The creation of an eco friendly venue in a small village at the mountainous parts of Ierapetra, called Malles, can refresh the local society and help even the elder residents feel rejuvenated and make their lives meaningful.
This is what happened in Malles, an area situated on the north-western part of Ierapetra, where the 80-years-old Kostis Sorros, president of the Agricultural Association of Malles, has been playing the role of the tourist guide in order to meet the needs and requirements of the visitors in his village.
A Guide Young in Heart
Mr. Sorros decided to volunteer as a tourist guide pro bono, since the moral reward would be much more important than any money. Mr Sorros feels that he offers something to his homeland, Malles, and that he supports local economy and tourism.
According to him, the role of tourist guide suits him perfectly. Even though he is at his 80s he feels like a teenager while strolling in nature along with visitors guiding them to places that he hadn’t seen for many years. He fills his lungs with clean and clear air, he walks amidst lush greenery and he forgets that life can be occasionally troublesome for people at his age.
Kostis Sorros has been one of the farmers that fought for the rights of the local workers and has been encouraging younger workers of the land to do the same; he indicates that Malles used to be a large olive oil producing region, but things have now changed: the ecotourism facility is the only source of refreshment for Malles and the rural area surrounding Ierapetra. This is why more than anything, he is satisfied seeing pleasure and admiration in the eyes of tourists, who are impressed by the beauty of the area and the hospitality of the locals.
Tourists in Malles
Malles is a place where green, water, wild and unspoiled natural environment exist in abundance; these elements charm and attract visitors, who wish to return in order to breath fresh and pure air.
The visitors of Malles mingle with locals during festivals and celebrations; they try local flavors and the infamous red wine and tsikoudia produced in the area; early in the morning they set off with Kostis Sorros for their excursions to the nature.
Sorros takes them to Katharo plateau, to the Selakano Forest or crosses the famous Gorge of Sarakina with them – he does suggest, though, that some small changes should be implemented in order to help elder people cross the Sarakina Gorge easily.
Indeed a new project is launched in the area of Malles regarding the new ecotourism facilities; it refers to the designation of the ecotourism paths from the archaeological site of Myrtos to the Gorge of Sarakina, implementing several interventions that will optimize the crossing route of the Gorge for visitors of all ages.