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Aradena bridge near Anopoli in Crete

The Aradena bridge is one of Crete's most interesting sights. I think that the Aradena bridge is more fascinating than the Minoan Palace of Knossos outside Heraklion in eastern Crete.

It might not sound so exciting to visit and to look at a bridge, but I assure you that it's thrilling, not to mention hair-raising. As if that were not enough, the drive to the bridge is at least as exhilarating. If you are in the vicinity, like in Chora Sfakion or Loutro, then I think you should drive up to the bridge. You won't regret it, I promise.


The Aradena bridge in southern Crete.

The Aradena bridge in southern Crete. Do you have the courage to drive a car across the bridge?



The Aradena bridge looks just like any bridge at the picture above. But the appearances are deceptive. The first time we came here we parked the car just before the bridge and walked to where the picture is taken. I stood petrified. Look, it's wooden planks on the bridge, I burst out! How do people dare to drive over that bridge?


Aradena bridge near Anopoli in southern Crete.

The Aradena bridge.


When the first car came across the bridge, I was terrified of the sound. The wooden planks is loose and when the cars drive over them it rattles madly throughout the gorge. It both looks, and sounds, horrifying. That is what I think. Others just think it's fun.

I am exceptionally fascinated by the Aradena bridge, and I do not know how many times I have driven here just to see and listen. The reason for my fascination is probably my fear of heights. Here, my fear of heights is really confirmed.

It took me many attempts before I defied my phobia and defeated the bridge. We walked to the other side of the gorge and then reached the opposite side of the bridge. It was bad weather and to walk the same way back did not attract. Especially not when I saw our car parked on the other side of the bridge. I took a deep breath and ran across the bridge without looking down into the gorge, or to look at the worn wooden planks. Once on the other side, I felt a great euphoria that I had not felt since I got married. However, I would never think about driving a car across.


The Aradena bridge in Crete from below. When a car drives over it roars in the gorge.

The Aradena bridge from below. When a car drives over it roars in the gorge.

The bridge was built in 1986 and was financed by a wealthy family connected to the tiny village of Agios Ioannis. If it were not for the bridge, the village would surely have died. In the village there is a taverna that is only open during the summer. From the bridge to Agios Ioannis it is about 5 kilometres.


The Aradena bridge and the Aradena Gorge in Crete.

The Aradena bridge and the Aradena Gorge.


On the other side of the bridge lies the remains of the village of Aradena. What remains are ruined buildings, and also a very beautiful Byzantine church called Archangel Michael. At the abutment there is a small kiosk selling snacks and drinks.

If you are really adventurous, and think it is an easy task to drive across the bridge, you can take a bungy jump off the bridge. It's a jump from 138 meters! Read more here: www.bungy.gr

Don't miss this fascinating bridge if you stay in Chora Sfakion or Loutro.

Read about the road leading up to the Aradena bridge here »


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