A Flora and Fauna of Symi

A personal guide to the wildlife of Symi and beyond

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Gorge of the dead

Κάτω Ζάκρος
With names like "Dead's Gorge" and "Death Gorge" (sic) I thought it must be worth paying a visit so off I went and arrived at Kato Zakros in eastern Crete an hour later. I imagined a terrain so difficult that anyone who enters never comes out alive, either by getting lost or by dying of thirst and starvation and then having one's bones picked clean by vultures.
Actually, this is closer to the truth than I realised, the Greek name Φαράγγι Νεκρών translates to Gorge of the Dead. At the start of the gorge on the sea shore was a large Minoan city, ideally placed for trading and situated in a fertile plain with abundant fresh water springs. The caves on the gorge's wall were used as burial chambers and I imagine the bodies were picked clean by vultures (there I go again). The gorge is a gentle hike up a valley with exotic and rare plant life and a fresh water stream that disappears and reappears at different places. The city was open, €3, and sure enough the fresh water pools are still there complete with my first ever fresh water turtle. Oh, and another deserted beach, sorry.

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