Exploring the Butterfly Gorge of Ierapetra in a Day

Begin your adventure from the scenic village of Ierapetra, Orino.

The journey takes you through the enchanting Orino Gorge, also known as the Gorge of the Red Butterflies, with a summer crossing time of approximately 4 hours.

Your exploration concludes in Koutsouras, a village that has witnessed significant tourist growth in recent years.

*For additional information on the butterflies of Crete, click HERE.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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Orino: A Village Amidst the Red Butterflies

Orino: A Village Amidst the Red Butterflies

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Pine and stone make up the unique scenery found in the historic Mountain, village that its roots are lost in the mists of time. 

Modern reformation of housing and the pedestrianisation coexist alongside the earthen streets and abandoned shanty, souvenirs of a bygone era anymore. As it becomes obvious and by its name, the Mountain, is built on a high altitude of slopes of Mount Thryptis. This is the most ... mountainous, inhabited settlement of Municipal Unity Ierapetra, overlooking the Libyan Sea than the 620 m altitude.

Information and photos: Municipality of Ierapetra

Orino: Magnet for all sorts of nature lovers!

Orino Gorge or Red Butterfly Gorge

Orino Gorge or Red Butterfly Gorge

Canyons

4 hours

easy

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The Butterflies or Orino Gorge is formed in the village of Orino. The gorge is initially technical, that is to say, it requires a special equipment because the waterfalls block the way. 

The last three waterfalls at the exit of the Peristerionas area are among the most beautiful in all of Crete.

The river continues its flow to create its main hiking section at a lower point up to Koutsouras after a 3-4 hour walk. The vegetation consists mostly of pine trees.

The Gorge of Red Butterflies, as its hiking part is called, is very easily accessible, well signposted, and has a very visible path starting from the small forest of Koutsouras. It is a uniquely beautiful place during the winter and spring months because of the greenery, waters, lakes, and waterfalls it creates.


Source and photos 4-11: Municipality of Ierapetra

Photos 1-3: Thomas Galler Via Unsplash

Koutsouras: Embracing All Seasons of the Year

Koutsouras: Embracing All Seasons of the Year

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The place got its name from the systematically cultivated pine trees, leaving behind the precious woodland as its legacy.

Located along the Southern Cretan Motorway, 22 kilometres away from Ierapetra, Koutsouras, and its neighbouring Makris Gialos form a thriving tourist hub.

The famous Kokkines Petaloudes (Red Butterflies) Gorge, which begins in Orino, culminates in the pine-covered woodland where vibrant summer events are held.

While Koutsouras is renowned for its summer allure, it remains a vibrant village with offerings throughout the year. Many tavernas and restaurants operate year-round, and if you inquire about the famed Koutsouras pistachios – once a local trademark – you'll find that only a few still cultivate them.

Information and photos 2-3: Municipality of Ierapetra

Main photo and photo 1: Wikipedia