Gorges or canyons on Crete: Once you have been reading about the numerous walks we organize, you will quickly come to the conclusion that there are many gorges on Crete. It is not only the Samaria gorge or the Imbros gorge. Crete even has the nickname “the island of the 100 canyons”. Anyone who reads more into it, will come to conclusion that this is no exaggeration.

Last update: 2017-02-25: Gorges or canyons on Crete – canyons on Crete Greece – Gorges on Crete – gorge on Crete, Greece

All in all, it is nevertheless quite remarkable that there are so many gorges on one island. Therefore, it might be interesting to understand how Mother Nature created these on Crete. The gorges are formed mainly in calcium carbonate rocks, like limestone and marble. Scientists have concluded, that in general the formation of a canyon is the result of a long process of geological weathering of rocks by water erosion. But on Crete this has not been entirely the case. There is even evidence that after heavy rainfall and water flows the bottom of a canyon hardly changes.  

So, the only other explanation of the existence of gorges on Crete is the tectonic activity. Rocks were initially formed in the sea by the collision of the African plate with the European. These rocks were slowly pushed upwards. Through this geological upward lifting of the island there was too much pressure on some rocks, making them so to speak ripping apart. These fault lines became wider as a result of erosion, whether it was because of a river flowing through or by big changes in temperature. Limestone and generally all calcium carbonated rocks are extremely hard and durable, but dissolve easily in rainwater, just like butter melts in the heat. Other factors will eventually also have played a role, such as prehistoric fauna and much later the presence of humans.

When one studies the rocks in the gorges, it shows that the formation dates at least back to the Pleistocene period. The uplifting pressure on the rocks began around 13 million years ago, and was 5 million years ago the most intense. This means that the Minoan population has seen Crete in more or less the same form as we see it today. Another nice fact is, that even today you can still find fossils of animals from the sea, high up in the mountains.

Walking on Crete Greece: Our accommodation is located directly at the seafront and is an ideal starting point for hiking across Crete, both summer and winter. We offer possibilities for individual hikes or group hikes. You might know the Samaria gorge, but to explore more from the beautiful and diverse nature of Crete, you should really join us on a hike. There is a great variety of walks on Crete: walking tours through Greek villages, impressive mountain and gorge hikes on Crete or walking through the olive groves and fields on Crete. Our walking tours are suitable for everybody: from group hiking tours on Crete to individual walks or aged 50+ walks on Crete. You can book all our walks and hikes in combination with accommodation on Crete.