In the warm and dry area of East Crete, most gorges dry up during the summer, however there are a few green oases, such as the canyon Richtis with the impressive waterfall. The Dikti Mountain Range is home to some very impressive canyons, with the most popular being Sarakina by Mythi, Kritsa, Adrianos, Havgas by Kalamafka and Havgas at Lassithi Plateau. Some more impressive gorges, surrounded mainly by pinewood, are located on Mount Thrypti. Among them, the canyons of Pefki, Orino, Ahlia and Mylonas are the most popular. The area of Zakros is dominated by the eerie canyon of the Dead, which takes its name after the Minoan graves found in its cavernous walls. Other local gorges are the dry canyons Katsounaki, Lamnoni, Saint Irene and Pervolakia. North Mirabello district area also hosts some less known canyons, ideal for easy hiking, such as Kouroukoulos, Havgas by Plaka and Skotini. Apart from hiking, Lassithi also hosts some imposing technical canyons (crossed only with equipment) with the most famous being the wild canyon of Ha by Ierapetra.
Agii Pantes Gorge is located next to Skopi of Sitia province, near Faneromeni Monastery, and is one of the easiest places to walk in Crete. The very well signed trail runs along the riverbed of the gorge, below the shade of hundreds platan trees. There are two fresh water springs in the canyon, one is called Koutsounari and the other one, located inside a cave, is called Hosto Nero. The exit of the gorge is the beach of Agii Pantes (by Platani beach). The area floods in winter turns to an important wetland. Near its exit, you will admire the white limestock formations, reminding of huge pleurotus mushrooms.
The gorge of Adrianos starts from the village Adrianos. In some places there are high rocks that impede the free course through the canyon, making walking difficult, but not impossible (the course needs about 3 hours). The river flowing in its bed is Skoulikaris that starts near village Potami and it empties in the town of Agios Nikolaos.
Gorge Katsounaki is located in the dry Eastern Crete, east of Xirokambos settlement. The river passing through the gorge leads to the beach of Xerokampos River, next to the beautiful sand beach of Alona. Hiking in the canyon is easy and the landscape with tall walls is very wild. You can walk upside down from Alona.
The canyon of Koudoumis is located about 27km west of Sitia, near the village Tourloti. The canyon is accessible on foot, but it has six small steep rappels that require little attention. The canyon is also called Tourloti Gorge as its exit is located close to Tourloti and its entrance is located at the small plateau of Monokaras, a few kilometers further south. The impressive rock formations and the blooming nature of spring make trekking in Koudoumis gorge very interesting.
The exit of the gorge Tsigounis is located 1km west of the village Sfaka, Sitia district, on a turn of the main road connecting central Crete to Sitia. The river flowing through the gorge gets its water from the plateau Monokara and is "stingy" (tsigounis means stingy) as it has small quantities of water only in winter.
The gorge of Xerokambos – Ziros, officially called “Lamnoni gorge”, is the driest canyon of eastern Crete. Walking in the gorge takes approximately 2 hours and the descent is quite easy and smooth. The canyon has typical wild cretan beauty, with bare, tall walls and undergrowth. Throughout the journey, you'll admire the view to the blue Libyan Sea.
The gorge of Agia Irini by Ziros is actually a set of two parallel canyons that merge shortly before the sea, at the point where the dirt road passes to the beach of Agia Irini. Both canyons are very wild, rocky, with steep slopes and high walls. Especially the westernmost of the two branches is quite eerie and dangerous for those who have no experience of hiking in canyons (still it is not technical).
The gorge of the Holy Apostles in Lapathos is located in the south of Mount Dicti, 28km west of Ierapetra, 72km south of Heraklion, in the area of Kato Simi. This is a very rough canyon, which is a perfect challenge for very experienced canyoners. Its length is about 4km and the elevation difference between the startind and the ending point is about 900m.