Crete from above, this is a unique, fascinating guided walk to the peak of Mount Psiloritis in Rethymno, the highest mountain of Crete.
Mount Psiloritis (or Mount Ida) the mountain that rises to 2456m, the highest point on Crete, is the place where Zeus was raised, refuge for rebels throughout numerous battles and wars in past, and the natural home of shepherds and native wildlife of Crete.
This is a special and unique tour; which involves local people and respects their contributions to the culture and the reputation Crete has for its hospitality and generosity.
This walking route will bring you right at the heart of the Cretan countryside which is very interesting in terms of flora and geological features; large caves, deep gorges, small plateaus, pine and oak woods and bare alpine zones. Mount Psiloritis is within the UNESCO Global Geoparks.
During our walk, we will see, depending on the season, Crocus sieberi, Scilla nana and Colchicum cretense all endemic species of Crete, Griffon Vultures circling overhead, flocks of Ravens and Mountain Choughs and maybe the extremely rare Lammergeyer one of the biggest and most spectacular raptors in Europe.
The mountain has kept its sacred character even in modern times. A belt of monasteries, chapels and frescoed temples stretches along each side of it. History, mythology, traditions and legends constitute the source from which the inhabitants draw their pride, their courage and their boldness, thus creating a very strong attachment to their homeland. This popular culture finds expression in multiform dance, in song, in Cretan couplets, in songs originating from people living at the foot of the mountain, in every- day- life, birth, baptism, marriage, death, in local architecture and art, in humour, in self- sarcasm and in myth- making.
The visitor will find examples of this idiosyncratic culture in the villages that we pass through such as Livadia, Zoniana and Anogeia. Visitors in springtime may consider themselves particularly lucky when they have the opportunity to witness the stockbreeders in the Psiloritis area making one of their chores a public fair- the sheep shearing. Starting at the end of May and lasting for about one month feasts take place continuously at the ‘mitata’, traditional shepherd’s houses. The method of construction is similar to the one used for ancient Minoan tombs, where large stones from the surrounding area were also used.
The path …starts at 1700m and ends at 2456m, described by a 3/5 difficulty-grade and requires 750 m ascent within 3 – 3,5 hours and another 2,5 – 3 hours descent.
Our trip … starts at around 07.30 am and after a 1,5 hours drive we arrive at the beginning of the hiking path at 9.00. The walk normally lasts 5 – 6 hours.
The Shepherd’s Shelter ... On the way back, the trip continues to the nearby shepherd shelter for a guided visit and lunch based on the Cretan diet. The Shepherd’s Shelter lends itself for experiencing local activities and stories, interacting with the locals, admiring the traditional architecture and tasting Cretan delicacies made by the local family.
135.00 Euros per person
Walk duration : 5 -6 hours
Total duration : 8-9 hours
Expected return time At 17.30 or at 19.00 upon passing by the shelter
Ascent / descent
800m / 800m
For more info and reservations please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org