Agiofarago is located in the Heraklion prefecture (southern coast of Crete), between the Odigitria Monastery and Kaloi Limenes. A perfect place for those who travel in Crete seeking solitude on a secluded beach with emerald waters. The beach of Agiofarago maintains its pristine features because it remains unorganized. No umbrellas, sunbeds, food or water are provided, so you have to carry along all the things you consider necessary especially if you wish to stay overnight.
If you are coming from Heraklion, take the road that leads to Matala but before you reach the village, turn right to Sivas village. Pass Sivas and Listaros and head towards Odigitria Monastery. Pass the monastery and follow the dirt track and take the second turn (the first turn leads to Vathi beach) on the right to Agiofarago. The dirt track becomes really gnarled, so continue by car only if you are driving a 4X4 vehicle. Otherwise park the car and continue on foot for half an hour till you reach the gorge entrance. For those who continue by car, you will find a second open space used as a parking. Beware of the goats roaming around or maybe on your car!
Follow the footpath for about 30 minutes to cross the gorge to the beach overlooking the Libyan sea. To facilitate hiking wear trekking shoes and make sure you have taken water supplies because the sun is really merciless during the summer months. You can make a stop under the shady rocks wherever that is possible. Hiking along the silent trail will take you to the church of Agios Antonios; its sanctum is inside a cavern. The church was built in the 14th century A.D, it was renovated three times but the figures of saints depicted on the walls have really faded, destroyed by humidity.
Agiofarago was even visited by Paul, the Apostle in 62B.C when the ship he was travelling onboard, anchored at the nearby village Kali Limenes. It is said that he spent some time as an anchorite inside the caves scattered within the gorge. Asceticism was practiced since the 7th century A.D; the first known was Agios Kosmas the hermit. Agiofarago was an idyllic place for meditation and seclusion. According to a local friend, the hermits gathered once a year inside a cavern close to Agios Antonios called "goumenospilios", sat around a table to check who was absent ( the absenteers were considered dead). An oath of silence was imposed on the members of this ascetic community which remained unbreachable. Therefore they even pursued solitude to avoid contact with each other. The austerities of the anchorites imposed a frugal way of life, food was scarce and a well outside Agios Antonios provided them with water, as no other springs are found along Agiofarago.
Hermits were seen until the end of the 19th century but others claim that they have come accross the silent monks or believe that invisible monks appear only to those whose faith in god is strong. Check it out for yourselves!
When you are done with the matters of faith keep moving to the end of the gorge until you reach the beach. Amazing high rocks, ideal for a dive into the clear waters. Agiofarago is a pristine beach, where no human intervention is evident because the Greeks prefer easily accessible beaches and Agiofarago is not one of them. The shore is covered by small pebbles, the sea is ideal for snorkelling. Many of its visitors are practicing rappel on the rocks; you might see them above your head as you cross the gorge. Agiofarago is definately a top destination of Crete. Enjoy your day on this secluded beach!
For those of you who still feel unsatisfied, climb east of the beach to find yourself at a lake with salty water, surrounded by edgy rocks. A perfect place to enjoy diving in its amazing waters!
34° 55' 36.9264" N, 24° 46' 43.662" E