Canyoning in Crete



Portela Gorge
(8 votes)

Portela Gorge is located at the south of the prefecture of Iraklion; the canyon starts from Hondros village and its exit is in Keratokambos. It is one of the most dangerous canyons in Greece. Especially after rainfall, visiting the gorge can turn fatal. However, there is a walkable trail path running aside the gorge, that runs from Hondros to Keratokambos.

During winter and early spring it has large quantity of water. The canyon has 25 technical descents and the highest is 30m, the altitude difference between entrance and exit is 340m. It is a very beautiful and yet wild gorge, that’s why it is a legend of the region and considered as one of the most known canyons of Crete alongside with Ha and Arvi.

The canyon is intersected by five faults which are responsible for its creation alongside with the gully erotion. These faults split Portela into three parts that make the gorge to have great diversity in plants, landscapes etc. Additionally something unique in this canyon is the huge quantities of mud that it contains. Perhaps this is because the appearance of the “Viannos” formation appearing before the gorge. This formation contains large quantities of argil which the waters flow brings into the canyon.

The last rappel of the Portela is on rotten rock which makes the canyon to stop its way.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Heraklion Prefecture
  • Type: Canyoneering equipment needed
  • Water: Water till spring
  • Length (km): 3
  • Altitude difference (m): 350
  • Difficulty (0-10): 8
  • Hiking Hours: 4.5
  • Accessibility: Dirt track
  • Maximum Rapel Height (m): 30


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