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.
A few minutes away from the city of Heraklion, close to Agios Panteleimonas Monastery by Fodele, there is the canyon of Santorinios. The canyon is short but has not been exploited yet due to its quite difficult access, because of the dense vegetation and many ponds.
The gorge of Valahas is formed south of Heraklion and the beach Elygia is formed at its exit. The highest rapel is 50m high and 4 hours are required for its crossing (only with canyoning equipment). The lower part of the gorge is covered by pine trees.
Xerofarago Gorge is located south of Kalami village (Viannos area), 75km southeast of Heraklion. It is a small gorge ideal for canyoning (known to the canyoners as Kalami II) that terminates close to the old church of Panagia Keralimeniotissa, where another gorge, Kalami Gorge ends.
The Goniano gorge is the unique passage which connects Sklavokampos and Gonies with Tylisos. Its length is 3 km. and is relatively wide and straight. Reaching though the exit (in the point where a monument of those killed during the 2nd World War is in the road to Gonies) the gorge turns abruptly towards south and before it comes out of the limestone mass follows an irregular and abrupt course.
One of the most impressive and longest canyons of the entire island of Crete is the canyon with the cacophonous name Psoraris (Greek: someone who suffers from scabies). Its exit is located at the mountains of Dikti, above the village Geraki and it starts from the plateau Parasyrta. There are three different mountain roads, all of unique beauty: from Lassithi plateau (village Kaminaki), from Geraki and Katofygi by Viannos.
Apolychnos Gorge is located a few kilometers north of Mires town, in a lush green area with dense olive groves. It's actually a narrow valley running along a river, which in some places gets deeper and the vegetation is very dense.
On the southeast side of Afendis Christos summit, above the villages Embaros you will meet the verdant vineyards at Erganos plateau at 900 meters altitude. The water gathered from the melting snow of the surrounding slopes and from many springs of the region form the main tributary of the Anapodaris river, Baritis, which crosses the plateau of Erganos and forms the rugged canyon of Erganos.
Anapodaris Gorge is formed at the final part of the longest river of Crete, Anapodaris, that collects the waters of Central Province Heraklion and South Dikti Range. The suggested route has a duration of 3-3.5 hours and is possible during summer or late spring when the river does not have too much water. It is worth noting that the river empties to the sea about 40 million cubic meters of water annually.