Having walked from Elafonisi all the way to Hora Sfakia over the coastal route of the Crete E4, I was well ready to hop a bus for the beach town of Fragokastello for a few days’ rest before my friend Kyle met up to head into the White Mountains.
After the bus never materialized, I had to walk about half of the 15km distance on more roads until finally a local shepherd picked me up on his way home for the day. Finally arriving to Fragokastello at the end of a long day, I was ready for nothing more than a quick meal and a long sleep. Cue the next morning, walking away for a moment to heat coffee water in a more protected spot, as my tent blew over. I’m all about budget travel, but sometimes enough is enough!
I checked immediately into the Coral Guesthouse, just a few minutes away from the Frog Castle that gives the village its name.*
The proprietor, a local guy who spends winters working in Austria/Norway/wherever adventure calls, was an excellent host and great source of info for the area. It was on his advice that I headed for the Kalikratis Gorge for a day’s hike.
The trail here, only a couple hours’ walk up to the top of the Gorge, follows the E4 on one of several possible branches here.
The nature is wilder than much of the hiking you’ll do in Crete, untrammeled by the many feet that pass through places like Samaria.
After the quiet of the Kalikratis Gorge, even the relatively slow pace of village life may seem bustling.
Heading back through Fragokastello through fields of flowers and trees, though, this feeling dissipates quickly into a pretty peaceful vibe.
Conveniently, I was in Crete just in the middle of wildflower season. The effects on my sinuses were painful, but for my camera quite alluring.
Getting back to Fragokastello proper, as the sun goes down over a place not yet geared up for the busy season, it seems like one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Run back up to Coral Guesthouse, drag one of the chairs out onto the balcony, and enjoy the view as the sun sets over the Libyan Sea.
* Not an actual fact.