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 the gorges of Crete with high rappels is possible only by using technical equipment. Appropriate training in canyoneering techniques can be offered by specialist companies and clubs on the island.
Some of 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 canyon of Panagia (Virgin Mary), also known as Kalami I is parallel to the gorge Xerofarago or Kalami II and takes its name after the former monastery of Panagia Keralimeniotissa located at its exit.
Xerofarago Gorge is located south of Kalami village (Viannos area), 75km southeast of Heraklion. It is a small gorge ideal for canyoning (known to the canyoners as Kalami II) that terminates close to the old church of Panagia Keralimeniotissa, where another gorge, Kalami Gorge ends.
The gorge of Ambas is located 53km south of Heraklion, in Asterousia Mountains. Starting from the small plateau formed near the village Paranymfi (710m altitude), it ends at the beach of Treis Ekklisies. This is a large (4km long) and beautiful canyon with many narrow passages, which is accessible only by experienced canyoners.
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.
Canyon Kakoperatos located 10km south of Ahendrias village, on the eastern side of Asterousia Mountains. The distance from Heraklion is approximately 66km. The gorge is only crossed with technical equipment.
The gorge of Goula is located south of the village Kapetaniana and ends at Agios Ioannis seaside settlement. Like the two other gorges of the area (Koumos and Gerakia) it is impassable without canyoning equipment
The gorge of Valahas is formed south of Heraklion and the beach Elygia is formed at its exit. The highest rapel is 50m high and 4 hours are required for its crossing (only with canyoning equipment). The lower part of the gorge is covered by pine trees.
The wild and inaccessible canyon of Mesosfini is located 55km south of Heraklion city, in an isolated area west of the seaside village of Treis Ekklisies. Its entrance is located at a height of 450m, near the village of Mournies and Prinias, in the Asterousia Mountains. At its exit, 2km south, it is formed the majestic beach of Voidomatis, which can be accessed via a dirt track from Tris Ekklisies.