This is how the adventure at Sarakina Gorge begins! The reply to all twelve text messages that I sent was positive.
Woohoo! I was glad my friends were as eager and crazy as me. We were to go to a gorge far from our town. It is in the area of Ierapetra (about an hour’s drive from Sitia) where we stopped for coffee. My friend Rodoula was waiting for us at the cafe Aperitton to treat us with loukoumades (pastries made of deep fried dough soaked in honey and sprinkled with sesame) and hot beverages. I recommend it. After some goofing around we regained our strength and started our ascend to the mountains of Lasithi by car.
Who is interested in mountains, nature, rivers and a lot of adventure?
Leaving from Ierapetra to the village Gra Lygia, we pass the coastal village Myrtos and then at the village Mythos there is a junction where you can see a sign pointing out the way to the gorge. After 4-5 km we reach its entrance anxious about the rest of our excursion.
On the way the images you encounter are more than you had ever imagined. You can smell the scents of thyme and oregano from the first kilometres on the path. Rocky formations, scary cliffs that only goats dare approach and somewhere in the background the Libyan Sea completing the wonderful scenery. Forget about exotic beaches and emerald green sea water. This is the beauty you should experience!
In this gorge you’re left speechless. You can’t describe the emotions you feel. You are not able to portray any of the scenery you witness. You don’t want to leave anything undescribed. How does it feel when you believe that you have a debt to pay? This is how I feel. You may think I’m exaggerating. But I’m not. Nature at its best is luring me. Wild mountains and an abundance of water. A combibation to kill for.
There is a legend here.
Like any magical place this one has its own story. Our myth says that Sarantapihos, son of Zeus, who is also a giant, crossing this area was overwhelmed by the crystal clear water and decided to drink some water from the river. His long beard though ripped the mountain in two thus creating the gorge. The name of the gorge is Sarantapihou or Sarakinas.
But if you think that this is where the tour ends you are wrong.
The whole trek is not just amazing but one of the most beautiful in Crete. It includes hopping from rock to rock, walking in the water, rock climbing and rope climbing. Nope it is not difficult to cross. All you need is good company, will, laughter, teasing and a couple of men to help with the difficult spots of the ascend.
It will take you about one to one and a half hours to surpass all the challenges in the gorge and to realise that you want to start all over again!
After all the action, the water and the feeling of achievement…it’s time for some seafood in Myrtos to brag about-discuss our accomplishment!
Many Thanks to that friends who confided to a lovely Day in Sarakina!