The experience starts from the cosmopolitan city of Agios Nikolaos and heading north to Elounda and Plaka. The route is stunning and justifies the area’s reputation as the favourite place of celebrities and international jet setters. Just a mile off the village of Plaka lies the island of Spinalonga, which is the second most visited archaeological site in Greece.
After a brief stopover, we continue towards the traditional village of Kritsa, a historical village rich in legends, gorges, archaeological and religious monuments and sites. We continue uphill through the pine forest and we reach Katharo Plateau (altitude 1250m), a plateau famous for the Cretan dwarf hippopotamus fossils found in the area. The plateau features a magnificent landscape surrounded by numerous legends and stories that date back to the Ottoman era.
Our next destination is the impressive Lassithi Plateau (altitude 1150m). More than 10,000 traditional windmills operated in the area until some decades ago. In the 1950’s and 1960’s, the Plateau was actually one of the first wind farms in Europe. The Diktaean Cave, that is, the birthplace of Zeus, is located at the village of Psychro (altitude 840m).
As we descend, we make a brief stopover at the village of Krasi and take photos of the famous Cretan author Nikos Kazantzakis’ beloved plane. The plane tree’s perimeter is approximately 24 metres and it is estimated that it is 2400 years old. It is also said that each metre of its perimeter corresponds to 100 years of age.