If you are looking for an adventure in nature, Mount Kissavos and its Kalypso gorge offer some of the best canyoning and rafting spots in Greece. Located on the east side of Thessaly region, facing the amazing Tempi Vale and Mount Olympus to the north, Mount Kissavos or Ossa is a mountain with wild virgin vegetation, stunning waterfalls and crystal clear pools. In this blog post, we will explore some of the most exciting and beautiful canyoning and rafting spots on Mount Kissavos and its Kalypso gorge.
Canyoning in Kalypso Canyon
Canyoning is a thrilling and unique experience that involves descending a canyon using various techniques such as abseiling, jumping, sliding, swimming and hiking. Canyoning in Kalypso Canyon is considered by many as one of the most impressive in the whole country and a great challenge for first-timers. The canyon nestles on the eastern slopes of Mt. Kissavos, close to Karitsa village, and overlooks the Aegean sea.
There are two routes to choose from, depending on your skill level and preference:
- Kalypso I canyon: This route starts from an altitude of 700 m and ends at 500 m, with a drop of 200 m. It has 6 abseils from 8 m to 60 m, water slides, many jumps into the stream and a zip line that is the highlight of the activity. The descent lasts about 4-6 hours and the ideal period to visit the spot is from May till late October.
- Kalypso II canyon: This route is suitable for less experienced participants, families and children. It starts from the base of the great waterfall (60 m) and has 3 waterfalls (max 22 m), slides, dives and a zip line. The descent lasts about 3-4 hours and the ideal period to visit the spot is from June till late September.
Both routes offer breathtaking views of the forested slopes and the deep blue pools. You will need to bring water, a towel, a swimsuit, a T-shirt, shorts or leggings, two pairs of shoes (one that will get wet) and a sense of adventure. Professional escorts, special canyoning backpacks, waterproof containers and neoprene outfits are provided by local operators.
Rafting in Penaeus River
Rafting is another exhilarating and fun activity that involves paddling a raft along a river with rapids. Rafting in Penaeus River is a perfect way to enjoy the stunning scenery of Tempi Valley, a natural border between Mt. Kissavos and Mt. Olympus. The river spills into the Aegean Sea, creating a delta that bursts with wildlife.
The rafting route starts from Rapsani bridge and ends at Tempi bridge, covering a distance of about 8 km. It has rapids of grade II-III (easy to moderate), suitable for beginners and families. The duration of the activity is about 2 hours and the ideal period to visit the spot is from October till May.
You will need to bring water, a towel, a swimsuit, a T-shirt, shorts or leggings and shoes that will get wet. Professional guides, rafts, paddles, helmets, life jackets and neoprene suits are provided by local operators.
Other activities on Mount Kissavos
If you still have energy and time after canyoning and rafting on Mount Kissavos, you can also try some of these other activities:
- Hiking: There are many trails to explore on Mount Kissavos, ranging from easy to difficult. Some of the most popular ones are: Karitsa-Kalypso Canyon (4 km), Karitsa-Agios Dimitrios (7 km), Spilia-Agios Dimitrios (10 km) and Spilia-Kokkino Nero (12 km).
- Mountain biking: There are also many routes for mountain biking on Mount Kissavos, suitable for all levels. Some of the most recommended ones are: Karitsa-Kalypso Canyon (4 km), Karitsa-Agios Dimitrios (7 km), Spilia-Agios Dimitrios (10 km), Spilia-Kokkino Nero (12 km) and Spilia-Anatoli (15 km).
- Rib cruises: If you want to relax and enjoy the Thessalian coastline, you can join a rib cruise that will take you to hidden treasures of the area, such as Venetos Caves, a complex of sea caves with turquoise waters and stalactites.
How to get there
Mount Kissavos and its Kalypso gorge are located about 400 km from Athens and 150 km from Thessaloniki. You can get there by car, bus or train. The nearest towns are Larissa and Katerini, where you can find accommodation, restaurants and other services. The nearest village is Karitsa, where the canyoning routes start.
Mount Kissavos and its Kalypso gorge are ideal destinations for adventure lovers who want to experience canyoning and rafting in a stunning natural setting. The area offers many opportunities for outdoor activities and adrenaline sports, as well as relaxing and sightseeing. If you are looking for a memorable and fun trip in Greece, you should definitely visit Mount Kissavos and its Kalypso gorge.