You may envisage the concept of canyoning in Greece as a glamorous one. Sunshine, drinks on the beach, exciting explorations through stunning canyons full of jumps, dives and gushing waterfalls. Eating ice creams doing bombs.
You might think so. You might also be mistaken.
You might also walk for hours, scramble through shrubbery, discover the canyon is dry, get hot and very sweaty, run out of water and run uphill along a road to get back to your car.
You will definitely have an adventure.
Arriving in Crete with 9 days of epic canyoning loosely planned we certainly had a somewhat delusional vision of what we would find.
Armed with a seemingly detailed canyoning guide book published by a local Cretan complete with pretty pictures, sketch maps of each canyon and even GPS co-ordinates of the entrance and exit points we expected navigating the rough and sometimes poorly marked or signposted Greek roads would be one of the greatest challenges.
It only took one day for us to discover the folly of our thinking.
Although GPS co-ordinates are highly useful for locating the entrance of the actual canyon. They’re not much use when there is no information on getting from your car to said entrance. Or when you discover the maps, times and distances to be wildly misleading or completely inaccurate!
40min walk? Try 2hours. 900m? More like 2km. Minor gravel road? Let’s amend that to rough almost 4×4 track to the middle of nowhere!
Despite what all the above might suggest our nine days in Crete was and adventure I wouldn’t have wanted to miss, filled with great missions, shenanigans and probably more than our fair share of laughs.
As well as a selection of canyon missions we managed plenty of swimming in magic places, some funny encounters in middle of nowhere Greek towns, a smattering of climbing and managed to consume more than our body weight in good Greek food (in particular a phenomenal and likely unhealthy amount of Pita Gyros).
All in undertaken beneath a sweltering blue sky. Worst holiday ever? Nah, just a good traveling adventure.
I hope you enjoy the images and thanks for following, more to follow on one particularly memorable canyon experience!