Dear Crete Travelers,
I hope you are doing great.
Below one of the best hiking routes in southern Chania of Crete, from Aradena Gorge to Agios Ioannis Village.
Following the main road and after crossing the bridge of the legendary gorge of Aradena which is built on the site of the ancient city Aradin.
Aradena Gorge is on the west side of the awarded gorge of Samaria. Till recently, the access to the villages Aradena and Aghios Ioannis - that follows - was only possible on foot or by horse whereas wayfarers were obliged to descend and then mount a ravine 130m deep. The inauguration of this bridge on December 28, 1986, put an end to the suffering of all the passers-by.
It is a very important project that many generations had dreamed of and which the very well-known Nick. I.Vardinogiannis Company realized, applying 40 million drachmas for its construction. Through this donation, the Vardinogiannis family fulfilled the dream of the unforgotten politician Paul Vardinogiannis who had given this promise to the inhabitants of this isolated village Agios Ioannis. It was there that he was born and where years ago his ancestors made the war and were distinguished to chief-leaders during difficult revolutionary periods.
At a short distance from the Aradena Gorge, we find two caves named Paterotripes and Dracolakki and at a depth of 500m, there is a spring of water that the shepherds transported in skin bags for their animals to drink. In Aradena we also found the byzantine church of Archangel Mikhail (14o century) which has interesting frescoes. It was in this church that the inhabitants of the village came to give an oath or settle their disputes.
From here the road - the opening of the main road has not yet been realized, leads to the village Agios Ioannis, built at an altitude of 780m and on the southern foot of the highest summit of the White Mountains (Lefka Ori) Pahnes (alt.2,453.65m). Its habitat's main occupation is cattle breeding. In this village, there are two old churches Aghios Ioannis and Panagia bearing rare fresco-paintings. From this village, another pathway is loading after several hours to Livaniana and Loutro from where we have a magnificent view of the Libyan Sea.