Crete - Lassithi Plateaus
Duration - Directions: 8 hours approximately - 140 km, Centre Crete.
Leaving Heraklion the first stop on the scenic route towards central Crete is the Monastery of "Kera Kardiotissa". It's dedicated to Virgin Mary, is run by nuns and is locally known as Little Lourdes, with people making pilgrimages to pray for relief from their sins.
Driving south and up to the mountain, we venture inland, where we reach the fertile Plateau of Lassithi, which may have been the crater of an ancient volcano. This unique place is a patchwork of green and yellow fields hemmed into the Diktean Mountains, each patchwork area irrigated by its own windmill.
The Plateau is a wonderfully cool and fertile area where you will find orange groves, vineyards, small towns αnd a very warm welcome. Lunch stop will be at Tzermiado and then you may visit the Dicti Cave, an impressive site with its stalactites and stalagmites, where Zeus, the father of the Greek Gods, is said to have been born.
Crossing the villages of the Plateau we pay a short visit at a traditional potter's factory, this ancient ceramic art, which completes today more than 8000 years. Leaving the Plateau the views down to Pediada Plain are truly magnificent and a short photo-stop will complete the day.