The imposing Kourtaliotiko gorge starts from the Koksare village of the Rethimno prefecture, about 22 kilometers from Rethimno and ends to the amazing beach of Preveli after many and impressing landscapes.
The gorge is between the Kouroupa and Ksiro Mountains and its sides are about 600 meters. It is about 3 kilometers long.
In order to reach the entrance of the gorge, you have to follow the stairs at the side of the Koksare-Asomatos road and reach the Agios Nikolaos church, in the gorge. According to tradition, when the Saint Nicolas touched the rock, water was released with force from five spots on where his five fingers touched. The myth is related to the five springs of the Kourtaliotikos River that goes through the gorge.
The river is also called Megalos Potamos near its discharges. The area around it is full of palm trees that make the landscape exotic and magnificent.
The name of the gorge and the river came from the word “kourtala” that means applause in the Cretan dialect. Due to its morphology of the walls of the gorge and the number of the caverns, when the wind blows, it sounds like applauses.
The Kourtaliotiko gorge is worth passing either the whole of it or in reverse, from the Preveli beach and back a few kilometers.