Plateaus in Crete



Anopolis Plateau at Sfakia
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The Plateau of Anopolis is located in the province of Sfakia and more specifically 13km west of the mountain desert of Sfakia. It is a small plateau formed below the wild mountain desert of SfakiaSfakia, one of the most inaccessible areas in Europe. The fertile plateau still feeds the inhabitants of the village of Anopolis, located in the plateau. Anopolis can be accessed via a 12km asphalt serpentine road, climbing the steep mountains of the Sfakia coastline. The landscape with the majestic mountains and the trails that go up to the alpine zone (above 2000m altitude), contrary to the tranquil plateau, causes awe-inspiring feelings to all the visitors of the plateau. You can discover the authentic Crete through a visit to Anopolis. Also, the hospitable genuine people of Anopolis are an attraction themselves, and gruyere cheese festival in the summer is a great opportunity to taste a genuine Cretan feast.

The west part of the plateau is bounded by the wild gorge of Aradena, which ends on the amazing beach of Marmara. On the other side of the canyon, the smaller plateau of Aradena is formed, which can be accessed today via a modern iron bridge crossing the gorge. This bridge is used for bungee jumping, its height when first operated was the second higher in Europe after the Verzasca dam in Switzerland.

In the position of the current village was built the ancient town of Anopolis, the port of which was Katopoli or Phoenix, currently located at Loutro. Anopolis was an independent town and had its own currency. During the Byzantine period, it was still well-developed, which is indicated by the many churches in the area. Later, during the Ottoman Era, Anopolis and the entire province of Sfakia, due to the intense mountainous terrain, were never actually inhabited by the Ottomans. Therefore, Sfakia gave birth to many Cretan rebels, and most of them experienced the cruelty of the conquerors. The most famous hero of Anopolis was Daskalogiannis (Ioannis Vlachos). Daskaloyannis, renowned throughout the island, made a major attempt for freeing Crete in 1770, but the Turks suppressed his Revolution and he was skinned alive!

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Additional Info

  • Location: Chania Prefecture
  • Accessibility: Paved road

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