Hiking through the gorge of Patsos
Preliminary remark: Given that the exact recording of a route inside a canyon with GPS is extremely difficult (due to the inability of the GPS device to constantly communicate with the satellites), the presentation of the route on the map is given empirically and approximately. For this reason, rely mainly on the markings you will find inside the canyon and the narrow passages equipped with ropes.
The route at a glance
Route suitable for: Hiking.
Hiking on: Trail and the rocky bed of the gorge.
Degree of difficulty: Moderate (for the level of experienced hikers).
Special features: Crossing the gorge is quite adventurous. In the absence of a continuous path, you will be forced to walk on the rocky bed of the canyon, scramble or climb over rocks, use ropes, and of course get wet, since in at least two places walking through water is unavoidable in winter and spring.
Starting point: North end of the canyon. In this proposal it is recommended to hike the canyon on the ascent from the north, in order to reduce the risk of accidents. Of course, the route can be reversed – as is usually done by most hikers – but the risk of slipping or falling on the descent is higher.
End: South end of the canyon.
Tip: If you have not arranged for a means of transport to pick you up at the other end of the gorge, then do not go into the process of finding another path or road back to the starting point. You will have to walk on dirt roads and asphalt for many kilometers, while the temperature during the summer months will be very high. For this reason, prefer to retrace the route through the gorge in reverse. It is the shortest route.
Marking: Fairly good
Drinking water point on the route: spring in Agios Antonios (saint Anthony) chapel
Realization: Although the gorge can be traversed in winter by very experienced hikers (due to the large volume of water flowing through the canyon), it is safer to hike Patsos gorge during the summer months from July to September. During the spring the crossing is possible, but requires walking through water. In fact, from year to year some passages change, depending on the volume of water and the soil that is deposited in the river bed. In any case do not attempt to cross the canyon if you are threatened by rain. Stone falls from a great height are very common. For this reason, make sure you have a helmet first, no matter what time of year you walk through the gorge.
Spring – Summer – Autumn: Trekking shoes (or shoes suitable for hiking in water during the spring months), helmet, shorts, water (1½ liter water bottle). Plan for a second change of clothes and shoes until the end of June, when walking through water is inevitable.
Winter: It is not recommended to cross the gorges during the winter months, unless you have a good experience in canyoning and have the appropriate equipment
The route in numbers
Route length: 1,4 km
Duration: 1h15′ – 1h30′
Minimum altitude: 212m
Highest altitude: 342m
Total altitude gain / loss: +130m
Average gradient: +8.8%