The peak sanctuary of Atsipades


Korakias peak sanctuary
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Above the village Atsipades of the province St Basil, Rethymno we meet a range of small peaks with the higher being that of Kouroupa. The mountain range of Kouroupa stretches from west to the east separating the villages of the valley of Agios Vassilios by the seaside settlements, while defining a different climate. The boundaries of Kouroupa are sharp and are bounded by two long and majestic canyons, Kourtaliotis and Kotsifos. Beyond the peak of Kouroupa there are more smaller peaks, still very beautiful.

One of the most beautiful and unique is the peak of Korakias just above Atsipades. The name Korakias means the place with crows. From afar, Korakias looks very impressive and peaky. From each side of the peak there are steep cliffs and only the south side is easily accessible. This imposing place, reminding of a natural fortress, was chosen in ancient times by the Minoans as a peak sanctuary. Korakias as a peak sanctuary was identified in 1985 and the discovery was announced on several occasions in academic journals. In 1989 this peak sanctuary was excavated by dr Alan Peatfield on behalf of the British School at Athens, and numerous papers have been published since then. A few finds from Korakias can be seen in the Archaeological Museum in Rethymnon.

There is not even a single sign explaining the history of the area and the directions to reach the place. Korakias can be approached by a rough dirt road starting from Atsipades, but there are many side-streets that make the identification of the peak hard. The view from the peak sanctuary is beautiful and covers several kilometers away.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Rethymnon Prefecture
  • Type: Peak Sanctuary
  • Peak Period: Minoan Era (3000 BC-1200 BC)
  • Accessibility: Walking

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