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Agia Eirini, Chania, Crete

Driving through the Selino area of Hania prefecture we reach the village of Agia Eirini (700 m. above sea level). Today it has a population of only 100 people (it used to have 500).The river Agieriniotikos passes through the village, which is surrounded by olive trees, plane trees and cypresses. A small church, built in 1357, with marvelous wall paintings is on the Bridge at the beginning of the gorge.

If we move higher from that spot we can see the remains of the building where during the Turkish occupation (18th Cent.) lived the tax collector of the Turks since this was the only pass in the area for the people who wanted to take their products to Hania or other villages.

The road for the Agia Eirini

We descend following the road towards the river of the gorge where we can see a small old bridge, about 130 years old. After walking for about 20 minutes and crossed over on the east side of the river we reach the water tank, where we can rest at the formed area. High up and East from this spot we can admire the gorge of Fygous, which is named after a tragic time in the past when the Turks chased Greek women and children there, during the Turkish occupation.

A picture of the Agia Eirini

Until here the time you'll probably need, descending and walking back up again should be around 40 minutes and the view is magnificent. That's for the people who choose to stop their journey. But for the rest, the beauty of nature goes on. Another 40 minutes further down from the water tank resting area we walk on a uphill stretch of the path, which leads us to a place from where we can see down, by the river, a lot of huge round boulders. What a sight for someone to see!

The river view

We keep on walking and soon we reach the Fournaki place (approx. 1 hour from entering the gorge). Now the "real" gorge starts, with vertical rocks and plantation. A bit further down we go through the narrowest point of the gorge which is not more than 10 meters.

We are walking already for about 2 hours and it's time to see where the Prinos gorge meets Agia Eirini's. With a magical, imposing embrace. From that spot and on, the scenery becomes "smoother" and the gorge ends by the dirt track road. Sougia is now about 5 km away and we can choose between the road and the side of the river if we plan to keep on walking to the Sougia beach.

The total walking time from the beginning of the gorge to the beach of Sougia is about 3,5 - 5 hours, depending on the mood of the hiker. One thing is for sure. The Agia Eirini gorge will be an unforgettable experience and you'll want to visit it again soon.

Sougia beach

Sougia Sougia, because of its clean and beautiful beach, is growing fast and you can find many hotels, restaurants, bars. In the central beach you can camp, under the trees, if you like and if you're lucky, especially in summertime. On the west side of the beach there is a small harbor for fishing boats. Public transportation exists every day at noon and in the morning on Sunday.

Posted on: 24/01/2011