In Greece there are a lot of extremely fascinating canyons in several places of the country, in the mainland and the islands. On their inaccessible walls a wide range of rare wildflowers is hosted and many birds have built their lairs on this safe place. If you visit Greece, canyoning is one of the things you have to try! A canyon crossing can offer you unforgettable experiences and strong feelings as why you have to hike, to climb, to come off rocks, to cross rivers, to swim even to dive into the water! If you love both excitement and entertainment, you have to visit a canyon!
Greece as a mountainous and rocky country offers to its visitors a variety of canyons to choose. We have collect information and experiences in a list so you can find plenty of reasons to visit a canyon in Greece and to joy special emotions.
This canyon with the incredible beauty is located in Crete, near the city of Chania on the chain mountains named ‘’White Mountains’’. It is the biggest canyon in Crete and also the biggest in whole Europe with total length 18 kilometers. Its width ranges from 150 meters to 3 meters (a point named ‘’Portes’’ – means doors). The Samariá Gorge is a protected national park since 1962 and is residence for a wide variety of species. The most famous of the animals who live there is the wild goat ‘’kri kri’’ also known as the Cretan goat. You can find this interesting animal only in the area of Crete and hunting them is strictly forbidden. In addition, the canyon hosts 14 endemic species and is protected by the UNESCO as Biosphere Reserve. Also, in the canyon there is a flora treasure for example rare herbs and plants as the wild dictamus and wild flowers.
The entire path has a lot of sign posted guides and is the most walked path in Greece. From the first steps you feel the awe of the high mountains and the endless gorge to unreel in front of you! For the first 4 kilometers the landscape has a lot of changes as you can see huge mountains and very high trees as well big rocks and water sources. As you continue you can see mountains of a 2000 meters altitude. Approximately, in the middle of the canyon, the gorge gets narrow and the path goes to the point which is mentioned above as ‘’Portes’’. At this point you can see the sea and after 2-3 kilometers there is an old and ramshackle village. The end of the route is gorgeous as you can see the Libyan Sea! A cool nosedive and the rest on the beach are the great end of the beautiful trip!
Useful information: the gorge is closed during the winter as it is very difficult to cross it, it opens during April until October. To cross the Samariá Gorge is wise to be well prepared. Some of the needful items are suitable and light clothes, tough shoes, light food and cream to prevent sunburn. Water is no necessary as there are a lot of fresh water sources. It is allowed for the visitors to take pictures but is forbidden to pass the night in the canyon, the hunting and fishing, the fire, the smoking, plants and flowers cutting, the pollution of the place and the alcohol consumption. In several points of the gorge, you meet guards and transporters with donkeys who carry people with low cost if it’s necessary.
The Vikos gorge is located at the heart of the national park Vikos-Aoos, an area with very important ecosystem. Its length is 11 kilometers and is the owner of a world record. According to the Guinness Book of Records and its 2005 year edition, the Vikos gorge is the deepest canyon of the world with a depth of 900 and 1100 meters wide (depth/width ratio 0.82).
Natural beauty and gorgeous view are the main characteristics of this impressive place. It is no allowed every human activity related with farming and that is the reason for the development of a unique biodiversity which includes bears, wild goats, deer and other animals. You can across the canyon on foot with the help of the sign posted guides. If you visit this canyon do not miss the breathtaking view from above!
This gorge hides something really special. You can cross it with a small traditional train! This unique route is one of the most beautiful natural sights in Greece and the train route has been characterized as the most impressive of the entire Balkan area. On the vertical inner walls of the canyon are rescued very interesting and rare plant communities which live only in the rocky habitats of the Eastern Mediterranean area. Some of these species are the campanula versicolor, the aromatic teucrium pollium and the local endemic plant Achillea unbelata ssp monocephala. Next to the rail ways there is path which is sign posted with symbols of the European Path E4 and it is used by Greeks and foreign hikers.
The Ha Gorge
This canyon is located in the eastern part of Crete in town Ierapetra. It is a rare morphological phenomenon of the nature, a virgin untouched by human habitat as why is difficult for people to cross it and take advantage of it. Only three climbers from Thessaloniki, experienced and adventurous, have achieved to cross it in 1987. To cross it, the climbers passed 7 days in the canyon. There are small lakes which host a lot of migratory birds and in the entire area exist a wide range of birds, mammals, insects and reptilians.
There are countless canyons in Greece, some of them very famous like the Samariá Gorge. Although, the most of them are unknown and unexplored for many people but equally impressive. It is important for the future visitors to know that is no easy to cross some canyons in Greece as why they demand specific abilities and equipment. If you decide to visit this attractive country don’t miss the opportunity to spend some time to take a look to its gorges. The result will reward you definitely.