Discover the mountain plateaus and the history of East Crete
Steering clear of the main tourist areas, this 8-day trip explores the east area of Crete.
Highlights of our East Crete Walking Tour include:
- the highest summit of Dikti mountain range,
- the largest plateau of Crete, Lassithi plateau - where Zeus was born and once the lilting rhythm of the 10000 windmills irrigated the fields
- the timeless mountain plateaus of Limnakaro, Katharo, Niato
- Byzantine frescoes
- coastal walks
- "the Island of tears", the Venetian island and massive fortress of Spinalonga
Starting from Heraklion we will depart for Lassithi plateau to reach the Minoan settlement at the summit of Karfi and continue to pay homage to Zeus birthplace before climb the highest summit of Dikti (2148m) accompanied by a pair of eagles. Crossing Katharo plateau we will descend to Kritsa village with its beautiful gorge and the triple-aisled church of Panagia Kera with the most outstanding Byzantine frescoes of Crete, to continue to the Dorian city of Lato founded in 700 BC.
Follow the coastal path around Aforesmenos cape passing the abandoned lighthouse and Agios Ioannis chapel with its spectacular views to the bays of Elounda and Spinalonga Island before embark to a fishing boat to explore Spinalonga, "the island of tears", the Venetian massive fortress and later a leper colony.
Relax in the small fishing village of Mochlos and enjoy the swim in the crystal waters of Cretan Sea.
East Crete 8-Day hiking tour - Itinerary
DAY 1: Transfer to the hotel in Heraklion city. In the evening we will have a brief presentation of the whole trip and will continue with dinner at a traditional tavern. Welcome to the gastronomic reality of the authentic Cretan cuisine! (Overnight in Heraklion)
DAY 2 (6 hrs walk): After breakfast we will drive towards the largest plateau of Crete - Lassithi plateau. Starting from "Ambelos" with the old windmills, we will hike to the summit of Karfi, which offers spectacular view to the north coast and a Minoan settlement. Passing from the small and beautiful "Nissimos" valley we descend to Lassithi plateau, where we have the chance to experience a small journey through mythology by visiting Dictaion Andro, the cave where Zeus was born. (Overnight in Lassithi)
DAY 3 (6-7 hrs walk): Our goal today is the highest summit of mountain Dikti. (2148m). During our ascent we will have the opportunity to see some pairs of Eagles flying over the cliffs of the impressive west face of the mountain. The summit offers us an unbelievable view of Lassithi plateau and the east area of Crete. (Overnight in Lassithi)
DAY 4 (6-7hrs walk): We will start early in the morning and we hike to another interesting plateau, "Katharo". Crossing this plateau we meet the shepherds of the area and admire some of the most "authentic" pictures of Crete. After a pure (simple and very tasty) Cretan lunch, will continue our hike and descend to the village of Kritsa. (Overnight in Kritsa)
DAY 5 (3 hrs walk): For those interested in Cretan and Greek history, today's walk is a rewarding one as we will visit the triple-aisled church of Panagia Kera with the most outstanding Byzantine frescoes of Crete, and the ancient city of Lato, which was founded in the 700 BC by the Dorians. We will continue to the village of Tappes for lunch and return back to Kritsa. (Overnight in Kritsa)
DAY 6 (4hrs walk): Starting from Mirabello's countryside, we will follow the costal path to Plaka village. The view to the bays of Elounda and Spinalonga island is extraordinary. At the end of the hike, we will enjoy a swim and will visit by boat the island of Spinalonga. We will explore, "the island of tears", that was a massive fortress for the Venetians and became later a leper colony. (Overnight in Mochlos)
DAY 7: This is a relax day, spending it at the blue sea of Kritiko Pelagos (Cretan Sea). The strong swimmers can visit the little island of Agios Nikolaos that is opposite Mochlos. After lunch we drive back to Heraklion, and will visit Knossos, to enjoy the magnificent archaeological area holding remains of a Minoan city that thrived 3500 years ago and the famous palace dated 170-1450 B.C., excavated by Sir Arthur Evans at the beginning of this century. (Overnight in Heraklion)
DAY 8: This is the end of our trip. You may explore the city of Heraklion.
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