Canyoning in Chania

With over 250 gorges criss-crossing the island's rugged terrain and 54 in the region of Hania alone (giving it the illustrious nickname 'prefecture of the gorges'), canyoning aficionados and Crete are a match made in adventure heaven. Devotees of the sport can thank the tumultuous geological history (including more than a few earthquakes) of this area for creating a place so ripe to explore. Only the seasoned canyoneer will have the experience necessary to navigate most of these wild areas, although there are a few gorges that even the novice with a good level of fitness can enjoy by hiking or biking and which don't require ropework or other wilderness techniques to explore (Samaria, Rokka, and Imbros Gorge being the most popular).
 

 

Safety Precautions
*It is important to note that many of these lesser traveled gorges (including Klados, Tripiti and Eligia) have very little, if any, infrastructure to assist the visitor and therefore all safety precautions should be taken. It is imperative to explore in groups and a guide is recommended, even for experienced canyoneerers. Also imperative in trip planning is proper clothing, adequate food and water, and an accurate weather report because sudden rainstorms can cause flash floods, particularly through narrow passageways.
 


Just less than 20 km west of Sfakia lies the Aradena gorge which begins on the softer southern hills of the White Mountains and ends at the cobalt coloured waters of the Libyan Sea.
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Found close to the city of Hania, the Theriso gorge is approximately 6km long and can also be visited by car. Easily navigated with a well laid pathway this is a good opportunity for people with families to take to the outdoors and do some hiking.
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A delightful surprise to walk or drive through, many visitors to western Crete remember the Topolia gorge not from hiking it but rather from driving along the winding road that cuts through it (and part of a mountain where a tunnel was dug to allow the road continue).
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Just east of Samaria is the very narrow, verdant Eligia gorge with its steep drop and abundant foliage. The path to its entrance begins at the Katsiveli mountain shelter.
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Just west of its more famous sister, Samaria, the Klados gorge awaits. Offering up breathtaking scenery with its imposing jagged rockface and waterfalls, the Klados gorge is a remote and little traveled terrain.
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To reach the Lissos Gorge visitors can take a small boat from neighbouring Sougia (about 20 minutes), or can arrive by foot which is about a 2 hour walk. The entrance begins at the harbour of Sougia and a good deal of the pathway is uphill.
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Located in the small, aptly named village of Rokka this gorge is a big departure from Samaria and some of the other's with rougher terrain but it is just as beautiful and has just as much flora and fauna to keep visitors preoccupied.
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More famous with each passing year, the Samarian Gorge is synonymous with Crete. Each year thousands of tourists flock to the Omalos plateau to begin their descent into the mouth of this stunning exploit.
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Compared to many of its sister's, the Sirikari gorge (also known as Polyrinia gorge) is an easy alternative for those looking to get out into nature but not suffer too much the next day.
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Just over an hour's drive southwest of the city of Hania is the gorge of Agia Irini. Easily accessible from the village of Agia Irini the entire hike is approximately three hours and stretches out over 7.5km.
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Easily one of the most beautiful gorges in all of Crete, the Imbros gorge is often overlooked by hikers who choose Samaria instead, but this gorge is impressive in its own right.
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West of Samaria this gorge can be accessed from the same pathway as Klados gorge, beginning in Linosseli. Breathtaking views of its steep rock walls, climbers will be delighted its nature and wildlife. Dangerous in spots and not for the novice. Beware of loose rocks and plan well.
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Other Activities for Hania (Chania)
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