You have two choices concerning the route / access to Agiofarago. The first and most popular one starts from Odigitria Monastery and ends at the beach crossing the beautiful gorge. The second one starts from Kali Limenes and ends at the beach crossing a marvelous coastal path. We are going to describe the second route, as the first one has turned dangerous because of the dozens of car-parts robberies reported at the point where the cars are parked just before walking starts.
Road access: There are two choices from Heraklion. The first and most inexpensive one is to get the KTEL bus to Mires (52 km) and then a taxi to Kali Limenes (about 30 euros). The second one is to get a taxi straight from Heraklion until Kali Limenes (about 50/60 euros). However, as it may prove difficult to find a taxi to take you down there, you'd better get to Mires and change there, where it's much easier to find a taxi.
For more information see the map of this region. Walking: The walking starts from the Coast Guard building following for some meters the only up going dirt road there. After about 700 m there is a crossroad where you have to turn into the road on your left. This dirt road stops after 500 m and becomes a path situated just after the end of the road on your left. The path follows the coastline offering the walker a majestic view.
From the point where the path starts you need about 30 min until you reach the highest point of the route, from which you can see the gorge with the small church of St Antonios at the back. Most of the path is marked with stones or other signs, like red arrows etc. Choices Alternatives: After reaching the beach you have three choices: swimming, walking and rock climbing. There are dozens of climbing routes of various difficulty grades in Agiofarago. Apart from them, don't miss a visit to the gulf of Vourvoulitis and the cave of St Antonios.
The small church of St Antonios surrounded by the rocks of the gorge as it can be seen from the highest point of the route from Kali Limenes to Agiofarago. From that point and 200-300 m at the back and to the left there is the gulf of Vourvoulitis; descending into it is dangerous and requires special attention. Two meters before the water you can dive! Ascending is much easier. For the bold ones there is the possibility of free diving! Stay: In tents or in just a sleeping bag on the beach or in the gorge. Weather conditions: In summer the temperature can be quite high (30-40o C), so you'd better avoid moving in the afternoon. Start walking early in the morning or late in the afternoon. In winter things are quite better with much lower temperatures comparing to summer.
Comments: In 2000 a local shepherd destroyed a big part of the gorge opening a road to have better access to his flock. As a result and apart from the natural destruction, piles of rubbish have been accumulated next to the church of St Antonios and at the seaside. Unfortunately there are a lot of unscrupulous people, who manage to reach the beach easily through the opened road. Even motorcycles can reach the beach! Avoid going there on Sundays; it's really crowded, especially in July and August, as there is a boat carrying tourists to swim there. Mind you with littering! Let's keep the place beautiful!
Directions from Heraklion to Odigitrias monastery via Google Maps.
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Author/Photos: Stelios Asmargianakis
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