One of the most famous hikes is through the Rouvas Gorge.
It is part of the European route E4 and connects the Nida plateau with the church of Agios Ioannis in the heart of the Rouvas forest all the way down to Zaros.
If you come with 2 cars or a guided tour, you can start near the Nida Plateau (1380m altitude) and descend into the Rouvas forest. But most of the individual hikers, however, start at the lake “Limni” by Zaros and so do I.
The trail starts behind the lake (there are signs) and takes you effortlessly to the monastery of Agios Nikolaus, accompanied by the incredible aroma of the thyme and sage plants that cover the hills.
After the gate, the path leads over steps and stairs, through pine forests and over open passages, where it gets very hot in summer, to the Johanneskapelle (950 m), surrounded by a beautiful clearing with spring water, wooden benches and huge plane trees. It takes about 2.5 hours to get here and it’s a great place for a little picnic before heading back down,
If you want to go further up, the path leads to the Nida plateau (approx. 1 hour) and you will be rewarded with a breathtaking view of the largest oak forest in Crete and the valley.