Asites - Venerato - Profitis Ilias


Trail Asites - Venerato - Profitis Ilias
(2 votes)

This part of the E4 trail is quite easy and offers some nice views to the fertile valleys and vineyards of Heraklion prefecture. The route starts from the village Ano Asites and first meets the cavernous church of Saint Anthony, with a spring with water flowing from its walls. We descend to the bed of the gorge of Saint Anthony and follow the bed for about 1.5 km. Unfortunatelly the gorge is severely degraded by the garbage disposed at Asites river.

The route in the gorge takes about 1 hour and we soon follow a road to the small church of Faneromeni at Kerasia. We keep walking and cross the village Kerasia with the scenic alleys. Now, we walk in the paved road, cross the main road to Messara plane via a small tunnel below it and reach Venerato. Venerato hosted several summer houses of the Venetian nobles, some of which survive.

After wandering around the alleys, we head to the historical monastery of Paliani, one of the oldest operating monasteries in Crete. On the way we have nice views to the gorge of Venerato and some chapels built in the top of steep rocks. Apart from the monastery temple, note the sacred myrtle in the yard, with many devotings hung on it. This is a surviving remnant from the Minoan tree worship (dendrolatry), one of the many we meet in Crete.

From the monastery, we follow the dirt road to the southeast. We cross the slope planted with olives and vines and enter the main road that crosses the villages Pyrgos and Kyparissi. From Kyparissi we follow a dirt road that leads to the village Profitis Ilias. The village is built below the imposing rock of Rocca, which was fortified and we can still wander in the fort.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Heraklion Prefecture
  • Type: E4 trail
  • Length (km): 14
  • Difficulty (0-10): 2
  • Hiking Hours: 4:00
  • Accessibility: Paved road, Dirt track, Walking

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