In the heart of the Sfakia Province, nestled in the ruins of the village Kolokasia, a stream begins to form at the base of the Virgin Mary (Panagia) church. This stream, fed by the village’s water, meanders through the local olive grove before transforming into a rugged, small gorge known as Rechtas or Rektas – a name signifying ‘waterfall’ in the local dialect.
True to its name, shortly after the gorge’s onset, a breathtaking 20-meter high waterfall cascades down, barring further access to the gorge without the aid of a rope. Beyond this majestic waterfall, the gorge is adorned with awe-inspiring rock shelters and caves, once used by locals as animal paddocks.
The journey through the gorge also includes small waterfalls, a natural arch, and a grove of carob trees. Eventually, the canyon opens up, revealing an ancient trail that ascends up the eastern side, leading to a rock shelter. This shelter, perched high above the riverbed, provides stunning vistas of the gorge and the Fragokastello valley.
In recent years, this wild rock shelter has been transformed into a charming, cavernous temple, possibly the newest in Crete. This transformation was inspired by a priest from Sfakia, George Chiotakis, who received a divine vision from the Blessed Porphyrios of Athos, advising him to build a temple. Consequently, the church is unofficially dedicated to Saint Porphyrius, with his icons scattered throughout the temple, along with several icons of the revered Saint Anthimos from Cephalonia, who once resided in the Sfakia region.
Rehta Gorge is located in the Chania Region of Crete, Greece, specifically at Kolokasia.
The difficulty level of hiking in Rehta Gorge is moderate to difficult. The trail is rocky and steep in some areas, and there are some narrow passages that require careful navigation.
The best time of year to visit Rehta Gorge is in the spring or fall when the weather is cooler and the vegetation is lush. Summer can be very hot and dry, making the hike more challenging.
No, there are no entrance fees to visit Rehta Gorge.
No, it is not necessary to hire a guide to hike in Rehta Gorge. However, it is recommended to have some hiking experience and to bring a map or GPS device to navigate the trail.
You should bring plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen, a hat, sturdy hiking shoes, and a backpack to carry your belongings. It is also recommended to bring a first aid kit and a map or GPS device to navigate the trail.
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