Following the upward road from the seaside village of Myrtos, you will reach the magnificent Sarakina Gorge in a few miles. Due to its proximity to the village, it is also called Myrtos Gorge. No matter how you call it, however, it is equally thrilling and welcomes you to a hiking experience of exemplary beauty. In the southeastern part of the island of Crete, the gorge is a place of mesmeric natural bliss and offers a moderately challenging opportunity to everyone interested in discovering its mystical atmosphere.
Sarakina Gorge stretches for about 1.5 kilometers in length and its width ranges from 3 to 10 meters. Flowing through the gorge is Kriopotamos, literally translating to the Cold River. Of course, there is no room for guessing as to the water temperature here throughout the year! As for the accessing points to the canyon, there are two options for nature enthusiasts to choose from. The lower and the upper end are both inviting to travelers. The former is easier to access, while the latter makes the hiking route more comfortable. However, the entire path takes no more than an hour and a half to complete. So compared to other gorges in Greece and Europe as a whole, this is one of the most convenient paths to follow.
One of the main attractions of Sarakina Gorge is the natural pool, formed about 15 minutes upon entering. This is where, according to Greek mythology, the giant Sarantapihos bathed and rested. His long beard cut the cliffs in two, creating this magnificent landscape. If you are feeling hot, this is the perfect place for a quick dive to swim in the crystalline waters. Ropes and other climbing equipment may come in handy, even though they are not necessary. Just wear comfortable trekking shoes, breathable clothing and take lots of pictures!