Koutsouras Gorge is near Μakry Gialos in southeast Crete.
The gorge links the villages of Koutsouras and Oreino, and you may hear it referred to as “Butterfly Gorge”.
The entrance to the gorge is on the Koutsouras side, in the Community Park. From there it is 3-4 hours’ walk to Oreino village.
In spite of its name, you won’t see many butterflies inside the gorge, as in recent years they have only appeared in the spring.
This is probably due to the huge wildfire that broke out in 1993 and devastated much of the local woodland. Ever since, locals note, the balance of the area has been disturbed and the butterflies are gradually disappearing, especially in the last few years.
Despite the fire damage, however, Koutsouras Park is a lovely place with dense vegetation and rich plant and animal life.
There are marks blazing the trail through the gorge, but be careful as you might get confused.
At the end of the track through the gorge, as you approach Oreino village, there are small springs and beautiful waterfalls (in the winter months).
On reaching Oreino, you can sit down for a refreshing drink of fruit juice at the kafeneion in the village square. Oreino is quite high up, so it’s cooler here than seaside Koutsouras – just the thing on a hot summer day!
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