I first visited this magical island more than a decade ago, when I was amazed by the beautiful sandy beaches, steep rock faces, high mountains and numerous antique monuments. My imagination was stirred by epic stories from Greek literature, so I barely hesitated when this autumn I was given a chance to embark on a new exploration of the island.
In the beginning of October we travelled to the picturesque village of Matala, which became a famous destination for hippies in the 60’s. We settled into a family hotel directly at the sandy beach. Thousands of years ago, the caves around Matala served as cemeteries for legionaries, but today they are occupied by modern-day hermits. The nearby shores of North Africa send warm water currents to the pristine waters of these beautiful bays. Just half an hour’s drive from Matala is the Agiofarago Canyon, home to countless sport-climbing routes which have recently been equipped by the Greek climbers.
In the five climbing days that we had, we climbed numerous beautiful routes in this canyon, ranging from 6a to 8a+. We didn’t do any multi-pitch routes, since the rock is extremely sharp in the upper, less steep parts of the walls. The canyon drops down to the sea, where nestled between the rock faces lies one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen. Every day after climbing, we came here to rest and enjoy the warm waters.
If you wish to join us on our future explorations of this magnificent island, please contact us. This adventure will cost you around EUR 1000 (including airline ticket, accommodation, transport costs and food). More photos are available at the following link: Flickr - Kreta.