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.
The wild and imposing gorge of Kapsas is located 8-9km east of Makrigialos and 33km east of Ierapetra. The gorge is also called Pervolakia, because its northern entrance is near the secluded and picturesque village of Pervolakia. When in the village, you should walk in the nearby traditional village of Pezoulas, with the amazing houses.
Through the gorge passes Havgas river that carries water from the plateau of Katharo to Lassithi. Then the water reaches Chonos (the hole from which waters of the Lassithi Plateau escape the plateau), comes out from Fleves and reaches Aposelemis dam. The river has water for several months a year. Thus, make sure you get properly informed about the weather because the canyon carries a lot of water during periods of rainfall.
The Gorge of Chochlakies or Karoumes is located in one of the most isolated areas of the island, near Kato Zakros. Easy hiking in the snakelike canyon with the sparse vegetation and the bare rocks, ends in the amazing beach of Karoumes, where being totally alone is the rule.
Throughout its short length its hides two key surprises. First, it hosts a small colony of Cretan date palm trees (Theophrastus palm trees), while at the end of it, by the sea, some ponds with fresh water are formed. Especially these springs are an unexpected view in the hot and dry East Crete.
The Gorge of Havgas is located very close to the village Kalamafka, just 12km north of the city of Ierapetra. Note that there are several other gorges with the same name around Crete, such as the Havgas Gorge in Lassithi Plateau.
Mesonas gorge is located on the northern slopes of the mountains of Thripti, near villages Kavoussi and Avgos. It is a short imposing gorge (4km long), that needs technical equipment for crossing it along its bed. The canyon connects the Plateau of Thripti to the plain of Kavoussi.
The Gorge Selinari is located about 45km east of Heraklion and 21km west of Agios Nikolaos, on the eastern slopes of Selena Mount. It is well known to all Cretans, because the National Road from Heraklion to Agios Nikolaos runs along the gorge.
A very short gorge with the small wonderful beach of Agriomandra formed at its exit. To find that you should follow the dirt road that crosses the green meadows west of Kavoussi, known as Lakos Ambelion position, till the entrance to the gorge.