Hiking in Ermionida – Ermioni – Kranidi (Argolis) Part 03 | Katafyki Gorge

About 5 km away from Ermioni there is a great hiking opportunity in Katafyki Gorge. This route is suitable for all the family due to the easy trail of only 2,5 kilometres. The wild beauty of this gorge will astonish you. Of course, this route can be extended up to 7 kilometres if one wants to hike from Katafyki Gorge up to the village of Fournoi.

Katafyki gorge is a beautiful natural landscape, located between the villages of Fournoi and Ermioni. It consists of a protected area of outstanding beauty and a wild life refuge that attracts the most demanding visitors. Hikers can leave their car in Ermioni and take the path that passes through the dense vegetation of pines, laurels, myrtles, shrubs and other endemic plants. The sound of the running water and the presence of rare animals and wild birds give the impression of an earthly paradise. The imposing rough rocks host mysterious caves, one of which is said to consist of the entrance to the underworld, the point from where Hercules found Cerberus. The locals narrate stories of various offenders that used the caves as refuge.

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Start/End point of the Katafyki trail

At the beginning of the trail, the visitor can see a map with clear indications of the trail and the trail actually starts on a dirt road which is crossing an organic Olive Grove and another farm with delicious pomegranate trees.


Feel free to read here the previous parts of Hiking in Ermionida

Right at the entrance/exit of the gorge, near Ermioni, lies the byzantine church of Saint Nikolaos that, since 1740 according to local tradition, protects its visitors from the bad spirits.

The gorge is the ideal spot for hiking and climbing even for the inexperienced climbers. You can start from the gorge and, through the old bridge, reach the picturesque village Fournoi.

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Trail and Olive Grove
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Surrounding environment
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Trail
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St. Nikolaos byzantine church

Just in the opposite of this little church, there are some wonderful cliffs and rocks, which offer many different climbing routes.


Climbing activities in Katafyki

 Katafyki means refuge in Greek, the villagers used to hide there from the Turks/pirates. A ravine about 3,5km from the coastal town of Ermioni with a main face about 130m high, I have explored the cliffs further up and on the other side but as yet no routes there. Parking directly under the cliff so no walk in! All year climbing as the main wall is shaded after midday. 45 routes here of which 7 are single pitch adventure routes,12 are multi pitch adventure up to 5 pitches 123m, 23 are single pitch sport routes and 3 are multi-pitch bolt routes up to 6 pitches 150m. All adventure routes have bolted belays and abseil pistes are equipped. Walk off o.k. in rockboots. Grades 4c to 7c+

The routes

From some great climbs the outstanding line here is The Red Empire which uncompromisingly goes straight up the midlle of the cliff with a large roof at half height. The first ascent was an onsight trad effort with the roof being an aid section. Now fully bolted  (52 bolts) this is a great roof climb 60m off the ground if you can push 7c+ or more.

Covering a lot of spectacular ground at a moderate grade Zorro has all the makings of a modern classic, plenty of bolts, 6 pitches and 150m long. This one zigzags improbably up the cliff at 6b (5c+ obl.). Before you leave, climb Heroes, 2x30m pitches, solid 6a and probably one of the best routes in Argolis.

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Climbing rock
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Various climbing routes on this face
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Beautiful rock

As soon as we pass the climbing rock and St. Nikolaos byzantine church, we cross a bridge and actually, the real part of the gorge starts on that point. The scenery is beautiful and during spring time there are many different flowers, butterflies and overall lovely nature.  I think is one of the nicest parts to go for a trail run and to be able to enjoy the natural environment at the same time.

At certain point, there is need to cross a small creek that most of the times is dry and therefore easy to be crossed. The only downside of this gorge, is the size of it, cause it is rather small and the trail within the forest is ending rather fast.

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Bridge
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Trail in the gorge
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Beautiful trail running environment

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Occasionally the visitor will see some trail signs

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exit of the gorge

Agios Nikolaos Chapel – Agii Anargiri Church

The actual part within the gorge is not exceeding the 900 meters, though is worthwhile to go and walk in that small beautiful gorge. Once we pass the gorge, we see a local dirt road that is mainly used from the locals in order to reach their beautiful Olive groves that is said that are producing one of the best olive oil in Greece, thus in the world.

At about 2.8 km since the starting point, the visitor will see an old church, Agii Anargiri, under some beautiful pine trees. That is the perfect spot for a short break in order to enjoy the view and the fresh water that is running from a small fountain that comes straight from the ground.

If hiking with kids, the surroundings of this little church is ideal for a pic-nic because there are nice benches and even a wood oven that one can prepare a real meal in the woods.

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Log cabin in the woods
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Olive grove and a small Off grid tiny house
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Water feature in Agii Anargiri
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Agii Anargiri Church
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Agii Anargiri Church
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Perfect place for a picnic
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open air wood oven
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A map that illustrates the trail

Just after the beautiful area where the hiker can easily set up camp for few hours or even for an overnight adventure there is the only ascent of the whole hike. The maximum altitude is at 223 meters above sea level, and although this is relatively a low altitude the views from that part of the trail are really nice.

The hiker can easily spot the city of Ermioni, Dokos island, Hydra island and of course the beautiful Argosaronic sea.

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Flowers
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going uphill

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Old traditional stone mil
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View towards Ermioni

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Details of the Hike:

  • Location: Ermioni, Argolis
  • Starting Point: Katafyki Gorge, Ermioni
  • Ending Point: Katafyki Gorge, Ermioni
  • Trail Signs: Yes
  • Minimum Elevation: 35 m
  • Maximum Elevation: 223 m.
  • Total Distance: 8.7 km
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • When to Hike: It can be rather hot during summer months. Better to hike this route duringAutumn, Winter or Spring time
  • Water Features: One

Bellow you can see the route we have followed on a map and on 3D:

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3D view


Feel free to read here the previous parts of Hiking in Ermionida

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One thought on “Hiking in Ermionida – Ermioni – Kranidi (Argolis) Part 03 | Katafyki Gorge

  1. Pingback: Hiking in Ermionida – Ermioni – Kranidi (Argolis) Part 02 | Pikrodafni – Avlona – Crow Hill – Pikrodafni – Olympus Mountaineering

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