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Gorges and Hiking in Eastern Crete

Orino - Butterfly Gorge by Makrigialos area




4.5km - 3 hours walking

It's one of the most known gorges of south-east Crete. Its entrance is at the little forest of Koutsouras, which is just one km far from the littoral village of Koutsouras and 6 km from Makrigialos. Its end is just 2 kms far from Orino settlement.

The best time of the year to cross it is spring. You will find out wonderful landscape and small waterfalls are scattering along the route.


There is a path, which is a little bit difficult to cross in some places and you need to pay attention, because you may make a mistake on your way. You have to pay much more attention at the middle part of the gorge, which is not passable through the torrent, but through a dirt road at the western side.

We can divide the gorge in three parts. From Koutsouras as we ascend, there is the most verdant part, full of pine trees and a lot of impressive clif, which rise around. After one hour walking, the gorge leads to a cultivated upland, that has not the image of a gorge. After walking for half an hour, this cultivated upland comes to an end and the rocks rise around you soon again.

The last 2 kms are very impressive, because the view is abundant to the surrounding mountains. At the end of the gorge we had a marvelous surprise: A waterfall was coming out of the cleft of a rock. An asphalted road is very near, which joins Koutsouras and Orino. These last 2 kms are very uphill, but they reward the outdoorsy with the wonderful pictures of the surrounding area.

Unfortunately a fire had destroyed 70% of the pine trees of the area of the gorge in 1993. Today as you walk through the gorge, you can see the remains of the fire and the burnt pines, as witnesses of an older time, when the verdure was abundant everywhere.

The feature of the gorge are the countless little streams, which create amazing pictures through the rocks.
The best time to pass the gorge is in spring (between January and June), when the flowers blossom and it is wonderful to look.
"Alpine" pictures from a landscape near Orino. Here we are at the third part of the gorge, having just left the open cultivated area.
An old bridge still used
At the first part of the gorge there is much verdure. That reminded us the gorge of Pefki.
Marvelous small ponds with small waterfalls create very impressive scenes indeed!
In some occasions the path is quite clear, easy to follow, but in other times it is difficult to recognize it and it is easy to be confused. There are yellow arrows, which show the way, but unfortunately they are not enough so that the tofacilitate the wayfarer to be more facilitated.
A small waterfall and a pond in a cave
Here is the second part of the gorge with the cultivated area. You can have a wonderful view to the mountains of Orino.
Now we are at the end of the route, near Orino village, which you can hardly see at the background of the photo.
Multi-coloured flowers grow along the path.
The greatest waterfall of the gorge is just at its end.
Bloomy bushes grow among the dry rocks.
Just before the end of the route. Here you can take a breath and enjoy the amazing view to Koutsouras' area.

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