For millions of years, the geological upheavals are reflected strongly in the intense relief of the island. While mountains rose, the river water continued its corrosional route through the limestone terrain, forming today's "land of gorges", Crete. With more than 400 canyons, Crete hosts the largest number of gorges in Greece. Many travel agencies offer packages for gorge trekking and there is are several hiking and mountaineering clubs based in Heraklion, Chania, Rethymnon, Agios Nikolaos, Sitia, Ierapetra and Mires.
Cretan rivers meet large faults and steep descents during their course through the canyons, forming hundreds of small and high waterfalls. Crossing gorges of Crete with high waterfalls is possible only by using technical equipment. Appropriate training in canyoneering techniques can be offered by specialist companies on the island. The most popular technical canyons of Crete include the imposing gorge Ha, Tsoutsouras, Kalami, the gorge of Arvi (which after an 80m high fall turns into a dark underground river) and many more.
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.
The unknown canyon of Venerato is located 17km south of Heraklion, just next to the village Venerato and Paliani Monastery. The deep part of the gorge is very short in length (about 500m), but its beauty does not leave the visitor unaffected, although it is badly infected by human activities.
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 and is part of the E4 trail. The first canyon on the east is called Moudriano Gorge, while the west gorge is Kato Poros Gorge of Vilandredo Gorge, mostly known as the main Kollita Gorge.
Throughout its short length its hides two key surprises. First, it hosts a small colony of Cretan date palm trees (Theophrastus palm trees), while at the end of it, by the sea, some ponds with fresh water are formed. Especially these springs are an unexpected view in the hot and dry East Crete.
The lush canyon of Boriana (mainly known as Karanou Gorge) starts from the village Boriana and joins the River Mavropiliotis after 1800 meters in a nicely landscaped trail. Along the trail we meet a ruined watermill, caves, entrances of the old iron ore quarries (known locally as quarries of Averof), a charcoal furnace and galleries.
1.5km east of Spili, next to the main road connecting Spili to Agia Galini, you will meet the chapel of Agia Fotini, also known as Agia Fotia. Next to the road, you will find the springs of Agia Fotia, an old mill and a quite high waterfall (in winter).
Kavousi canyon is located near Keratokambos (near Ano Viannos, south Heraklion) in Dikti Mountain. The total length is 1km and the altitudinal difference between entrance and exit is 170m.
The Gorge of Havgas is located very close to the village Kalamafka, just 12km north of the city of Ierapetra. Note that there are several other gorges with the same name around Crete, such as the Havgas Gorge in Lassithi Plateau.