An easy hike through a spectacular gorge and a forest.

Meskla and Zourva are two villages located at the roots of the White Mountains sierra, island of Crete, Greece. Both villages are easily accessible by road, however there is a path that connects them that is a hiker's paradise. Starting from Meskla, one enters the woods and soon enough arrives at the small gorge of Sarakina. The gorge, despite being short, is very impressive. It follows the bank of a river and soon arrives at a point that seems as if the rocks have been torn. Passing the gorge one starts to ascent through a beautiful forest towards the village of Zourva. It should not take more than a couple of hours to arrive to Zourva, even for beginner hikers.

The trail, as mentioned, starts from Meskla. If you arrive by car, you are advised to park the car at the church of the village. Take the road that ascends from there and at the first turn where the road turns right, simply walk straight and enter a descending dirtroad. There should be marks that denote the beginning of the trail.

The trail is marked and there are wooden and stone steps as well as metal corridors making it easy to cross even for families with children. After about 10-15 min you'll reach the narrowest part of the gorge. If you visit the gorge during winter or spring, the river may have a lot of water - during summer or autumn it is typically dry - at this point. Please pay attention at the level of water before moving forward.

After you cross this narrow passage (which no more than a few tens of meters), the trail starts to ascend. Eventually you'll reach a dirtroad. Turning left, the road will take you back at your starting point. You can follow this option to go back to your car. The whole circle will take probably less than one hour to complete.

If you go right, the dirtroad follows the river and after a short distance, you'll a sign that marks the point at which the trail crosses the river again and starts to ascend towards Zourva. From this point on you'll be walking inside a dense forest, until you exit the trail and find a dirtroad that will take you to Zourva.

There are no technical difficulties in the trail. The only point that you should be careful is the narrow passage in case there is water. Since you'll be walking inside a gorge and a forest, even if you hike on a warm day, you will be safe from the heat and sun - in any case though you are advised to have at least a hat and a sunblock with you. There are no water supplies in the trail, so you'll need to carry water with you. There are multiple places where you can sit and relax, so having a snack is a good idea. However, do keep in mind that at both villages (Meskla and Zourva) there are excellent choices to have a great meal.

Getting back from Zourva to Meskla can be tricky. You can of course hike back. Since there are no taxis in the area, you can ask a local to take you back to your car or hitch hike. If you are hiking with a company and have two cars, you can leave one at Meskla and one at Zourva. Through the road, the distance between the two villages is close to 7km and should not take more than 20min to go through car from one to the other. 

Pack List

  • Good hiking shoes
  • Water and snacks
  • Sunblock and a hat if hiking during a sunny day
  • A daypack (even if you hiking light, the pack will help you put everything in, in case there is water running at the narrowest part and you have to get wet to cross it)
Show More
Elevation Gain 984.3 Feet
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Point-to-Point
Features
Easy Parking
Forest
Picnic Area
River

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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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