Plateaus in Crete



Askyfou Plateau
(11 votes)

Plateau Askifou is located 50km south of Chania, in one of the nicest and most authentic areas of the White Mountains. The wild mountains around and the serenity of the valley, form a magnificent landscape all year round. In winter the plateau is dressed in white many times, since the altitude is around 1200 meters, while in summer it's a haven of green and cool temperatures.

The plateau brings a lake in mind from above and its name means “cup” in ancient Greek, because of its shape. Askifou has four small villages with few inhabitants, most of them being shepherds. Some also work in tourism, since the main road connecting Sfakia with Chania runs through the plateau. So, here you will find some traditional taverns and lodgings, while in recent years some luxurious agrotourism units have appeared.

In the middle of the plateau, above the village Goni, there's a hill at the top of which there are ruins of two Turkish castles. The Koules of Askifou, as they are called, were built by the Turks in the late 19th century to control the passage to Sfakia. During the period of the great revolutions in Crete against the Ottomans, a battle took place in the secluded plateau, where the rebels from Sfakia defeated the Turkish Army (1821). However, in 1823, the Turks returned and destroyed the villages and the plateau was abandoned.

The southern edge of the Askifou plateau is the starting point of the imposing gorge of Imbros, which is visited by many tourists every day (in summer). Parallel to the canyon, runs the main road to Sfakia, in an amazing piney route along the cliffs of the gorge. Another nice route that you could follow is through the abandoned village Asfendou, then along the Gorge of Kallikratis, to take the serpentine road to Frangokastelo or keep driving to Asi Gonia and then Argiroupolis.

A few miles west of Askifou two smaller plateaus are shaped, with the utmost beauty below the imposing peak Kastri (2215m altitude). The first plateau that you meet by driving from Askifou is called Tavri, while the second is called Niato. Tavri hosts the nice E4 trail that comes from Katsiveli in the heart of the mountain desert and ends at Askyfouthat serves those mainly trekking in the E4 trail that comes from Katsiveli in the heart of the mountain desert and ends at Askyfou

The village Kares houses the private small War Museum of George Hatzidakis. The museum exhibits a variety of weapons dating back to 1770, with their main quantity coming from the Second World War. Rifles, pistols, swords, bombs, missiles, aircraft parts, and other military equipment belong to the museum's collection.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Chania Prefecture
  • Accessibility: Bus services, Paved road
  • Altitude (m): 1100

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