The River Anapodaris is located in south-central Prefecture of Heraklion and exits between the villages Tsoutsouras and Kastri. More specifically, it starts gathers water from east-central Heraklion and southern Dikti, with may smaller rivers, like Baritis, Livaditis and Kolokithas merging with it. The flow of Anapodaris has decreased in the last decades, as there are several small dams along its course and in its tributaries.
Anapodaris is the longest river in Crete, and each year discharges about 40 million cubic meters of water into the sea. It’s name means “flowing towards the opposite direction” and is taken after the fact that in winter days, when southerly winds are very common, the water at its exit gives the impression that the water flows reversely.
Close to the village Demati , the nice arched bridge of Demati crosses the river. The river is generally passable up to Skinias village, where the beautiful impassable gorge of Anapodaris is formed. The gorge follows a serpentine route through a beautiful canyon, ending on the beach Dermatos. The erosion from water in the gorge has created some amazing passages, often blocked by large rocks. These rocks look like petrified people, monsters, gods, giants and titans in ancientand animals.
On Dermatos it forms one of the largest and most important deltas of Crete, occupying several acres of standing water and several streams surrounded by aquatic vegetation. The delta of Anapodaris is one of the most important wetlands in Crete and hosts many kinds of birds. The river silt over the years have created the valley of Dermatos and its serene pebble beach. Unfortunately, today the biggest problem of river is the pollution caused by the waste of olive oil mills.