Rethymnon hosts several accessible beautiful canyons. The most famous is the Gorge Kourtaliotiko, in which flows the river Megalos that ends at the beautiful beach of Preveli with the dreamy palm grove. The gorge has the largest quantity of water in Crete and river trekking along its bed, from the springs to the beach, is an exciting experience. Other hiking-friendly canyons of Rethymnon include the twin Kollita gorges at the area of Argyroupolis, the gorge Kotsifos by Plakias, the gorge of Saint Anthony at Patsos, the gorge Prasano and the gorge Platania. Next to the town of Rethymnon there are the lush canyons of Myli, Vederi and Gallos.
The gorge of Patsos or Agios Antonios is located 8 km southwest of the Monastery of Arkadi, in the heart of the lush province of Amari. The water of the gorge is poured in the the dam of Potamoi. Trekking in the gorge is very easy, since it is managed by the Forest Service.
The Gorge of Kourtaliotis is located 22km south of Rethymno and has a length of 3km. It is one of the most spectacular natural attractions of Rethymnon. It starts from the village Koxare and flows between the mountains Kouroupis (984 m) and Xiro Oros (Dry Mountain - 904m). The huge cliffs of the canyon reach a height of 600 meters and are full of openings and caves, where significant fauna species live.
Mili Gorge is a stunning green oasis near the town of Rethymno. It is actuallya ravine inside which hosts a huge number of plants and trees, a real botanic garden. It is located north of the village Chromonastiri and south of Xero Chorio. In recent years it attracts many walkers who trek along a nice trail.
Kollita Gorges, i.e. Twin Ravines are located nearby the picturesque village Argyroupolis, about 22km southwest of Rethymnon city. They are named so, as they consist of two parallel canyons that end near Kato Poros settlement. Here we refer to the easternmost gorge of Moundros.
The wild Prassano gorge is located 10 km southeast of Rethymnon. Starting south of Prasses village, it offers a three-hour walk through the stunning gigantic rocks and through some relatively hard accesses, which make the passage very interesting. The Prassano gorge is located next to the bare hills of Gargana. It ends in Platanias, east of the town of Rethymno.
The gorge of Kotsyfos starts at Kannevos village and ends at Plakias. The starting point is very narrow with a width of about 10m, which gradually increases and reaches 600m. The total length is 1800m, and the almost vertical sides that reach a height of 600m. Inside the gorge there is a small temple built inside a rocky cavity dedicated to Saint Nicholas.
Platania Gorge is located in the Amari valley, 38km southeast of Rethymno, on the western outskirts of Psiloritis. It is a unique trail, with impressive cliffs, vertical limestone rocks, rock roofs and caves. The trail is recommended for experienced mountaineers, although the first part of the trek is quite easy and well pathed, even for children who are physically fit.
Margarites is a village, well known for its marvelous architecture and the traditional pottery. However, in the wider area of the villages of Margarites, Orthe and Eleftherna appear a series of small, parallel gorges. Small streams such as Margaritianos flow towards the north and are tributaries of the Geropotamos River. The gorges are developed in white-yellow marly limestone of the Upper Miocene period (8-10 million years ago) as a result of the uplift of the whole area and the erosion by water.