The Holy Gorge and the monks of Crete.

Vasilis Triantafyllou
Unique Travel Routes
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Some 80km south of Heraklion and very close to Matala, sands the Holy Gorge and one of the most beautiful beaches of Crete.

The name comes from its residents. The gorge was inhabited in the past by monks who spent many years in this isolated part of the Crete. The legend says that once a year the monks used to gather in the Holy Gorge and the Goumeno-Cave which had 300 stoned on which the monks sat. Then they started counting the number of the monks to see who died during the previous year. Another legend says that sailors at the open Lybic sea used to see lights when it was dark, lights from the monks' candles.

The beach is at the exit of the Holy Gorge and is surrounded by imposing and steep rocks and gave as a very unique driving experience while getting there. Starting from Heraklion we headed to Mesara, pass close to Siva and reach Odigitrias Monastery. Then starts a dirt road, not very easy to cross, which will take you down to a  deadlock where you should leave your car. Please don't leave your car under the trees because goats will try to get on it to reach the tree leafs, which means damage to your car.

The Holy Gorge starts there and is very easy to hike. 45 minutes of walking will take you down to the beach. Meanwhile we enjoyed the steep rock, the huge caves next to us, the monks that still live there and the small church of Agios Antonios with its big well.

If you are the athletic type, have some proper shoes and you like climbing there it worths going up the rock in the east part of the gorge which will take you to the top. The view is purely amazing there. You will love it!

The Holy Gorge inspired us deeply with it wild and peculiar beauty and its amazing beach at the end of the path. You should visit!

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About the Author

Vasilis Trianta...

Vasilis was born in Larisa and from the first years of his life he relised his love for the world which led him to study astrophysics. He loves panoramic photography and is the creator of He loves hiking, so he dedicates his free time to mountain hiking and photography.

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