Plateaus in Crete



Plateau of Armenohandrades
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Plateau of Armenohandrades is located 23km south of Sitia and is a part of Crete that remains generally unknown, intact and authentic. It takes its name after the two villages Armeni and Handras, which today form a united settlement. Basically, in the region you’ll find two neighboring plateaus, Armenohandrades and Ziros, connected by a narrow valley.

The largest plateau to the west hosts the village of Handras, with its beautiful farms and the whitewashed light metal windmills. Indeed, these windmills are the same with the ones in the Lassithi Plateau. Indeed, even Cretans do not know that the windmills, which are the emblem of the Lassithi Plateau, are also found in Handras. Moreover, while in Lassithi they are no longer used by its residents, except for touristic purposes, in Handras they continue to work for watering the vineyards.

Near the plateau of Handras, it is worth visiting the medieval village of Etia with the restored Venetian de Mezzo mansion, situated next to the road running from Papagiannades to Ziros. Furthermore, close to Etia, you should visit ancient Pressos, which was one of the three powerful towns of ancient eastern Crete (the rest two were Itanos and Ierapytna (current Ierapetra)).

In Handras, you should stroll in the quiet streets and admire the beautiful gardens with apple, pear and walnut trees. You can also stop in a coffee shop and relax, where the locals love discussing with the visitors and are always willing to help and offer the Cretan spirit, raki. Finally, next to Handras (about 1km) is the deserted medieval village and castle of Voila from where it is believed that the family of Dionysios Solomos came (Dionysios Solomos is one of the most important Greek poets and the writer of the national anthem of Greece). The name Salamon,  later changed to Solomos, is mentioned in a tomb located in the church of Saint George at Voila.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Lassithi Prefecture
  • Accessibility: Paved road
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