“Rouvas” Forest and Canyon
The canyon of Rouvas is defined by the peaks of Ambelakia (1440m) in the east and Samari
(1413m) in the west. The stream that passes through it transports the waters of the area
of Skinakas and the valley of Rouvas to Zaros and from there to the lake of Faneromeni
Undoubtedly, this is the most important canyon of Psiloritis with rich flora and fauna,
ravines and interesting geological formations and slopes of rare beauty.
The official name of the canyon is Gafari Gorge, but two other names have prevailed: Agios Nikolaos Gorge from the monastery
of Agios Nikolaos located at its exit, near Zaros, and “Rouvas Canyon” from the Rouvas forest which crosses.
The canyon has a total length of about 4km with a landscaped route of 2.7km in a truly unique environment.
Unfortunately, part of the beautiful forest near the southern entrance of the gorge was destroyed by a large fire in 1994,
but has partially recovered.
Past the Village of Zaros, there is a lake called Votomou. Mark this point as it is where the path that leads to the entrance of the gorge starts. Twenty minutes after Lake Votomou there is a monastery called Agios Nikolaos. Keep going you will see the entrance to the gorge. You are in one of the most beautiful places in Crete.
Its energy will fill you with awe and warmth at the same time. The flora and fauna of the area are rare. Wild Mediterranean herbs on your feet, the magnificent Cretan hawk in the skies. The 15 m tall age old trees will provide shade when the sun becomes too hot.
Rouvas Gorge is 4 km long, 2.7 of which are easy to cover, due to the work of the local Forest Service. You should always be prepared though, with proper gear, water, hat etc.On your way to the gorge you will see a few taverns. It is worth trying the trout or the salmon. It is a specialty there. Also the Monastery of Agios Antonios is great for a quick visit.
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