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Agiofarago: Introduction


The southernmost climbing area in Crete is Agiofarago. The area's characteristic is the rock, which is very sharp, along with the combination of climbing, swimming and walking. Most of the routes are inside the gorge with the oldest ones situated on the beach or near the beach. Here you will find some of the most difficult routes in Crete, up to 8b+, from single to multiple pitches. There are just a few lower than 5c where most of them are around 6c/7a. Almost 90% of the climbing routes are equipped and you will only need quickdraws and 60-70 meters of single rope to repeat them. Having said that, there are also many where natural anchors must be used. Those are usually the first routes in the area opened in late 80s. The place is marvellous and you will enjoy climbing and swimming in one of the most beautiful places not only in Crete but also in Greece!

How to get there

You will need to hire a car with off-road capabilities unless you are willing to hike 2 hours instead of 20 minutes.
The first and most popular approach 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 marvellous coastal path. The gorge starts 3 km past Odigitria Monastery and ends at a beautiful beach. If you don't have your own means of transport, the easiest way to reach the gorge is via Kali Limenes and then hike along the path for about an hour to Agiofarago.

If you take the path from Kali Limenes the walking starts from the Coast Guard building following for some meters the only up going off 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.

In summer the temperature can be quite high (35-42°C), so you'd better avoid moving at noon. Start walking early in the morning or late in the afternoon. During winter things are quite better with much lower temperatures compared to the summer, making climbing on a winter sunny day a real pleasure.

Where to stay

During the summer you can sleep even without a tent but during the winter having a tent setup is, of course, recommended in order to enjoy more your night. You wont find anything inside the gorge so be prepared to carry a lot of water, especially if you are going there in the summer.

Things to know and avoid

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 accumulated next to the church of St Antonios and at the seaside.

Unfortunately there are a lot of unscrupulous people, who now manage to reach the beach easily through the newly opened road. Even motorcycles can reach the beach! It takes now only 20-30 min to walk to the beach. That resulted to a massive presence of people who proved to respect nothing and helped filling the gorge with litter. There been some serious efforts to clean the gorge in the past years so these days you wont find many.

There are a few routes with very old bolts that need to be replaced. While browsing the rest of the web site and each sector of Agiofarago individually, pay attention on the relevant comments. Having said that, most of the routes are well equipped and have nothing to worry about.

Posted on: 16/08/2011 By: