Thripti Range is the fifth highest mountain range of Crete, also called Aori. The highest peak of Thripti mountains is called Stavromenos (1476m). The mountains of Thripti are covered by a beautiful pine forest, which has unfortunately shrunk due to human presence and fires.
Moreover, near the Plateau of Thripti start the imposing wild gorge Ha and gorge Mesonas. On the southern slopes of these mountains there are some of the most scenic villages in Crete, such as the lush Orino village, and the seaside resort of Makrygialos. There are also the amazing green gorges of Pefki, Mylonas and Orino.
Because of the rugged morphology and the ideal climatic conditions, the area of Thripti hosts several endemic species of flora such as arhontoxylo, aladania, anemone and the Cretan cyclamen. Lastly, the walls of the canyons, especially the unreachable Ha Gorge, shelter threatened species of birds of prey like the endangered bearded vulture (gypaetus barbatus) and the golden eagle.
One dominant feature of the area of Ierapetra, in front of the beautiful village and the minoan settlement of Vassiliki is the Gorge Ha. It is considered one of the wildest gorges in Crete, a rare morphological phenomenon of nature, probably caused by tectonic earthquake.
The legendary olive tree in Azorias is located 1km south of the village Kavoussi and very close to the homonymous archaeological site of Azorias. This olive tree is a natural monument; it is the oldest olive tree in the world! Indeed, it is grafted on a rootstock of a wild olive tree, making it the oldest sample of grafting in the world.
Nearby the lush green and full of water springs Orino village we meet one of the most steep rivers of Crete. Its springs are located high on the plateau Abelia on the slopes of Thripti and Papouri mounts. They shortly form a river which crosses the village square and enters the rugged canyon of Orino.
Thripti Plateau is located next to the village of Kavousi, in Ierapetra area, at an altitude of 850m. It's really one of the most beautiful places worth visiting in Crete, which is totally unknown to most Cretans. Its natural beauty is very special and so are the Thripti mountain hiking trails, which are part of the European path E4, which starts from the Iberian Peninsula, passing the Alps down to Crete, where it stops in the mountains of Sitia.
Mesonas gorge is located on the northern slopes of the mountains of Thripti, near villages Kavoussi and Avgos. It is a short imposing gorge (4km long), that needs technical equipment for crossing it along its bed. The canyon connects the Plateau of Thripti to the plain of Kavoussi.
The secluded lake is the unique lake at Thripti and gets its name (skafi means tub in Greek) after its oblong shape. During spring, water is very clear and is perfect for a cold bath. To access this amazing place, follow the dirt track west of Orino village and after 2km walk or drive along the concrete chute that carries water from the mountains to the lake.
Thripti pine wood is located at an altitude of 850m, near Pahia Ammos in Lassithi Prefecture. The scenic village of Thripti, the green landscapes and the unique pine forest in the mountains of Sitia, are some of the things that you will never forget when you come here.
The highest peak of Thripti, Stavromenos (altitude of 1476m) hosts the windswept chapel of Lord Christ (celebrates on September 14) and a small shelter. The shelter has a fireplace and is locked due to vandalism suffered a few years ago. For the key, ask at village Thripti.