The Talean Mountains are located in northern Crete and are essentially an extension of Psiloritis Range to the north. They are separated from main range of Psiloritis from the fertile valley of Mylopotamos to the south. The highest peaks are Koutsotroulis (1084m) and Kouloukonas (1076m). The rocks consist primarily of platy limestone and vegetation is low and hard to walk. Despite the relatively low altitude of the mountains, the rocky slopes are extremely steep and climbing in any of the peaks is very hard. Therefore, there are also very few roads crossing this small mountain range.
The Talean Mountains take their name after the mythical bronze giant -guard of Crete- Talos, who wandered Crete three times a day and guarded it. Tradition says that Talos lived atop summit Kouloukonas.
Bali has four beaches, which are formed in sandy coves with nice greenish waters. The beaches are almost always calm since the direction of Bali is western. They all are suitable for children and well organized. Moreover, water is cool because of the several springs that carry fresh water into the sea.
The monastery of Holy Cross in Vosako is built in a small plateau between the peaks Koutroulis and Mesokofinas of the Talean Mountains, 50km east of Rethymno. The monastery can be accessed by car via the village Doxaro and the rough landscape is amazing. There is a second road starting from Sisses village.
The Monastery Attali or Bai is built over the hill of Agia Ypakoi, west of Bali, with panoramic sea views to the sea and close to the main road connecting Rethymnon to Heraklion. The region was isolated till 1970, when the highway was constructed, and thus monasticism and asceticism flourished till then.
Mougri cave is located in the middle of Kouloukonas mountains, just northwest of Vossakos monastery. It was formed within the “Plattenkalk” rocks, probably along one of the big faults in the area.
Strouboulas is the first peak that one can see from Heraklion when looking to the west. The height of the tops is 798 meters above sea level, a small altitude compared to the surrounding mountains and the range of Psiloritis it actually belongs. What makes Strouboulas special and beloved by the locals is its shape reminiscent of the pyramid or volcano when looking from Heraklion. In fact, however, its shape is elongated from east to west but from the city it looks like a perfect pyramid.
At the north coast of Heraklion, between the beaches of Agia Pelagia and Fodele rises the steep low range of Bobias (max altitude is 423 meters). This area actually belongs to the small range of Kouloukonas. Despite its low altitude, it is a really wild place with slopes in the west and north side that raises sharply above sea.
Timios Stavros or Kouloukonas (1076m) is the second highest peak of the Talean Mountains after Koutsotroulis (1084m). The top hosts the temple of the Holy Cross (Timios Stavros) and can be accessed from the village Apladiana through a dirt road initially and then through a hiking path.
Koutsotroulis or Koutsotroulos is the highest peak of the Talean Mountains reaching an altitude of 1084m. Access to the top is possible via a dirt road that starts approximately at the middle of the road connecting the village Doxaro with the Monastery Vossako. This dirt road serves the wind park that is installed at the top of Koutsoroulis.