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  • The breathtaking entrance to the gorgeThe breathtaking entrance to the gorge© Cretazine
  • A perfect natural spa!A perfect natural spa!

At the gorge of Sarakina with the company of ancient giants

Ancient giants, waterfalls and plunge pools in a small gorge that causes awe and offers a cool environment in the midst of the hot summer 

Cretazine Tips

  • The gorge is about 1.5km long.  The river, however, continues its route until it spills into the sea near the village of Myrtos. 
  • The walls of Sarakina are 3 to 10m. wide and their height reaches 150m.
  • Attention: during the winter and until the beginning of spring the water flow becomes very strong and the gorge impossible to cross.  Do not attempt to cross it at this period. 
  • Remember that you will cross several points with water. This means you need appropriate waterproof shoes (especially if you want to cross the gorge to the end). 
  • Depending on the water level, there is a good chance as you move deeper into the gorge to encounter passages where you need special equipment to cross them. Needless to say that unless you have experience and equipment it is not a good idea to play hero, right?
  • If you are lazy, inexperienced or not adequately prepared, you can at least walk the first few meters into the gorge, which are still imposing, exceptionally beautiful and refreshing. 


Published in  Crete in action



You don’t have to be a fan of canyoning to cross Sarakina. You will go because you need a break from the hot summer sun, to find a natural dewy oasis between massive walls that extent 150m over your head, to refresh your body in the plunge pools and enjoy exhilarating water massage under the waterfalls. 

The gorge entrance is near the exit of the village Mythoi, 20km west of Ierapetra and 4km from the village of Myrtos. You will first walk parallel to the ravine next to canes and blossomed oleanders until you reach the narrow passage between two imposing rocks. At this point, the adventure begins – as well as your encounter with the fresh water of Kryopotamos river, which flows year round.  

The waters are cold but refreshing and the deeper you go into the gorge the more small waterfalls and pool plunges you meet. Do not hesitate to wear your bathing suit and try this natural spa.

According to myths, giant Sarantapichos, son of Zeus, passed by here. He got thirsty and as he bended down to drink from the river, his beard ripped the rocks apart and -voila- now we have a gorge!

As it happens with all places of exceptional beauty in Crete, Sarakina too awakened the imagination of the ‘ancient ones’ and was connected to mythology. Therefore, here’s the story of the gorge’s genesis: there once was a giant named Sarantapichos, son of Zeus, who passed by this location. As he got thirsty and bended down towards the earth to drink water from the river, his beard ripped the rocks apart and –voila- now we have a gorge! 

You might not see the giant himself wandering around, but you will see the gigantic rocks that inspired his existence. The carved stairways will help you hike deeper into the gorge through narrow rocky tunnels, the green ceilings of plane trees, steep walls that enhance the sound of running water and pink oleander for a pinch of romanticism. This is Sarakina...and it won’t take you more than an hour and a half to cross it. As you walk back to the village of Mythoi make a stop in one of the coffee shops at the main square and then head down to the beautiful village of Myrtos...