Heraklion hosts many canyons, most of which cross the ranges of Psiloritis and Asterousia. Asterousia has wonderful hiking canyons, some of the most important being Agiofarago, Martsalo and Trafoulas. However, the most famous gorge is the canyon Gafaris at Psiloritis, crossing the magnificent oak wood of Rouvas. Other canyons of Psiloritis are the gorge of Kroussonas, through which passes the Minoan path to the Idaean Cave, the gorge Vromonero, the gorge Vorizano and the two small canyons of Asites (Saint Charalambos and Saint Anthony). Near Heraklion city, there are the lush canyons of Karteros, Kounavi, Sylamos, Almyros and Venerato. Moreover, the western slopes of Lassithi Mountains host the canyons of Roza, Ambelos, Apotyposi and the river Aposelemis by Hersonissos.
Apart from reachable gorges, Heraklion is home to some very popular technical canyons such as the imposing canyon of Arvi, which after an 80m high fall turns into a dark underground river. Especially the area of Tsoutsouras and Keratokambos is home to many steep canyons that have been equipped with bolts and anchors for training new canyoners.
Gorge of Embasa starts its course from the village Kato Kera and ends near the village Gonies, being about 2km long. Its upper part is very steep and in winter several waterfalls are formed, with the highest being about 20m high.
This is a short canyon, easily accessed that leads to the beach of Psili Ammos. The gorge has water till early spring, while it is actually a part of a longer gorge.
The gorge of Gaidourorachi or Kroussonas is located 3km west of the village Kroussonas and crosses the Psiloritis Mt. Starting from ancient Zominthos, near Anogia, it ends at Kitharida village, near Kroussonas.
The Gorge of Agia Anastasia starts from Kenourgio Horio, Province Pediada (altitude 160m) and ending at the seaside settlement of Gournes. The name is taken after the cavernous chapel of St. Anastasia, located near its entrance. The vegetation is restricted to oleanders and the walls get narrow in several points. The descent of the gorge takes about three hours.
The Knosano Gorge (or gorge of Saint Eirini) is the continuation of Mount Giouchta. It extends south of Archanes (Saint Mamas) it runs through Archanes in Kato Milos, where starts the subpart of Knossano gorge known as Sylamos Gorge, after the nearby village. This part is very beautiful with smooth cavernous rocks and huge plane trees, and is easily accessible by car as the road connecting Arhanes to Sylamos runs along the riverbed.
The gorge of Eligas is a monument of natural beauty located on the west side of the mountain Koupa near the village Miliaradon by Embaros. It is actually a high waterfall with nine rapels, ideal for canyoning. The difference of altitude between the entrance and the exit is about 230m.
Achendrias gorge is located about 52km south of Heraklion, is approximately 8km long and ends on the beach Maridaki. It crosses the arid landscape of Asterousia Range that is characterized by bare mountains, sharp rocks and rough pasture lands. Throughout most of its length it is easily accessible and is dry in summer.
The wild and inaccessible canyon of Mesosfini is located 55km south of Heraklion city, in an isolated area west of the seaside village of Treis Ekklisies. Its entrance is located at a height of 450m, near the village of Mournies and Prinias, in the Asterousia Mountains. At its exit, 2km south, it is formed the majestic beach of Voidomatis, which can be accessed via a dirt track from Tris Ekklisies.