Calamos Supports Greece
GreekReporter.comGreeceRediscover Greece Canyoning

Rediscover Greece Canyoning

Greece CanyoningMost advertisement and tourism campaigns have promoted and praised Greece for many years as a Mediterranean country of marvelous beaches, crystal clear waters, warm sunny days and breathtaking landscapes by the sea. But this is only one side of it. There are more natural beauties across the country than one could ever imagine, but it takes the right way to see them and live them to fully appreciate them. Mainland Greece and the islands feature mountainous areas and naturally occurred phenomena that have been at the center of attention for the past last years due to their exceptional beauty and unique flora and fauna.

Smaller or bigger gorges and narrows, rivers and waterfalls, hills and lakes, are all equally admired by their visitors who dare spend their time in Greece off the beaten track. Canyoning is a new exciting sport that combines hiking, climbing, descending rocks, crossing rivers and swimming or even sliding down a waterfall. It has been gaining more and more fans over the years since canyoning actually focuses on the fun side of the sport and can be practiced by all people regardless of their age or skill levels. Tourists from around the world are taking canyoning routes in various Greek gorges, while increasingly more Greeks are beginning to consider hiking and scrambling unexplored sights in terms of a more alternative approach to fun, relaxation and exercise.
The geological features of the country have created over the centuries unique gorges, hills and cliffs, which may vary in size but are all as impressive as they can be. Here are some of the most praised and most visited gorges in Greece, which also offer organized canyoning routes for those tempted to try something more vigorous than plain hiking or walking.
Vikos Gorge
800px-Vikos-gorgeThe Vikos Gorge is located in the Pindus Mountains of northern Greece. It lies on the southern slopes of Mount Tymfi, with a length of about 20 km, depth ranging from 450 m to 1,600 m and width from 400 m to some meters at its narrowest part. Vikos is listed as the deepest gorge in the world by the Guinness Book of Records. The gorge begins between the villages of Monodendri and Koukouli and ends near the village of Vikos (or Vitsiko).
It also collects the waters of a number of small rivers and leads them into the Voidomatis River, which may be seasonal in most of its part, but is favored by rafting enthusiasts. Vikos is also a site of major scientific interest, because of its almost virgin condition, and a haven for endangered species and many various ecosystems.
There is a natural viewing platform over the deepest part of the gorge at Oxia, a location 3 km by a newly-constructed road from the village of Monodendri. Another viewpoint over the gorge is at Beloi, on the eastern side of the gorge, accessible from the village of Vradeto. A hiking trail descends into the gorge from Monodendri. The trail then leads north through the gorge to the springs of the Voidomatis river, from where paths lead out of the gorge to the village of Papingo on the north side of the gorge, or to the village of Vikos on the south side of the gorge. It is also possible to hike south through the gorge from Monodendri to the 18th century stone bridges near Kipi.
 Samaria Gorge01GRE-22-09-Samaria-Gorge-Crete
The Samariá Gorge is a National Park of Greece on the island of Crete – a major tourist attraction of the island – and a World’s Biosphere Reserve. The gorge is in southwest Crete in the regional unit of Chania. It was created by a small river running between the White Mountains (Lefká Óri) and Mt. Volakias. There are a number of other gorges in the White Mountains. While some say that the gorge is 18 km long, this distance refers to the distance between the settlement of Omalos on the northern side of the plateau and the village of Agia Roumeli. In fact, the gorge is 16 km long, starting at an altitude of 1,250 m at the northern entrance, and ending at the shores of the Libyan Sea in Agia Roumeli.
The walk through Samaria National Park is 13 km long, but one has to walk another three kilometers to Agia Roumeli from the park exit, making the hike 16 km long. The most famous part of the gorge is the stretch known as the Gates (or, albeit incorrectly, as “Iron Gates”), where the sides of the gorge close in to a width of only four meters and soar up to a height of almost 300 meters (1,000 feet). The gorge became a national park in 1962, particularly as a refuge for the rare kri-kri (Cretan goat), which is largely restricted to the park and an island just off the shore of Agia Marina. There are several other endemic species in the gorge and surrounding area, as well as many other species of flowers and birds.
A must for visitors to Crete is to complete the walk down the gorge from the Omalos plateau to Agia Roumeli on the Libyan Sea, at which point tourists sail to the nearby village of Hora Sfakion and catch a coach back to Chania. The walk takes five to seven hours and can be strenuous, especially at the peak of summer. There also exists a “lazy way” – from Agia Roumeli to the Gates, and back.
gefiri1Rindomo Gorge
This beautiful gorge on the west side of Taygetus Mountain in the prefecture of Messinia, Peloponnese, is rich in natural formations, such as cliffs, lush greenery and rock deformation. This only adds to the overall scenery that takes aback its visitors.
Mountain and nature lovers can walk the impressive Kalderimia routes connecting the villages of Altomira and Pigadia to the gorge, while hiking here is at its best with the ravines and rocky elevations leading one step closer to nature. From the village of Gaitsa or Koskaraka (Koskarga) there is a small picturesque bridge accessing the gorge at the old road of Kalamata-Kambos, which is definitely worth visiting.

See all the latest news from Greece and the world at Contact our newsroom to report an update or send your story, photos and videos. Follow GR on Google News and subscribe here to our daily email!

Related Posts