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SARAKINA GORGE (Σαρακήνα χάσμα)

The Sarakina Gorge is only 1.5 km long but is certainly one of the most adventurous activities you can do on Crete. The river Kriopotamos runs through the canyon all year round which makes for a great mix of walking, river wading and simple rock climbing.

Drive from Spitimas in the direction of Mithi and then follow the directions to Males. Just past the village is the entrance to the Sarakina Gorge. From the parking area walk past the dam and climb the steps.

This is the way into the gorge next to the river Mirtos. For the next hour and a half you wade through water, clamber over rocks and conquer small waterfalls. There are occasional signs and some markings, but for most of the time you have to find your own way. Be aware – near the end you will need to cross the river with water up to your waist after which you must climb a very slippery rock. Once you pass this natural obstacle continue to walk upstream. After about 15 minutes you should see some black irrigation pipes and these indicate a crossing point. Here turn right and there is a fairly steep climb to the road which you can follow back to the car park or alternatively turn around and go back through the gorge. There are local guides who can take you through the gorge if necessary.

Tip: Hiking boots are not suitable here as it is impossible to keep your feet dry. A better option is sandals with good soles!