Canyoning, Canyoning in Greece, History


Canyon exploration, our team

Canyon exploration is the dream of every canyoner who wants to develop in canyoning but also to leave behind a small footprint in the history of the sport in his/her homeland.

So, on Sunday, November 21, 2021, on a sunny and bright day, Giannis Farsarakis and the Koutsa Koutsa Canyoning team (Katrin Fliatoura, Antonia Bairachtari, Giannis Arsenis, Sila Papadopoulou) decided to enter the canyon of Kleivoka for the first time. The location of this new canyon is under the Holy Monastery of Kleivoka, near the large village of Kontovazaina, in the former province of Gortynia, in the northwest of the prefecture of Arcadia, in  Peloponnese, Greece.

In recent years, Giannis Farsarakis has been more active in discovering new caves in the wider Peloponnese region. However, having vast experience in canyoning and using his own light rigging as a means of canyon exploration (see Gerakina, Inachos, Mikros Helmos, Erarchos etc.), he revealed the dolly canyon with a quick Facebook story.

We immediately got carried away, mobilized and – cutting the long story short – prepared ropes, extra headlights, gear and food to enter and explore a part of the canyon, which seemed (and sounded) very interesting since at some point, on a concrete bridge, we could clearly see a waterfall of about 7-8 meters with a very beautiful flow and small ponds with clear water in a green environment.

We started from Athens at 05:00 in the morning, when others were returning from their Saturday night entertainment, and after the four members of Koutsa Koutsa Canyoning team crashed into a car, we proceeded to meet Giannis somewhere on the way to Arcadia.

The weather was fantastic and very promising for a canyon exploration. The heat created a pleasant eagerness to enter the water, which turned out to be cooler than we expected. According to the altitude, we expected at least 10 descents of several meters, which were finally about 14 with a lower height of 4 meters and a larger 23-25 meters.

The canyon turned out to be a pure treasure of beauty and surprises, with several technical points, slides, small dives, crystal clear ponds and a constant flow from the entrance to the exit, continuing as a stream from the point we finally decided to exit, almost below the Monastery of Kleivoka . Perfect for the season, with the ideal water quantity, orientation that allows the sun’s rays to play with the green trees that follow the riverbed and wonderful rock formations, it captivated our hearts.

We all promised to get back in the canyon as soon as possible, to properly secure it with bolts and chains where needed, as well as some detours and intermediate bolts in the demanding points we noted, in case it has a lot of water.

The complete mapping and reporting of the canyon points will follow the soonest because it is an excellent choice for autonomous canyoners, as it offers a daily excursion with 3-4 hours of activity. The parking space of the entrance is relatively limited in contrast to the parking space of the exit, which is a wide plateau. Everywhere you can go by a conventional car and in the village of Kontovazaina there is the possibility to have a nice late lunch and coffee with a unique view.

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