With a name that certainly causes horror, in case one does not know its history, the gorge of Zarkos, as it is otherwise known the gorge of the dead, is a small gorge in eastern Crete, just after the village of Ano Zakros, at a distance of 100 km southeast of Agios Nikolaos.
The village of Zakros on Crete
Its name is not due to the fact that those who tried to cross it lost their lives in it, but to the ancient Minoans, who used the caves on the vertical rocks of the gorge to bury their dead. A process that certainly honored the dead, as those who climbed the steep cliffs to transport the dead to their final abode literally risked their lives.
Apart from the beautiful landscape, for which it is distinguished, but also for the historical importance of the area, the gorge stands out for another element. This is the last part of the European Trail E4, which starts from Portugal and reaches Greece from north to south and Crete to reach the lower Zakros, crossing the entire southern Mediterranean.
The hike to cross the whole gorge takes about two hours, with good signage and access quite passable, as the dangerous sections are off the trail. Along the way, the beautiful natural landscape with geophysical interest wins the visitor, who has the opportunity to observe up close some archaeological remains.
If you are someone, who has a strong desire of exploring this gorge of the dead, you certainly have the choices to start your journey in a fuss-free manner. Among all the natural wonders in Crete, this gorge of the dead holds a special place and you must explore it once if you are planning to visit Crete. Whatever your choice may be, you can take advantage of convenient transport option to reach the point from where you will start your 2-hour trail.