The island of Samos is located at the eastern tip of Greece, in the middle of the Aegean Sea and at a very close distance to neighboring Turkey. If a canyoning expert observes the three-dimensional shape of the island and its geological form, he will surely find indications for small and large gorges of technical interest. It is a place full of water, which springs from its two high mountains and falls into the sea, at all seasons. Samos has numerous bridges, pine tree forests, green areas, ravines with conspicuous rock spots and beaches full of river endings, which are features of a terrain that cannot go unnoticed by someone who dreams of doing a canyon exploration.
With this mindset, back in March 2008, a canyoning group from Spain started exploring the canyons of Samos. David Espinal, Jose A. Pacheco, Laura Samsó and Joan Ll. Haro made the very first descent in Kakorema, setting the prime belays. As the group stayed on the island, they managed to explore many canyons. On a second visit in 2010, a total list of 18 – 21 new navigator’s positions and descriptions were added indicating that Samos is a canyoning paradise, that waits to be discovered by the Greek and global community of canyoners.
Most canyons of Samos were somewhat closed and untouched for more than a decade until a week ago. Georgios Andreou from Volos (Hellas Canyon), in cooperation with the local mountaineering club Ελληνικός Ορειβατικός Πεζοπορικός Σύλλογος Σάμου (ΕΟΠΣΣ) and a group of canyoners from Athens, finally succeeded in descending 5 canyons. A new interest of promising canyon exploration for the future of European canyoning was re-born.
The weather was not friendly at all. Low temperatures, strong wind and minor to heavy rain created demanding conditions for all team members.
On the first day we had to drive around the island accompanied by our new, local friends to get acquainted with the area and see some pre-marked locations. On the second day we managed to visit “Kakorema Iraion”, a 3.2.III canyon with 10 rappel and a 20 meters maximum descent, that took us 3.5 hours (4×4). A highlight of this canyon is the exit following an interesting, rocky trail over the sea with amazing plantation.
The big challenge of the expedition was on the third day “Kakoperato”. A 4.2.IV canyon with 37 rappel and a 28 meters maximum descent, that took 5.5 hours (4×4). The gorge is ending at “Megalo Seitani” (Great Satan) beach and has a total length of 6km. It had water in the first part, was dry in the second part and has very demanding formations of down climbing up to scale of 4c grade. Only PRO, experienced canyoners with high endurance and ability canyoning leader(s) are advised to visit this canyon. The exploration team had to come across fixed boat ropes or even make-shift ropes from clothes (!!!), facts that caused extreme caution during the descent.
Three easy and playful canyons were our target for the fourth day. “Konteika part A” and “Konteika part B”. Despite they are one canyon they look like two totally different canyons in terms of beauty and nature. With a grade of 2.1.II, offering 8 + 3 rappel and a 15 meters maximum descent, our total time of movement was 2.5 hours. The last canyon we visited was “Koumaradeoi – KaloNero”. Easy to descend but full of branches and thorns (not that much fun), an average 2.1.II canyon with 5 rappel and 10 meters maximum descent that took us 1.5 hour to complete.
The last day of our visit was dedicated to a road trip around the island, as it was raining on and off, where we had the opportunity to have a nice cup of coffee, taste some homemade traditional delicacies and dance our hearts out at a latin party before saying goodbye to our new canyoning friends who live in Samos.
“Samos Canyoning Expedition” team members:
Canyoning.ai: Sila Papadopoulou
Thank you all for these amazing days that we spent together! Let’s do it again soon!