Hiking through the Agia Irini Canyon
A day walking-trip through the "Agia Irini" Gorge. Agia Irini Gorge If you want to pass through the Agia Irini Gorge you must wear the right clothes and shoes for walking and hiking. The Agia Irini Gorge is 12 km, 7 km of them in the gorge and 5 km outside. The starting point is the village of Agia Irini. An official walking map for Crete does not exist, but you will always find a map of the whole route at the entrance to each gorge. These maps are detailed enough to give you information about the gorges. Like most gorges on Crete, the Agia Irini Gorge is also a riverbed.
The path first goes uphill and then downhill. In the gorge there are several picnic areas where you can have a short rest beneath the shade of the old pine trees. It is a medium level hiking trail. The walk takes a total of 5 hours and can be done throughout the year, provided that it hasn't just rained. An average walker knows that hiking in a gorge after a rainy day is dangerous because stones from the mountain can be dislodged. This riverbed is dry in summertime, but up until June you will see some water, brooks and springs where you can fill your bottle with fresh water. It is paved with huge stones and shingle. Like the other gorges, the kilometres are signalled on stones along the whole route. You will see an overwhelming landscape with wild flowers, wild herbs and huge old trees (mainly pine and plane trees). At the Agia Irini Gorge exit you will find a café for a short rest.
After the café you will have a 5 km walk to the coast, to Sougia village. Sougia is a small village with a few houses and some tavernas. Our recommendation for individuals who want to navigate the gorge without a guide: you can go by car to Agia Irini village, where you will find parking. At the end of your walk to the village of Sougia, you can take a taxi back to the gorge entrance. You can ask in the tavernas for a taxi and they will call one for you.