Faneromeni Gorge – Lassithi

Faneromeni Gorge – Lassithi

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The Faneromeni Gorge in the prefecture of Lassithi in Eastern Crete is also known as the Gorge of All Saints or Agii Pantes. This is one of the easiest gorges to hike through and is easily accessible, ideal for families and nature excursions in the area. It begins east of the location of Sfakidia and ends up at the bay of Faneromeni, next to the Monastery of Faneromeni.

It has no dangerous passes, however, the route is not easily discernible at all places and better signage is required. The path is approximately 3,5 kilometres long in total, and the elevation difference between the entrance and the outlet is about 150 metres. Hundreds of plane trees line the path, that runs parallel to the river Skafidaras; the smell of thyme and aromatic herbs as well as the sound of running water from the springs, dominate the scene. During the winter period, and especially after extensive rain, the area floods, turning into a wetland. The limestone cliffs framing the path, resemble mushrooms. The gorge is named after the church of Agii Pantes located near the exit that is worth visiting if you have the time. The Monastery of Panagia Faneromeni (Our Lady Revealed) is also close by with stunning views over the eastern Aegean Sea. The remote beach of Platani stretches below, on a tiny cove framed by white cliffs. The coast is lined with pebbles and large rocks that make entering the water a bit challenging but the pristine, turquoise waters are undeniably gorgeous.

The gorge is located only 5 km outside of Sitia and 65 km from Agios Nikolaos. It is best combined with a visit to the area of Sitia. The gorge played an important role during World War II and was used as a hiding spot for ammunition and rebels. The area of Sitia attracts tourists and holidaymakers looking for quiet and alternative holidays, and the gorge of Faneromeni is one of the less well known on the island. Do not be surprised if you have this spot to yourself, especially during the off season. The water from the springs is potable.