At the foothills of the White Mountains, the province of Sfakia is home to one of the most famous gorges in Europe, the imposing Gorge of Samaria. The trail is crossed by thousands of visitors every summer. It starts from the plateau of Omalos, descends through a magical dense forest of cypresses and pine trees, passes between very narrow passages with vertical walls of a height of up to 500m, before reaching the seaside village of Agia Roumeli. Other well-known hiking canyons of the region are the gorge of Imbros gorge that starts near the plateau Askyfou, the wild canyon of Aradena, the lush green Sfakiano Gorge, the Gorge Kallikratis, the rugged canyon of Tripiti and the famous gorge of Agia Irini which ends at the beach of Sougia. Some green hiking canyons are located at the region of Zourva and Karanou, while West Crete also hosts the impressive gorges of Diktamos, Lissos, Topolia, Asfendou, Kambos, Sirikari, Sassalos and more.
The canyon of Diktamos starts 21km east of Chania, next to the village Katochori at an altitude of 300m, and ends 8km eastern, at the village Faragi, at an altitude of 40m, next to the village of Stylos. Thus, it is also known as Katechori Gorge or Stylos Gorge.
Deliana – Mesavlia Gorge is located 37km west of Chania. Starting from the village Mesavlia it descends to the village Deliana after 5km. Walking in the gorge is very easy (takes about one hour) and is suggested even for children, as it runs along a dirt road.
The Gorge Kydoni is a small lush green paradise near the village Karanou, which has been adorned with a beautiful trail and information signage. The trail starts from the fountain of the village and is very easy to walk and appropriate for children.
Avlaki gorge is located near the monastery Gouverneto, 16km east of Chania city. It is one of the most important gorges in Crete with a particular religious value, as many monks and hermits found shelter in its caves. Inside the small canyon there is the deserted Katholiko monastery, perhaps the oldest monastery in Crete. Thus, the gorge is also called Katholiko Gorge.
Kallikratis is a relatively small gorge in the southeast region of Lefka Ori (White Mountains) in Chania Prefecture. The gorge connects the mountainous pasture lands with the lowland villages. It is a very pleasant walk, offering great views and rare flowers, but is not very popular to tourists. The Kallikratis’ Gorge together with the Asfendou Gorge can be a full day’s excursion.
Sirikari is located 55km west of Chania and 17km south of Kissamos, in a lush green area with canyons and water streams. The road to Sirikari is paved and runs through the dense vegetation, indicating the beauty of the area at the very first moment. From here begins the beautiful canyon of Sirikari leading to the settlement of Polirinia, where the ancient town of Polirinia was built.
The gorge of Rocca, Roka, Rocka or Rokka is located 32km west of Chania, in the area of Kolymbari. The 2km gorge starts from the village Deliana and ends at the village of Roka. In the settlement there is Trouli hill, where you can still see the ruins of a Byzantine fortress.
The small but impressive gorge of Anydri is located east of Paleochora. It starts from the village Anidri and after a snaky course, about 3km long, between high cliffs it concludes at the beautiful beach Gialiskari.