Pretty Agia Irini Gorge starts around 13km north of Sougia near the village of Agia Irini. The well-maintained, well-signposted and mostly shaded 7.5km trail (with a 500m elevation drop) follows the river bed, is shaded by oleander, pines and other greenery, and passes caves hidden in the gorge walls. Allow around three hours to complete the hike.
It makes for a lovely, less crowded alternative to Samaria Gorge. The trail includes a few steep sections but is mostly relatively easy, with a few river crossings. There are rest stops with benches and toilets along the way, but be sure to take plenty of drinking water with you. You’ll emerge at a taverna where you can call a taxi (€15) or continue on foot for another 4.5km via a quiet and paved road to Sougia.