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Portela Gorge

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Gorge description

The Portela Gorge, positioned in the southern region of the Heraklion prefecture, serves as a drainage channel for the Ano Viannos basin, directing water towards the South Cretan Sea. The gateway to this gorge is situated at the Hondros village, and it leads out to Keratokambos. It ranks among Greece’s most perilous canyons, only to be traversed by seasoned canyoners. Particularly after heavy rainfall, the gorge can prove lethal. However, a passable trail and road run alongside the gorge, stretching from Hondros to Keratokambos, but they lack the allure of the canyon’s interior.

This gorge is a blend of beauty and wilderness, earning it legendary status in the region and ranking it among Crete’s most popular canyoning locations, alongside Ha and Arvi. It boasts the greatest water volume during winter and early spring compared to other local gorges. The canyon features 25 technical descents with the highest being 30m, and a 340m altitude difference between the entrance and exit. Owing to the area’s inaccessibility, locals are primarily familiar with the last waterfall, Richtra, at the gorge’s exit, which can be reached without any equipment.

Five faults intersect the canyon, contributing to its formation along with gully erosion. These faults divide Portela into three sections, resulting in a rich variety of plants and landscapes. A unique feature of this canyon is the abundance of mud it holds, possibly due to the “Viannos” rock formation visible before the gorge. This formation contains large amounts of clay, which is carried into the canyon by the water flow. The gorge’s signature feature is the stunning Sifoni, a large waterfall in a sinkhole, the “bottom” of which has been opened, allowing the waters to continue their journey.

Most frequent asked questions

Portela Gorge

What type of gorge is Portela Gorge?

Portela Gorge is a narrow and steep canyon.

Is there water in Portela Gorge?

Yes, there is water in Portela Gorge until the spring.

How accessible is Portela Gorge?

Portela Gorge is accessible via a dirt track.

What is the length of Portela Gorge?

Portela Gorge is 3 kilometers long.

What is the difficulty level of Portela Gorge?

Portela Gorge has a difficulty level of 8 out of 10.

How long does it take to hike Portela Gorge?

It takes approximately 4.5 hours to hike Portela Gorge.

What is the altitude difference in Portela Gorge?

The altitude difference in Portela Gorge is 350 meters.

Where is Portela Gorge located?

Portela Gorge is located in the region of Heraklion.

Gorge details

Location

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Stays near Portela Gorge

  • 9.3 / 10
  • Κερατόκαμπου

Located in Áno Viánnos and only less than 1 km from Keratokampos Beach, Villa Richtra provides accommodation with sea views, free WiFi and free private parking. With mountain views, this accommodation features a terrace.

This air-conditioned apartment comes with a kitchen, a seating area, a dining area and a satellite flat-screen TV. Towels and bed linen are provided in the apartment.

The apartment offers a picnic area. Guests can also relax in the garden.

Armenopetra Beach is 1.4 km from Villa Richtra, while Nikos Kazantzakis Museum is 48 km away. The nearest airport is Heraklion International Airport, 60 km from the accommodation.

  • 2.2 km
  • 9.8 / 10
  • Κερατόκαμπος

Featuring garden views, Myrtia – Cretan Guest House offers accommodation with a garden, a terrace and barbecue facilities, around 1.6 km from Armenopetra Beach. The air-conditioned accommodation is less than 1 km from Keratokampos Beach, and guests benefit from complimentary WiFi and private parking available on site.

The holiday home with a patio and mountain views features 2 bedrooms, a living room, a flat-screen TV, an equipped kitchen with a dishwasher and an oven, and 2 bathrooms with a walk-in shower. Towels and bed linen are featured in the holiday home.

Nikos Kazantzakis Museum is 48 km from the holiday home, while Acqua Plus Waterpark is 49 km away. The nearest airport is Heraklion International Airport, 60 km from Myrtia – Cretan Guest House.

from

€58

/night

  • 2.3 km
  • Keratokampos

Situated in Keratokampos and only 800 metres from Keratokampos Beach, Villa Panthea features accommodation with mountain views, free WiFi and free private parking. The air-conditioned accommodation is 2.2 km from Armenopetra Beach.

The villa features 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, bed linen, towels, a flat-screen TV, a dining area, a fully equipped kitchen, and a terrace with sea views.

Guests can also relax in the garden.

Nikos Kazantzakis Museum is 47 km from the villa, while Acqua Plus Waterpark is 49 km from the property. The nearest airport is Heraklion International Airport, 59 km from Villa Panthea.

from

€241

/night

  • 2.3 km
  • 10 / 10
  • Keratókambos

Haris Villas is located in Keratokambos village. It offers split-level, air-conditioned accommodation opening out to a balcony with Cretan Sea and mountain views. The nearest beach is 150 metres away.

Simply yet tastefully decorated, Haris villa features warm tones and tiled flooring. A fireplace and a flat-screen TV are found in the living room. The bedrooms are fitted with wrought-iron beds. A well-equipped kitchen with stove, fridge, and a dining area are also provided.

The property can arrange a big variety of activities for guests, upon request. Video games are also available upon request.

Homemade jams, honey, fresh fruits for breakfast, as well as olive oil, vegetables and pasta can be provided to guests. Restaurants, cafes and mini markets are 50 metres away.

Heralkion City is at a distance of 61 km and Heralklion International Airport can be reached within 60 km. Free private parking is provided on site.

from

€87

/night

  • 2.5 km
  • 9.8 / 10
  • Kastri Iraklio

Set in Kastrí, 700 metres from Keratokampos Beach and 2.3 km from Armenopetra Beach, Garden House – Kastri Crete offers air conditioning. This property offers access to a balcony and free private parking.

With free WiFi, this 2-bedroom holiday home offers a flat-screen TV, a washing machine and a kitchen with a fridge and stovetop. Towels and bed linen are featured in the holiday home.

Nikos Kazantzakis Museum is 46 km from the holiday home, while Acqua Plus Waterpark is 48 km away. The nearest airport is Heraklion International Airport, 58 km from Garden House – Kastri Crete.

from

€91

/night

  • 2.5 km
  • 9.4 / 10
  • Eparhiaki odos Kato Viannos - Keratokampos

Set in Keratokampos, less than 1 km from Keratokampos Beach and 2.5 km from Armenopetra Beach, Hara’s Apartment 1 offers air-conditioned accommodation with a balcony and free WiFi. With garden views, this accommodation provides a patio.

The apartment with a terrace and sea views features 2 bedrooms, a living room, a flat-screen TV, an equipped kitchen with an oven and a fridge, and 1 bathroom with an a bath or shower. Towels and bed linen are featured in the apartment.

Nikos Kazantzakis Museum is 46 km from the apartment, while Acqua Plus Waterpark is 48 km away. The nearest airport is Heraklion International, 58 km from Hara’s Apartment 1, and the property offers a paid airport shuttle service.

from

€74

/night

  • 2.5 km

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