Home About Sitia Nature Lover's Routes - Mountain Routes - Caves
Home About Sitia Nature Lover's Routes - Mountain Routes - Caves
Nature Lover's Routes - Mountain Routes - Caves PDF Print E-mail

The district of Sitia, the largest area on Crete is noteable for its unusual wild beauty. The narrow gorges, the impressive craggy mountains enclosing upland plateaus offer a combination of the beauties of nature that welcome those who seek to know them. Even though the region lacks large forested tracks it is home to an important number of endemic plants and also some rare animals.


In the Sitia District there are quite a few gorges which are noted for their natural beauty and are also connected with local history and legends. The most important are:

1. Kato Zakros Gorge
Known also as "the valley of the dead" because it was used as a burial place by ancient inhabitants of the area. It runs between the village of Zakros and the ancient Minoan palace of Kato Zakros.lt is a little difficult to walk through it needing about 2hrs if you start at the top. There are three entrances with specially organised areas along the path which is marked. The last part of the Europian path E4.

2. The Pefki Gorge
This starts at the village of Pefki and comes out at the small hamlet of Aspros Potamos near Makry Yialos. The shaping of the rocks where the water has sculpted its way through the gorge is something to arouse the visitor's interest.

3. The Hametoulo Xerokampos Gorge
This starts at the village of Hametoulo, and comes out, after 3hrs of easy walking, at one of the most beautiful, coastal areas of Eastern Crete by the Xerocampos settlement.

4. The Moni Kapsa Gorge
This is a rather difficult walk of about two hours starting in the Perivolakia area and ending at the historical Monastery of Moni Kapsa. It was recently marked by the Sitia mountain climbing society

5. Hochlakies Gorge
An easy walk of about one hour from Hochlakies village it brings you out at Karoumes beach. At the entrance of the gorge there is a secured climbing track from the Sitia mountain climbing and nature lovers society..

Mountain Routes

The mountains of the region are for the most part rocky, very precipitous in some places, more gently sloping in others.There are countless routes and paths affording ramblers every opportunity to be in direct contact with nature and get plenty of exercise.

Noteworthy mountain tops are:

1. The summit of Afendis Christou
(alt 1476m.) where there is a church dedicated to Christ the King, an outstanding view and also the unique shelter of the Sitia district.

2. The summit of Liopetro
where the Venetians chose to build their fortress to keep watch over the northern coast of the county from the gulf of Mirabello to as far as Cavo Sidero.

Notable walks

1. Xerolimni to Modi. An interesting walk up to the top of Modi especially in springtime when there are many different small flowers.

2. Lastros to Mount Orno. A beautifull route taking you, in about 3hrs, to the top of Spathi with a breathtaking panoramic view.

3. The Richti ravine. An impressive walk on account of the stream which forms a lovely 30 m long waterfall, and ends up at Richti beach. A 5 to 6 hour walk.

4. Neraida ravine to Monte Forte Castle (Epano Kastelli). A medium walk of about 25 klm which cuts through Agios Georgios where you can enjoy the fine view.

In the region there are many great caves, about 300.
The most important as regards geological and/or historical and archaeological interests are the following:

1. The Megalo Katofigi cave (alt 450m) and the Mikro Katofigi cave (alt 425m). These are both in the Agios Georgios village area at a spot known as Mantiliou Plai.

2. The Peristeras cave (alt 540m) situated 23 km east of Karydi village. There are local legends concerning this spectacular cave.

3. The Oxo Latsidi cave (610m alt). This is one of Crete's largest caverns running 310 m. into the earth north west of the village of Sitanos.

4. The Pelekita cave, Another of Crete's large caves 300m. in length. It is situated by the coast at a place known as Pelekita or Sikia in the Kato Zakros area.

5. The Pefki caves. In the Pefki area are the Apaloustres cave and the Latsida Vreikou cave.The second one shows traces of Neolithic habitation.

In further information you can phone to Sitia mountain climbing and nature lovers society.
People responsible: Linardaki Despina, 0843 25081 - 094 5015678
Argyris Sfendourakis, 0843 26440
Athina Kokolaki, 0843 26340