Theriso

The village consists of a few houses and numerous taverns; by its proximity to the city of Chania, it is very popular for lunch among the locals on weekends throughout the year.

A worthwhile visit is the Historical Museum in the former headquarters of the Cretan “rebels”. Here on 10 May 1905, began the revolution under the leadership of the late Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos, against the administration of Crete by the great powers which soon spread throughout the island and in 1913 is crowned by the internationally recognized union of Crete with Greece.

Half-day road trip Crete Theriso gorge Half-day road trip Crete Theriso gorge

The large village square in Theriso with the church of Panagia is adorned with the statue of Eleftherios Venizelos. Approximately 20m in front of the square, steps lead to the two-aisled Byzantine church of St. George and of St. Haralambos, whose sky is lovingly decorated with stars.

Direction Zourva

Half-day road trip Crete Theriso gorge

After Theriso the road winds curvy up to a height of 720m, then slightly downhill towards Zourva.

Even in this nondescript mountain village with its 10 houses, a holiday resort has now settled and its visitors take advantage of its ideal location for hiking in the surrounding area. Also, this village is often visited by the locals especially in winter for lunch, although it is often only accessible with snow chains.

In Meskla

Down it goes to Meskla, a very picturesque situated village with a rich history and tradition surrounded by high mountains. Coming from Zourva, right at the village entrance you’ll meet the huge church of Panagia and besides that, the Byzantine church of Sotiros Christou with wall paintings from the 14th century.

Half-day road trip Crete Theriso gorge

If you stop in the parking lot at the churches, you can hear the lapping of the subjacent source waters of the river Keritis which flows into the sea at the coastal village of Platanias.

The water gushes out of the rocks and the place is overgrown with centuries-old planes; it says that the actual source of the springs laying on the Omalos Plateau, winds its way through an underground cavity and comes here in Meskla in the daylight.

Our tip: every year on 14th August, the eve before the Church’s Feast of the Assumption (15th August), a local celebration with traditional music and dance takes place here, and everyone is welcome to join the locals on long benches and tables “in Food & Drink”!

Half-day road trip Crete Theriso gorge

The ages old Plane tree at the springs in Meskla

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