Agiofarago Gorge in Heraklion

Agiofarago Gorge in Heraklion

Shhh… You are in a place where peacefulness and solitude is cherished like a God. A place where hermits live. A place where nature’s grandeur makes you feel too small.

Agiofarago means Holy Gorge. It owes its name to the hermits who used to live there in isolation. Some of them still do - you might see them praying either on the beach or in the gorge. It belongs in the broader area of Matala in South Heraklion, west of Kali Limenes and east of Matala Village (about 80 km south of Heraklion City). As its name suggests, Agiofarago is a gorge that exits in the homonym beach. Both the beach and the gorge, are natural monuments. And as all natural monuments they rewards you only after they have tested you a little bit: to reach the beach of Agiofarago you must cross the gorge. Don’t worry it is not that long or tough (about 30-50 minutes’ walk). The route within the vertical walls of the gorge is breathtaking. On the way you will see the large caves were some hermits still live, as well as the chapel of St. Anthony, with a well outside. Next to the well there is a trough from where goats drink water. Fill it and many goats will come thanking you. Alternatively you can take a ferry from Matala, Agia Galini or Kali Limenes but is it really worth missing all the above? The beach of Agiofarago is one of the best in Southern Crete, with crystal clear blue waters and fine pebbles. Vertical cliffs surround the beach creating a daunting yet beautiful environment. If you are up to it climb the cliffs on the east and reach the top. The view from there is fantastic. It is ideal for camping as well. Southeast of the beach there is a hidden lake, called Vourvoulitis. It is a sinkhole communicating with the open sea by underground passages. Do not get close to the lake, it’s extremely dangerous. Lastly, on the way to Agiofarago you will see the Monastery of Odigitria near Sivas Village, which is worth paying a visit. 

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