The Gorge of Pefki (Pefki means Pines) is one of the most beautiful small gorges of Crete, with amazing rock formations shaped by the natural forces and with lush vegetation. The length of the gorge is 4.5 km and the elevation difference of the entering point and the exit reaches 300 meters.The gorge starts south of the village Pefki and ends in Aspros Potamos dorp, 2km north of Makrigialos.
The canyon has a well shaped path, which follows the riverbed almost in its entire length. Moreover, at some point you will see some benches where you can rest. The route in the gorge can hold 2 hours and is part of the E4 European long distance path.
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The gorge starts from Pefki. Ask the locals to show you the entrance, next to the old water mill of Ilias (1925) and with the views to the elevated Stavromenos Chapel. From there take the easy path along the sides of the canyon and later follow the descending path that leads to the river bed, in the heart of the gorge.
The canyon is lush and full of pine trees (hence the name). Next to the riverbed, the vegetation constitutes mostly from planes and herbs. There are also amazing white rock formations on the sides, unique in Crete, with their height exceeding 100 meters.
As you arrive at the southern exit of the gorge, you will find a spring of clean water, where you can cool off. The exit of the canyon is not near the sea but in Pisokaminos area, close to the village of Aspros Potamos.
A little later, you will meet the impressive large rock called the Volakas of the Saracen (volakas = rock). According to the tradition, a Saracen pirate was hiding himself in there, after being abandoned in Crete. On the rock you’ll see many small pebbles. Legend wants them to be a result of an old game: the children that were passing from this area, threw stones on Volakas to see if they will find food at home. If the stone remained on the rock, then they would find food, otherwise not.
A bit later, you will reach the village of Aspros Potamos, where the road linking the Makrigialos and Pefki passes by. If nobody waits for you by car, you have to walk the remaining 2 km to Makrigialos.