In the rugged terrain of Crete, 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.
At the furthest tip of Akrotiri Cape there is the gorge of Diplochachalo. It is located close to the village of Chordaki, on the way to the famous beach of Stefanou. This is a small, stunning and purely technical canyon with 6 descents, 2 of which are quite high. It starts just below the quarry that dominates the area.
The Gorge of Tromarissa is located near the village Zourva and it is said that it gets its name after the myths about fairies and goblins that scared passersby at the position where we meet the spring of Tromarissa (tromazo means get scared in Greek).
At the small and almost deserted village Chordaki, district of Amari, we meet the small but very beautiful canyon of Kynigospilios south of the village. It is a secret place, not visible from anywhere and this is the main reason that remains it unknown. The canyon Kynigospilios has enough water flow during the winter months till the end of spring, which comes from the slopes of Mount Kedros.
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.
Platys (i.e. wide) river is one of the rivers of foremost importance in Crete, flowing all year round. It gathers almost all water quantities of Amari valley and leads them at the beach of Agia Galini. At a secret location between the settlements Agia Paraskevi, Vyzari and Petrohori, the wide river gets narrow and forms two impressive ravines. The first is the small Mesa Faragi (inner gorge), reminding of the gorge of Kourtaliotis.
Gorge Smiliano or Kalamafka is located north of the village Ano Meros, about 100km southwest of Heraklion city. Through the gorge runs the Lygiotis river which is supplied by the valleys of Gerakari and the slopes of Samitos Mount. The canyon has a lot of water in winter and crossing it, by any means, is very tough.
The canyon Kakoperatos is located by Agios Vasilios village at the province of Agios Vasilios. It’s a tributary of the Megalos River (Kourtaliotis) and as its name suggests (bad passage in Greek) it cannot be accessed from humans (by trekking).
The canyon is formed north of Rodakino village and is inaccessible without the use of canyoning equipment. It starts south of the summit of Kryoneritis Mount and after 5km it merges with the canyon of Sykia, just before reaching the bridge of Rodakino.