Challenge yourself to conquer three different summits in three days on Crete. Start with Juktas, the sacred mountain of the Minoans, followed by Mt. Ida, the highest mountain on Crete, and finally, Mt. Dikti. This will be a great way to experience the diversity of the island, its stunning views, and its rich culture and history. Furthermore, it will be an excellent opportunity to test your physical and mental endurance, as well as to build your confidence in climbing mountains.
Day 1: Mount Juchtas 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. The hike up to the peak of the mountain (811m altitude), is relatively easy. The trail that crosses the mountain from one side to the other, offers an amazing panoramic view. From the peak where the church of Lord Christ is, you can see Ida (Psiloritis) mountain, Dikti mountain range, the Archanes village with its vineyards and olive groves, the city of Heraklion, and Dia island! The fauna and flora of Juktas are also interesting! Here you can admire the impressive griffon vultures (scient. Gyps Fulvus) flying around, searching for food, and find many herbs!
The hike takes about 4 hours, and it is family friendly!
Day 2: Mount Ida- Psiloritis Trekking
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.
The road trip from Heraklion to Lakkos Mygerou takes about an hour and a half. The same goes for the return.
The hike starts from the north side of the mountain in the area called “Livadiotiko Aori” and follows a trail called “Strata tou Psiloriti” (Greek for: Psiloritis route), which starts from the plateau “Lakkos tou Mygerou” (altitude 1580m) and climbs to “Timios Stavros” (Greek for Holly Cross) which is located at the peak of Psiloritis mountain (altitude 2456m).
The small chapel at the top is built with simple mountain stones without any binding material keeping them together, which is the same technique that the local shepherds for centuries now use to make the stone structures called “mitata” (Mitato is a term meaning “shelter” or “lodging” in Greek). The view from the top of the island is unique towards all points of the horizon.
Day 3:Hiking Mount Dikti
Get ready to ascend Spathi (2148m), the Dikti mountain range’s highest summit. The hike begins at the Limnakaros plateau at 1050m above sea level, where we can visit the Byzantine church of the Holy Spirit that still has some remnants of its original murals. We will initially walk on a dirt road. When the road ends, we will continue on the E4 trail until we reach Seli, where we will turn northeast to reach the summit. The panoramic view from the summit is amazing. You can admire the Lasithi plateau, the Aegean sea, and the view to Katharo Plateau on the east. In order to get back to Limnakaros, we retrace our steps.
It takes five to six hours to complete the hike. On the way back we could visit Dicteon Andro, the cave where, according to Greek mythology, Zeus was born.
|What to bring
Minimum number of participants, 3 persons
|• Experienced, English speaking trekking guide
• Free transport from/to your hotel with our vans. (as long as you are within the predefined pick-up area)
• Free Wi-Fi
• Lunch pack (water,energy bar, fruits, juice box)
•Trekking equipment (trekking poles, backpack) uppon request
|• Private expenses (coffees, alcoholic drinks etc.)
• Anything that it is not mentioned at the “Price includes” list
|• Trekking shoes
• Windproof jacket
• Sun Screen
• Hat – sun glasses
Pickup from any hotel within the highlighted area