Plateaus in Crete

Nida

Rethymnon

Nida Plateau
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The plateau of Nida is one of the largest in Crete, located at an altitude of 1400 meters, in the heart of the Psiloritis Mountain (or Mount Idi). The peaks of the surrounding mountains are white until early summer, forming a wonderful landscape.

The plateau can be reached via a dirt road starting from the picturesque village of Anogia, but also via a rugged dirt track from Gergeri. The plateau is used as pasture and is not cultivated. Due to overgrazing, you we’ll not see any trees in the plain, although it was previously covered by a dense forest. You can still see a small, but excellent, sample of this forest, in the nearby oak wood of Rouvas, which can be reached via the road connecting the plateau with Gergeri. Also, another nice idea is trekking down the Voriza Gorge, starting from "Poros Milias”, the south passage that links the plateau to the plain of Messara.

Inside Nida Plateau, you can visit the cave of Ideon Andron, where according to tradition, Zeus was raised. The cave is open to the public and is easily accessible. Apart from the legendary Cave, the area has some more myths to tell us: Here, the goddess Demeter fell in love with the mortal Iasion and the hero Haridimos (Renaissance) was hunting and fell in love.

The sacred Cave of the Minoans at Nida Plateau; the Idaean Cave

The sacred Cave of the Minoans at Nida Plateau: the Idaean Cave

Also within short distance you can visit the observatory of Skinakas, at an altitude of 1750m. The observatory is open to the public 4-5 times a year. On one edge of the plateau, you will find a large stone sculpture, the Rebels of Peace, which reminds visitors of the Cretan resistance during the German occupation. Indeed, Anogia and the province of Viannos were totally razed, while all villagers, who did not manage to escape, were executed by the Nazis. The sculpture looks like an angel, although its wings are the flowing blood.

Around the mountains, you will meet small stone buildings, where the shepherds used to make their delicious cheese (still do), as they did not have the means to transfer fresh milk every day to their villages. The Mitata, as they are called, have particular architectural importance, because they are built with stone walls. Also, the temperature inside mitata remains almost constant, all year round.

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Additional Info

  • Prefecture: Rethymnon
  • Accessibility: Paved road
  • Altitude (m): 1400
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