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.
The gorge of Mindris starts near the village Filippi and ends at the port of Tsoutsouras, after running a distance of 6km. It is a open canyon without vertical walls, which’s riverbed is dry in summer and very easy to walk. On the riverside traces of ancient settlements, ranging from the Minoan to Roman Era have been found.
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.
The gorge of Saint Charalambos is a small, but beautiful canyon located south of village Ano Asites. It takes its name after the church of Saint Charalambos located at its beginning. Till the middle of spring, the gorge has water, forcing hikers to traverse (to hike along its walls).
The Gorge of Ethia, officially known as Vorno, is located south of Heraklion, at the Asterousia Range. It starts from the village Ethia and, after tearing Asterousia northwards, it finishes at the plain of Messara, between the villages and Rotasi and Mesochori.
Just a few meters to the west of Tsoutsouros, the very narrow and smaller gorge of Troulla is formed. Being shorter than the Tsoutsouros canyon, it has attracted the attention of the canyoners and is very impressive with more than 15 beautiful waterfalls along its bed, the largest being 15m high.
The gorge of Psaro Nero is located 55km southeast of Heraklion. It is a short inaccessible canyon with high waterfalls (rapels), very well known to canyoners of Crete. Psaro Nero with its wonderful rock formations has water till late spring. It is initially open and closes abruptly close to the end, where the high rappels are (the highest is 25m). The gorge empties into Baritis River, a tributary of Anapodaris, near Katofygi.
Ligiofarago is one of the few canyons of East Asterousia range that one can walk down to the sea without needing technical equipment. Recently the path has been signed, connecting Achendrias to Maridaki, running through the gorge.
Petrigiari is a small and wild gorge located parallel to the wild gorge of Kakoperatos, at the south coastline of Central Crete. The canyon is only accessible with technical (canyoning) equipment) with the maximum rapel being about 15m. The gorge ends at an amazing tiny pebbly beach with caves and crystal clear deep blue water.