Mitropoliano river is located south of Heraklion, next to the archaeological site of Gortyna. The name comes from the village Metropolis through which flows the river.

In ancient times it was known as Litheos river and refers to the myth of the abduction of Europe by god Zeus who was disguised as a bull. There, next to the ancient city of Gortyna, in a spring covered by a plane tree, the two mythical characters were consummated, and the three kings of Crete were born. The plane tree was worshiped and attributed the anointing to never loses its foliage.