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This small village with its few residents and the three hospitable coffee houses is a landmark point for many routes and activities in the east zone of the Asterousia. Near here is the famous Abas location. It is a wonderful vantage point looking out onto the southern coastline offering a truly breathtaking view. Heading from Paranymfoi to Mournia, after about 800 meters, you come across a small sign pointing to Abas. Follow the narrow lane and park your car where the road ends. The old watermill is a characteristic feature: it ran on the water from the stream flowing into the gorge right below you. Throughout the year, but not in the summer, you can see this active stream. Any daredevils among you should not follow this route, because you will soon find yourselves needing ropes and equipment to continue you descent by canyoning. Follow the path going in the opposite direction and reaching the ‘horseshoe’ shaped Abas cliff, where you can discern the hamlet of Treis Ekklisies (Three Churches) in the distance. It is on these cliffs where the bearded vulture and the griffon vulture nest and you are bound to come across them during your tour. Avoid wearing bright colours, because they frighten the large, yet sensitive, birds of prey. If you are interested in bird watching, you can be supplied with all necessary visual equipment from the Information Centre of nearby Ethia (following prior arrangement with the competent Town Hall personnel).

From Paranymfoi you can also head to Kofinas, along an old footpath that is not easily discernible; however, if you feel like exploring, get ready to discover the rich biodiversity of this land with the wide range of ecosystems. Another landmark is the small gorge connecting Paranymfoi with the next village of Platania. Ask the way at the village.

If on the other hand you are interested in finding out why the Asterousia range is called ‘the Holy Mountain of Crete’, follow the dirt road leading away from Paranymfoi to the southwest that takes you to the church (old monastery) of Agiou Pavlou (St. Paul). A well-maintained and clearly signposted trail starts there and takes you above the only carob tree forest on Crete; the path forks out at that point (there are signs) and you have to choose whether you will go to Treis Ekklisies or to Koudoumas Monastery. Either choice will offer you unforgettable moments.

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