Explore the Range

Dikti

Lassithi

This range lies between Heraklion and Lassithi. Its highest summit is Spathi (2.148 m) and there are two more peaks at an altitude of more than 2000m.

Lassithi Plateau, the largest in Crete, lies at the heart of the range at an altitude of 850 m. It is surrounded by a series of smaller plateaus such as Katharo, Limnakaro, Mari, Lapathos, Omalos, Erganos and Nisimos. There is a mountain shelter at Limnakaro from where hikers ascend to Spathi.

Several gorges are found in the range of Lassithi. Apart from the two gorges named Havgas at Katharo and Kalamafka, there are more canyons such as Sarakina, Adrianos, Ambelos, Roza and Kritsa.

The Dikti range has shown a significant diversity in flora and fauna. The lower mountain sides are covered by olive, carob and pine trees. To the south-east, Selakano is the largest pine wood of Crete and close to the village Krasi lies the holm oak wood of Azilakodasos.

The fertile plateaus and valleys of the Dikti range produce a large variety of agricultural products: potatoes, vegetable, pears, apples, walnuts, cherries, etc. Livestock breeding (sheep and goats) is yet another traditional activity in this region. The famous Diktaean Cave where Zeus is said to have been born is open to the public.

 

What to see on the Diktaean Range:

Diktaean Cave

The impressive cave of Zeus, the Diktaean Cave, is located just 10 minutes walking-distance from Psychro, in Lassithi Plateau, at an altitude of 1025m. In Psychro there is plenty of parking areas, with plenty of restaurants nearby. Two paths leading to the cave start from the parking area. The easiest path is the left one, because in the right path (the oldest) the stones are worn by thousands of tourists and are slippery.

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Lassithi Plateau

The wonderful Lassithi Plateau is located about 25km south of Malia and 70km west of Heraklion city. Located in a peaceful and fertile region, it is surrounded by the wild mountains of Dikti and several smaller plateaus. The views of the surrounding mountains of Selena and Afendis Hristos are majestic.

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Sarakina Gorge

16km west of the Ierapetra is the traditional village of Mythi. In a short distance from the village, the small Sarakina Gorge starts, which ends near the Mirtos. The length of the canyon reaches 1.5km and its width ranges from 3 to 10 meters, with only a few points exceeding that.

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Trapeza Cave (Kronion)

The cave Trapeza, also known as Kronion Cave, is located between the village Marmaketo and Tzermiado, in Lassithi Plateau, at an altitude of 860m. It’s located near the secondary road that connects Marmaketo with Tzermiado School. There are signs leading to the cave both in Tzermiado and Marmaketo. A path with steps, hidden in trees, leads to the cave after ascending for 5'. The entrance to the cave is quite indiscernible and the view to Lassithi plateau from there is magnificent.

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Plane tree of Krassi

In the village square of Krasi, near Malia, there are three plane trees, the trademarks of the village. The most important of them is the platan in the center of the square, which is considered to be the oldest and most majestic of the plane trees in Crete.

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Agia Fotini Cave and monastery

The cave of Agia Fotini is on located on Mount Louloudaki, 7km south of Avdou village, at an altitude of 760m. 35km east of Heraklion is the Avdou village, where a sign "Agia Fotini Cave - 7 km”, shows the direction. From there you enter a dirt road, which leads to a small square below the mouth of the cave. Following the steep path on foot, the visitor arrives at the entrance of the cave.

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Selakano Wood

The forest Selakano is located 35km north of Ierapetra, in the southeastern part of the Dikti massif, surrounded by the four highest peaks (Lazaros 2085 m, Spathi 2148 m, Afendis Christos 2141 m, Psari Madara 2090 m). The area can be accessed via asphalted road that runs through a magical route till the village Selakano and starts either in Ierapetra or Kalamafka.

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Havgas Gorge (Katharo)

Through the gorge passes Havgas river that carries water from the plateau of Katharo to Lassithi. Then the water reaches Chonos (the hole from which waters of the Lassithi Plateau escape the plateau), comes out from Fleves and reaches Aposelemis dam. The river has water for several months a year. Thus, make sure you get properly informed about the weather because the canyon carries a lot of water during periods of rainfall.

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