Bearded Vultures, Griffon Vultures and Peregrine Falcons
(see below) are amongst the birds found here. The summits of the Lefka Ori peaks are very bare and known as a high desert. In the west is Agia Irini Gorge
a 7 km gorge starting at the village of Agia Irini and ending close to the seaside town of Sougia
, on the south coast of Crete. This rocky terrain of the Cretan mountains makes for wonderful hiking and walking. Also in Chania
is Samaria Gorge.
The Samaria National Park
boasts stunning mountain country, unique flora and fauna and one of the longest gorges in Europe
. This is one of the most visited attractions on the island and can be very busy in summer. It is a striking deep gorge with cyprus pines, sage, marjoram, thyme, wild orchids and lillies, and rocks, rocks and more rocks. The trek to Agia Roumeli
takes all day, with a boat the only way out. Why not stay awhile?
In the centre proud Mount Ida
sits looking down over all of Crete. The highest mountain on the island at 2456m, this mountain is the great overseer of Kriti, abode to heroic adartes
, and inspiration to many mantinades
and songs. Amongst the Psiloritis range are caves, gorges and plateaus including Nida Plateau
and the intriguing Ideon Andron
or Zeus Cave
. What is it that touches this cave with magic?
In the east of Crete are the Dikti Mountains
pictured above. The highest peak, Mt Spathi
is 2148 metres above sea level. Located in the Lasithi prefecture, these mountains abound with history, agriculture in lush plateaus, striking scenery in the gorges, and beautiful churches. Hiking, rockclimbing and caving are popular here. The E4 European Walking Path
passes through the Cretan mountains, taking in some of the most beautiful scenery in Kriti. A total of 320 kms, it runs from Kastelli-Kissamos in the west to Kato Zakros in the east. Lasithi Plateau
in the east is a fertile agricultural centre dotted with striking white-sailed windmills. These wild areas abound with nature because of the unique ecology of the island of Crete.