The wild and imposing gorge of Kapsas is located 8-9km east of Makrigialos and 33km east of Ierapetra. The gorge is also called Pervolakia, because its northern entrance is near the secluded and picturesque village of Pervolakia. When in the village, you should walk in the nearby traditional village of Pezoulas, with the amazing houses. The exit of the gorge is next to the Monastery of Kapsa, in the Libyan Sea. You can swim in the beautiful quiet pebbly beach, just in front of the gorge exit.
The length of the gorge is about 4km and trekking in the canyon is not too hard. The hike lasts 2 hours if you choose to ascend from the southern exit (Monastery) to Perivolakia. If you, however, prefer the easier option, to descend into the gorge from Perivolakia to Kapsa monastery, it takes about 1.5 hours.
The interior of the canyon is spectacular, with high towering walls. The vegetation is quite limited and the landscape is arid and dry. Along the path, there are several points where you have to climb and there are several signs.
The road connecting Makrigialos and Goudouras passes right next to the exit of the gorge, near the Monastery. You can also get the bus that connects Goudouras with Ierapetra. You can also drive to the Pervolakia or Kapsa Monastery and then call a cab i Makrigialos to take you to your car.
The gorge is home to one of the rarest Cretan plants. This is the Limonium of Cornaros (limonium cornarianum) which has only been met in some calcareous maritime rocks inside the gorge and a small islet called Agia Fotia.
The monument of the Austrian climbers
On May 8, 2015, a group of very experienced Austrian climbers visited the Pervolakia gorge in order to climb 150 meters to a mountain peak, that is used as a climbing track. Unfortunately during the descent the two most experienced climbers, for unexplained reason, fell from a height of 40 meters and lost their lives.
Two legends of climbing, Albert Precht and Robert Jölli died. Precht was the best-known Austrian climber having mapped over 1,000 climbing tracks in the Alps. Jölli was also very famous. At the point where they were killed, there is a small monument, a vertical metallic plaque that depicts a falling climber and two photos of the victims, one of their hats, their rope and hundreds of pebbles with dedications from hikers.