Giouhtas Trekking

A beautiful and easy hike just a few kilometers outside of the city of Heraklion. Juktas, the human-head-like mountain (Greek Γιούχτας – Giouhtas) was an important religious site for the Minoans.
According to the legend, this is the face of Zeus (the king of the Gods) and the mountain is his tomb. Indeed, the name Juktas is a corruption of the Latin word for Zeus, Jupiter. On the mountain, we find three archeological sites, an old monastery, and a church.

Mount Ida

Mount Ida, also known as Psiloritis is actually a chain of mountains the highest of which is Timios Stavros (Greek for Holy Cross). With an altitude of 2,456 m, Ida is the highest mountain on Crete. It has the highest topographic prominence in Greece. The wider area of Psiloritis is a Natural park founded in 2001, and a UNESCO Global Geopark.  On its slopes lies the Idaean Cave (Greek: Ιδαίον Άντρο), in which, according to legend, Zeus, the king of the gods, was born.

Eleftherna - Margarites

The city of Eleftherna was built between 970 – 820 BC by the Dorians (northern Greeks) that came to the island at that period. The city was one of the strongest and richest cities of Crete. It had a port that was located at Fodele bay. Through that port, the city could trade and communicate with the rest of the cities on Crete, continental Greece, Cyprus, and even cities in Africa.

Imbros gorge

Imbros Gorge is located near Hora Sfakion in southern Crete. It runs parallel to the famous Samaria gorge, and it is the second most visited gorge on the island. For centuries the gorge was the only way to travel to and from Sfakia, therefore was the theater of many conflicts between Greeks and Ottoman. It was also used for the evacuation of thousands of British soldiers during World War II before heading to Egypt.
 

 

Astrakiano gorge

Astrakiano gorge is part of a larger geological complex known as the Juktas ecopark. Before WW II around 10 watermills operated along the gorge,  but they are all abandoned today. The gorge starts near the village of Peza and runs for about 7 kilometres towards the north and parallel to Kounaviano gorge.  Near the abandoned village of Kato Astraki, the gorge meets a stone arch bridge known as Astrakiani Kamara , built in the early 20th century. The Neraidospilios  cave and a small pond is within a short distance. 

Rouvas Gorge

Zaros is known from the antiquity for the water spring which still provides fresh water. The trip from Heraklion to the Lake of Zaros takes about an hour and a half. The same goes for the return. The forest of Rouvas, in the gorge of Saint Nicholas, is an important ecosystem of holly trees of national interest.

Mount Karfi

Mount Karfi is located at Lassithi plateau, about 70km west of Heraklion. Lassithi is known for the picturesque windmills. In the 1950s and 1960s the plateau was one of Europe's first wind farms. There were about 10-13 thousand windmills that pumped the underground water, with which the local farmers were watering their crops. Moreover, the area is known as the birth place of Zeus, the King of the gods, according to the Greek mythology.
 

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