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.
At the foothills of the White Mountains, the province of Sfakia is home to the most famous gorge 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 Chania also hosts the impressive gorges of Diktamos, Lissos, Topolia, Asfendou, Kambos, Sirikari, Sassalos and more.
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.