The gorges of Heraklion Prefecture divide the Asterousia mountains and Psiloritis, and end up in the Libyan Sea, in most cases.
Some of them are easy to pass through, while others are quite challenging, to be managed by skilled climbers who have sufficient experience in the sport of canyoning. A few of them also feature rock climbing routes on their vertical walls.
The gorge of Arvi, which is one of the most spectacular gorges of Crete, has a north to south orientation. It begins in the Amiras area and ends up at the Libyan Sea shore. The outlet of the gorge is next to the Monastery of Agios Antonios, a little to the north of the current coastal settlement of Arvi. The gorge can be visited all year round, except in the winter time, due to rainfall.
The gorge of Agios Nikolaos is flanked by the peaks of Ambelakia, to the east, and Samari, to the west. It is considered as the most important gorge of Psiloritis and of Central Crete, and it was named after the Byzantine chapel of Agios Nikolaos which is located at its southern entrance. It extends along the imposing southern part of Psiloritis, from the north heading south, and it connects Rouvas forest to the north with the valley of Koutsoulidis river to the south, in the Zaros area.
5 km (10 miles roundtrip from Rouvas Forest)
Agiofarago (or Agiofarango meaning the Saints' Gorge) is probably the most impressive reasonably manageable gorge of the Asterousia. It is approximately 1,5 kilometre long and it ends up at a magnificent beach.
about 1,5 km
This is one of the most characteristic and most beautiful gorges of South Central Crete. It is located at the western foot of the Asterousia mountain range, right next to Agiofarango, and south of Odigitria Monastery. It is 2 kilometres long and the elevation difference between the entrance and the beach of Martsalo, where it ends up, is approximately 145 metres.
about 2 km
The imposing bare slopes at the southern entrance make this gorge one of the most interesting geological formations of Psiloritis. Passing through its course is fairly easy. It is a marvellous place, thick in vegetation, where deciduous oaks dominate the scenery.
about 2,5 km
The gorge of Agios Antonios is a small yet magnificent gorge, which begins at Ano Assites. It is 2 kilometres long and the elevation difference between the entrance and the outlet is no more than 200 metres.
about 2 km
The gorge of Knossos (Knossano) is 6 kilometres long and,essentially,the natural continuation of the “sacred” mountain of Yiouktas. It is one of the three gorges of the Ecological-Archaeological Park of Yiouktas.
about 6 km
The gorge of Roza, which is located in the Municipality of Chersonissos, is essentially a branch of the Ambelos gorge. It is an uphill route 3 kilometres long, with an elevation difference of 300 metres. The route in the gorge is relatively easy, with a few difficult spots, and the time required is 1½ hour. Passingthrough the gorge is permitted from April to November.
about 3 km
The gorge of Astraki (Astrakiano) is quite long (12,5 kilometres), however it is not difficult to pass through. The elevation difference between the entrance and the outlet is 200 metres. The gorge begins a little outside Astraki village, passes through the inland area and ends up at Karteros area.
about 12,5 km