The gorge of Agiofarago starts from the road from Odigitria Monastery to Kali Limenes on the south coast of Iraklion and ends at the sea, west of Kali Limenes.
There is a dirt track (going west) 500 metres after the riverbed on the road to Kali Limenes from the Odigitria Monastery. Follow the dirt track to the end and a footpath continues along the river, through the canyon, and past the monastery church to the sea.
The southernmost climbing area in Crete is Agiofarago. The areas characteristic is the rock, which is very sharp and the combination of climbing, swimming and walking. Most of the routes are situated on the beach or near the beach. Inside the gorge there are many possibilities for new routes, mainly across and around Agios Antonios Church.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. This area offers not only plenty of routes but also the chance to open a lot of new ones mainly in the gorge. A big advantage is that rock climbing is possible even during winter. There is also drinking water from a well just before the beach, next to the church of St Antonios, where some routes start from. All the routes done up to this moment are described below and useful information is given. You can read the map of RoadEditionsto find out how to reach the entrance of the gorge. Nevertheless, Agiofarago is situated near Sivas village and Festos. The gorge starts 3 km past Odigitria Monastery and ends at a beautiful beach. If you dont have your own means of trasport, the easiest way to reach the gorge is via Kali Limenes and then along the path for about an hour to Agiofarago.
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 25€). The second one is to get a taxi straight from Heraklion until Kali Limenes (about 50€). However, as it may prove difficult to find a taxi to take you down there, youd better get to Mires and change there, where its much easier to find a taxi. For more information see the map of this region.
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. (See photo 1). 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, dont miss a visit to the gulf of Vourvoulitis (see photo 1) and the cave of St Antonios.
In tents or in just a sleeping bag on the beach or in the gorge.
In summer the temperature can be quite high (30-40o C), so youd 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
Almost half of the routes opened in Agiofarago require only some runners to be repeated. However, there are others without any bolts, so full climbing gear is demanded. At most of the routes a half 60 m rope is enough for the way back.
Suggested routes per difficulty grade
Indiana,40 m VII-, Danilou-Zani,25 m VII+, Zbynek, 60 m, one of the most beautiful routes with continuous difficulty grade VII-, O Dromos Gia Ta Asteria, 45 m V+ (VI-), I Ttsambou Tou Leprou, 30 m V-, I Kkopsi Tis Thalassas, 50m IV (V).
You can spend the night in the gorge or on the beach. Dont forget to look to your own food and water, as you can buy nothing there. About fun, well just wine, good mates and climbing!
|click on a photo to enlarge
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