Gorges of Central Crete

Heraklion

Agia Paraskevi Gorge (Voukolias)
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The wild canyon of Agia Paraskevi is located in the Asterousia Mountains and on the borders of the village Paranymfi. It is called the little "brother" of the adjacent imposing and most famous Ambas Gorge, as both of them have the two highest waterfalls of Heraklion prefecture. The largest waterfall of Agia Paraskevi is 115 meters high, while that of Ambas is 145 meters high.

The gorge of Agia Paraskevi, also known as Voukolias, is a technical one, meaning its descent requires special equipment and training in canyoning. Even for canyoners it is considered a difficult gorge and only the most experienced can descend it safely.

It forms just west of the Ambas Gorge. It collects the water from two streams; the first stream starts from the area of the church of Saint Paraskevi belonging to the parish of the village Paranymfi and the second stream starts from the area Platanias. Initially the river flows into the smooth and fertile plateau of Paranymfi but soon meets the Asterousia ridge, where it forms successive steep descents, the largest of which is 60 meters (on the 110 meter waterfall).

Then the route to Ornios beach next to the settlement of Tris Ekklisies becomes smooth again. Close to the sea it crosses the largest native carob wood of Crete.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Heraklion Prefecture
  • Type: Canyoneering equipment needed
  • Water: Generally dry
  • Length (km): 3.5
  • Altitude difference (m): 300
  • Difficulty (0-10): 8
  • Hiking Hours: 5
  • Accessibility: Walking
  • Maximum Rapel Height (m): 60

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