The mysterious town of

Kastrokefala

Kastrokefala settlement
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At (E)llinoperamata of Heraklion and at a short distance from the beach of Ammoudara, you will find the stone steep hill of Kastrokefala. The pyramid-shaped hill raises to an altitude of 355 meters from the sea level and has breathtaking views of the sea, the settlement of Rogdia, the once sacred pyramid mountain of Stroumboulas and the fertile plains of Heraklion.

The hill is very steep and its south side is cut abruptly by a huge cliff, which is the north wall of the gorge of Keri or Almyros. At the highest point of this hill, on the edge of the canyon, the Minoans built the settlement of Kastrokefala, that kept them well protected from their enemies, after the destruction of the Minoan civilization.

Kastrokefala is a typical postminoan town of the famous "dark" years of Minoan History (i.e. 1200-1000 BC). Although it is located only 10 minutes from the city of Heraklion, it remains completely unknown to most locals. A part of the settlement has been excavated and it includes an acropolis built on the edge of the cliffs, two plateaus used for residences and a cyclopean wall 480 meters long, 2-2.5 meters wide and 4m high, which protected the northwest side, which was the only accessible side

There are too few remains today to see: some foundations of buildings and the walls. Still the views of the surrounding area make climbing to Kastrokefala a unique experience. Apart from the ruins, the whole area of Kastrokefala is full of karst formations with many unexplored limestone sinkholes waiting for their mapping.

During your visit to this place, you will never meet tourists but countless goats which have ravaged anything that undamaged by the passage of time. The region till 2012 is not protected by any authority, and is among the most grazed of Crete, has literally turned to a stony desert.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Heraklion Prefecture
  • Type: Ancient Settlement
  • Peak Period: Dark Age (1200 BC - 800 BC)
  • Accessibility: Dirt track
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