Gorge Sarakina Meskla

The Sarakina Gorge has a length of 1.5 kilometres, and its width ranges from 3 to 10 metres. The borders of Sarakina Gorge reach a height of 150 kilometres. The narrow wall of the gorge makes the visit impressive. Krypotamis river flows all year in the gorge. The name Sarakina comes from the locals’ faith. The locals believed that Saracenes used to hide there. The locals named the gorge Saranyapihos. Sarakina Meskla is a gorge in the village of Meskla, in Chania. The majestic rock formations are highly impressive and worth the time to visit. Tourists and visitors love the landscape that changes after the first 10-minute hike to boulders of limestones. It is an incredible sight and a true miracle of nature. The beautiful scenery of the gorge receives high ratings from tourists. The tourists enjoy its well-maintained trail with a perfect viewpoint at the top. The Sarakina Gorge is popular with its amazing rock formations and tranquil silence. Although, there are still health protocols concerning Covid-19 that must be followed. It takes an average of 2 hours and 30 minutes to complete the trail with a moderate level of difficulty.

Sarakina Gorge is a fine-looking and relaxing place to visit. Transportation in Sarakina Gorge is accessible to tourists. Buses and taxis are available that tourists use to travel around Crete. However, another type of transportation is car rental, a more private mode of transportation. Car rental, most of the time, is a must when going around and travelling in Crete. Having a car for tourists allows reaching the tourist bucket list destinations to visit. There are different car rental companies that tourists opt to rent their vehicle in Crete during the enjoyable relaxing tour. It is an excellent option for those who want private transportation when going to their destination, especially during the pandemic. The Sarakina Gorge contributes to Crete’s identity. Together with the rest of the museums, archaeological sites, palaces, and other beaches. The lists of tourist spots in Crete embody the island’s identity.

What is the history of Sarakina Gorge?

The locals call the gorge of Sarakina “Saranyapihos.” The gorge’s length reaches 1.5 kilometres and its width ranges from 3 to 10 metres. The walls of Sarakina Gorge reach a height of 150 kilometres, which makes the canyon narrow and impressive. Krypotamis river flows all year in the gorge. The name Sarakina comes from the locals’ faith that Saracenes used to hide there. It is hidden in a ravine with some big cypress and plane trees. Local authorities tried to promote the site and built trail paths that crossed the gorge starting from Meskla. The gorge is rich in vegetation, birds and gurgling water. The Sarakina Gorge is most of its length accessible with water, ponds and some climbing points.

What is the archaeology of Sarakina Gorge?

The Sarakina Gorge has not had any archaeological digs, but throughout the area, old coins are found. Additionally, some old foundations appear from time to time as proof of ancient dwellings. The gorge is closed by the church, but further down the road is a cluster of enormous, monumental plane trees. The plane trees give the desired shade to the open sitting area of a tavern in the summer. Furthermore, Meskla has a river where the melted snow of the White Mountains runs through the village named Keritis. Moreover, it is the reason for lush green surroundings and a haven for flora and fauna to thrive and live.

What are the myths about the Sarakina Gorge?

To the west of Ierapetra at a distance of 20 kilometres, lies the picturesque village Mythi. The gorge of Sarakina begins at a short distance from the town. According to Greek Mythology, the giant Sarantapichos, the son of Zeus, once stopped drinking water from the river Kryos or Mytos. The giant, Sarantapichos, was crossing the mountain when he got thirsty. The giant learned to use the river to quench his thirst, Furthermore, the long beard of Sarantapichos tore the mountain into two. Thus, the breathtaking gorge was created.

How was Sarakina Gorge formed?

The locals believed that the gorge of Sarakina was created because of the giant Sarantapichos. Sarantapichos long beards slashed the mountain in two, forming the gorge. The majestic gorge of Sarakina is rich in vegetation because the melted snow of Meskla river runs through the gorge. The Sarakina Gorge is surrounded by lush greens and is a haven for flora and fauna to thrive and live. The gorge has a significant population of birds and gurgling waters flowing from the springs. Most of the gorge is passable with waters, ponds, and scrambles. It is ideal for a pleasant afternoon or for a tour with children.

How is the Sarakina Gorge preserved?

The Gorges of Sarakina are preserved well. The Greek state pushes the initiative to preserve the Gorges of Sarakina to preserve and maintain the historical value and the scenic view of the Gorges of Sakarina through reconstruction, reassembly, and removal, as well as gorge interpretation. In general, the Council of Europe, the legislation provides that from the beginning of the modern Greek state’s foundation, preserving cultural assets such as the Gorges of Theriso was a state duty. Law 3028/2002, “On the Protection of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage in General”, is the primary piece of legislation governing the protection of cultural heritage. It establishes a comprehensive and detailed protection system for moveable and immovable monuments, artefacts, and intangible heritage.

How does the Sarakina Gorge map look?

The tourists who visit the island of Crete remember Sarakina Gorge because of the dramatic scenery and nature. Accompanying secluded hidden beaches, remote villages and rocky landscapes with the majestic views of the gorges. The Sarakina Gorge is easily accessed driving past Agia leading Omalos. The gorge is quite small and takes around 20 minutes to cross. The map of Sarakina Gorge gives a glimpse of the route, and one understands why it is part of a bucket list when visiting the island of Crete.

Below is the image map of Sarakina Gorge.  Gorge Sarakina Map

What are the hiking routes in Sarakina Gorge?

The entrance to the Sarakina Gorge starts close to the Mythi village and ends near the coastal village of Mirtos. Walking through the gorge is a little challenging. Tourists are able to choose to make the walk either a short hike or a longer hike. The most straightforward walk is 4 kilometres, but from the top of the gorge back to Mirtos is 12 kilometres. The combination hike from Males to Mirtos is 16 kilometres, and the combination hike from Males and Metaxohori is 18 kilometres. Another option is a two-day walk from Selakano to Mirtos. The hiking trip has a total of 36 kilometres. The longer hikes have to take into account more walking time because tourists have to climb as well. The shorter hike through the Sakarina and the longer one to Mirtos are descending. The differences in heights are relatively big. Additionally, when tourists’ walks start high up and make the long hike, hikers have to go all the way back to sea level.

What does the Sarakina Gorge trail have?

The Sarakina Gorge is accessible to anyone. The gorge has water, ponds, and only some climbing points requiring attention. It is a large quantity of water almost all year round. The forms have stunning waterfalls and ponds. It is ideal for swimming, even in summer. In winter, it is impossible to cross the gorge without getting wet.

How long is the hike to Sarakina Gorge?

The shortest walk is 4 kilometres, but from the top of the gorge back to Mirtos is 12 kilometres. It takes an average of 2 hours and 30 minutes to complete the trail with a moderate level of difficulty. Start from the hydro station at Mithi, walk a bit into the gorge and come back the same way. Walk from the top down to the hydro station in Mithi. The longer hikes start from the top. The hike is a total of 12 kilometres. Tourists are able to walk until getting to the village of Mirtos. Cross the road and follow the river, which mostly does not have water at that point from the hydro station before Mithi.

Do you need a guide to hike the Sarakina Gorge?

No, travel guides are unnecessary when hiking in the Gorges of Sarakina. Hiking the Gorges of Sarakina is accessible to do without a guide. However, it is recommended to be physically and mentally ready when hiking and exploring the trail of the Sarakina Gorge. Furthermore, another thing to note is to be equipped with hiking gear. That way, it prioritises safety measures and avoids further danger when hiking alone. Even though the gorge is a popular track for rock climbing and hiking, tourists still find some peace in connecting with nature.

What are the risks in hiking Sarakina Gorge?

The most beautiful way is to start from the top when taking a short hike. However, there are risks when taking a short Sarakina Gorge hike. Additionally, it is recommended to be more careful during winter when visiting Sarakina Gorge. Tourists have to go through water, which is dangerous. Furthermore, be careful with the little steam in the gorge because it is very slippery.

When is the best time to visit Sarakina Gorge?

The best time to visit Gorge Sarakina Meskla is from May through November. Tourists enjoy the outdoors because wearing a mask is only required in indoor establishments. Climbers must be cautious during the winter because the gorge becomes a big waterfall.

Gorge Sarakina

What are the things to bring when visiting Sarakina Gorge?

Sarakina Gorge is very narrow from the start. It makes a favourite spot for those who love adventure. It takes about 2 hours to finish. Make sure to bring enough water and food, since there are no stalls along the path. Additionally, waterproof shoes are highly recommended to bring since there are activities involving crossing rivers. Sarakina gorge requires tourists to climb and jump a lot, so it is not ideal for the faint-hearted.

What are the nearby attractions in Sarakina Gorge?

Listed below are the nearby attractions in Sarakina Gorge.

  • Lagos Gorge, Zourva: The villages Zourva and Meskla meet one unknown canyon. Lagos is one of the many regions in Crete. The entrance to Lagos Gorge is located west of the town Zourva and ends in the village Meskla, at the village’s bridge. It is just before merging with the river Keritis. It is formed by the union of two canyons located a bit higher than Tromarissa and Pigaidakia. Pigaidakia is one of the most important and longest technical gorges of Crete. Lagos is definitely beautiful, an unspoilt technical canyon. It has only a few very small rappels and a lot of walking.
  • Church of Saint George at Therisso: The church of Saint Gorge is located at Therisso, Kydonia province. It is a double-nave church dating from 1555. It is, with a second aisle dedicated to Saint Charalambos. The walls of the Church of Saint Gorge at Therisso, adorned with a very interesting temple, are reminiscent of the sky with stars.
  • Vrissi Gorge: Vrissi Gorge is a 10.6 kilometres out-and-back trail near Lakki, Crete. The gorge is considered a moderately challenging route, It takes an average of 4-hour and 46-minutes to complete. Vrissi Gorge is a popular trail for hiking, The trail of Vrissi Gorge is open all year-round and is beautiful to visit anytime.
  • Theriso Gorge: Gorges of Theriso is located near the city of Chania. Theriso is a tiny Cretan village with a remarkable history with the freedom and independence of the people of Crete. Visitors go there by car. There are also bus services on the island and car rentals. The main gorge is 6 kilometres long. The beautiful Gorges of Theriso has dramatic mountain scenery and gorges. It is a wonderful place to go for a walk and is popular with hikers, and rock climbers. Theriso Gorge is known for its many traditional tavernas in the small village, where locals serve famous Cretan lamb and abundant local fresh produce.
  • Pigaida Gorge: Pigaida Gorge is a long-wooded gorge with very narrow passages, ending in the area of Zoura. Along the course of Pigaida Gorge, there are several descents that require ropes and make crossing harsh.

What is the contribution of Sarakina Gorge in the tourism of Crete?

The tourism industry in Greece, especially on the island of Crete, has become the fastest-growing tourism market in Greece. It has recorded a 60% growth in the past six years. Crete is well known for its long tradition and history, especially in culture. It is also very safe for tourists from around the globe. There are many great places to visit in Crete, and one of them is the Sarakina Gorge.

Sign in Gorge Sarakina

Can you rent a car going to Sarakina Gorge?

Yes, tourists are able to rent a car to go to Sarakina Gorge. The perfect choice of transportation is by renting a car. Car rentals give tourists freedom, and flexibility to travel, how and when tourists want to visit a place. There are several Crete car rental companies around the village of Meskla, in Chania that offer the best prices. There are a lot of options for tourists who wish to travel using a rented car. One rents a car for just a day tour, or spends the whole holiday driving a rented car for a month.

What are the factors to consider before renting a car in Crete?

Listed below are the factors to consider before renting a car in Crete.

  • Insurance: Car rental insurance protects a passenger against the cost of damage when renting a car. Crete car rental includes insurance for collision damage waiver and a driver’s credit or debit card is required as a guarantee.
  • Driver’s age: The legal age requirement to drive in Crete is between 18 years old. One must have a valid driving licence. Although, to rent a car in Crete, you need to be at least 21 years old.
  • Driver’s gender: Both women and men can drive in Crete. As long as the driver is of the legal age of 18, driving is allowed in Crete, regardless of gender.
  • Car type: Travelling with groups or family members requires a much bigger car. Car rental companies in Crete offer a variety of cars to choose from. One must learn how to choose the right car to rent in Crete. Choosing a smaller car is best when driving in Crete. The reason for that is that some Greek roads are narrow. The car type is one big factor in how to decide the right car to rent in Crete.
  • Documents needed for renting a car: One important document needed for renting a car is a valid driving licence. However, a credit or debit card may also be presented, including a passport or an ID card.

How much does a car rental in Crete cost?

Exploring the beautiful island of Crete using a rented car is highly recommended. The car rental cost in Crete varies depending on the location, the number of passengers, itinerary, car type, and duration. The average cost of renting a car in Crete is around €30 to €40 per day. Renting a car for a whole week costs on average €250 while renting for the weekend costs around  €78. Affordable Crete car rental varies depending on the car type.

Is overnight car rental in Crete allowed?

Yes, overnight car rental in Crete is allowed. Car rental companies offer multiple choices of car rental duration. Tourists have the freedom to rent per day, per week and even per month. There are car rental companies that offer long term car hire all over Crete Island.

Does renting a car provide you with the leisure you seek when travelling?

Yes, renting a car provides tourists with leisure when travelling. Having access to a car, tourists are free to explore the island at their leisure. Tourists benefit from the convenience of relaxing in retirement.

What are the nearest traveller’s inns to Sarakina Gorge?

Listed below are the nearest traveller’s inns to Sarakina Gorge.

  • Hotel El Greco Ierapetra: Hotel El Greco Ierapetra is one of the best hotels near Sarakina Gorge. The hotel offers spacious rooms and suites with balconies. The rooms are decorated in earthy tones, with satellite television and a mini fridge. Additionally, the hotel includes a bathroom with a hairdryer and complimentary bathrobes. Some rooms have views of the bay and the port. All rooms have wired internet and free Wi-Fi. The guests enjoy the American breakfast buffet while gazing at the Libyan Sea.
  • Cretan Villa Hotel & Apartments: Cretan Villa is a small and stylish house built in the 18th century. It hides a cool green garden surrounded by 9 traditionally furnished high-ceiling rooms which are equipped with individual air conditioners, fridges, mini-bar, satellite TV, and wireless internet access. Additionally, it has 2 self-catering luxurious apartments of 50 square metres. Each with a separate bedroom at 50 square metres with a fully equipped kitchen. Prices range from €38 to € €70 depending on the season. Guests enjoy their breakfast in Casablanca garden café.
  • Petra mare: Petra mare is an ideal family-friendly hotel. The hotel offers rooms with a flat-screen TV, air conditioning, and a refrigerator in the rooms, and it is easy to stay connected during your stay as free internet access is offered to guests. The hotel features a 24-hour front desk, baggage storage, and a gift shop. Additionally, guests enjoy a pool and free breakfast.

Is it possible to hire a hiking guide in Sarakina Gorge?

Yes, it is possible to hire a hiking guide in Sarakina Gorge. There are available hiking guides around Sarakina Gorge. Walking with a hiking guide is for extra safety and to make sure that tourists walk the right path throughout the journey of their hike. However, there are available hiking trails that tourists are able to walk by.

What kind of car should you rent when visiting Sarakina Gorge?

The best car to rent for visiting Sarakiina Gorge is a large SUV like the KIA S-Tonic. It has custom interior features, power and control, suitable for long drives and mountainous roads. It is a very popular vehicle for Crete car rental companies. The travellers enjoy its comfort and convenience, especially when driving. The KIA S-Tonic SUV has advanced safety features, comfortable seating and a comfortable ride. Best of all, it has great fuel efficiency. It is suited for groups of travellers because it has a spacious cargo area where all their luggage fits inside. There are several car rental companies around the Sarakina Gorge that offer the best prices. Car Rental Crete costs vary depending on the number of passengers, itinerary, car type, location, and duration.

Can elderly people hike the Sarakina Gorge?

Yes, elderly people are able to hike the Sarakina Gorge. The hike takes only about two hours because the gorge is small. However, there are precautions to take note of before elders have to try hiking Sarakina Gorge. The Sarakina Gorge is very narrow from the start. It is not an ideal hike for those elderly who are faint-hearted. Additionally, it requires climbing and jumping a lot. Make sure that elderly people are physically and mentally fit before taking the walk.

Gorge Sarakina

Can a couple hike the Sarakina Gorge?

Yes, couples are able to hike the Sarakina Gorge. The couple definitely enjoyed the two-hour walk in Sarakina Gorge. Especially if the couples are adventurous. The gorge is one of the prettiest gorges on Crete island. The small lakes give couples a chance to swim and relax. About 15 minutes through the gorge, visitors are greeted with a beautiful waterfall where there are refreshing dips. The canyon is a perfect place to go to if couples are looking for something quiet and relaxing.

Is hiking Sarakina Gorge child-friendly?

Yes, Sarakina Gorge is child-friendly. Children are able to explore the beautiful scenery of Sakarina Gorge. However, parental guidance is a must. Children need to be careful since the hiking journey involves climbing and jumping.