The river Giofyros or Diakoniaris flows in the north of the Prefecture of Heraklion, and its exit is located next to the Pancretan Stadium, in the city of Heraklion. The river collects water from several tributaries west of Psiloritis range and flows through the valleys of Agia Varvara, Dafnes, Profitis Ilias and Malades before ending at the sea. Unfortunately, completely degraded near its estuary, it is more reminiscent of a garbage dump and a pit than a river. Unfortunately, waste dumped even today by most villages in the hinterland of Heraklion in the river (Agia Varvara, Prinias, Avgeniki, Venerato, Agios Thomas, Profitis Ilias, etc.), causes a really suffocating environment that is a shame for the entire island of Crete.
Due to severe contamination inside the city of Heraklion, almost none of the locals can imagine that this river forms, even today, some of the most beautiful landscapes in Crete. Already from its first kilometers, the tributary Prinianos passes through the imposing gorges of Prinias and Venerato. The tributary Axedianos starts from Agia Varvara and descends to the beautiful area of Agios Thomas with the waterfalls of Kardiotissa and in Kyparissi it joins the Prinianos stream and, a little further down, the stream that comes from the area of Kasteriotis range. Close to the village of Profitis Ilias, it shapes deep valleys and on its banks rich vineyards and olive groves grow. Near the settlement Tsagaraki the valley turns to a narrow gorge and a narrow stone passage traps the water in a natural barrier. There, a small waterfall and some old watermills form an amazing landscape.
There are reports that the river once hosted a Temple of Athena, which has not been yet located. Moreover, near the village of Chani, you could visit a small stone bridge (dating back in 1690) that once connected the city of Heraklion to the plain of Messara.