Kastamonitsa - Tsouli Mnima - Agios Georgios

Crete

Trail Kastamonitsa - Tsouli Mnima - Agios Georgios (Lassithi Plateau)
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The last part of the E4 trail in Heraklion province is actually the ancient passage from the province Pediada to Lassithi plateau, which was the major road and was used from the Minoan Times till the first decades of the 20th century, before the massive construction of roads in Crete. The path offers amazing views and the stone paved trail constitutes an attraction itself.

From Kastamonitsa, the E4 European trail heads eastwards and comes south of the remnants of the ancient aqueduct of Lyktos at position Tihos. After some meters we meet a small spring with fresh water and then we meet the former monastery of Saint George at position Mesada, where the ravine of Vatonero exits. Mesada is actually the starting point of the Minoan trail, which soon offers spectacular views to the plane of Pediada.

After about 2 hours of tiring ascend we meet a commemorative stone label at location Tomb of Tsoulis (Tsouli Mnima) and a pile of stones. According to tradition, from this path used to come the Janissary (Turk) Tsoulis from village Aski and made the Christians of the region suffer. Once, in 1817, a team of Christians decided to kill him. They waited for him at the location Seli of Hortatsa and murdered him. Then they cut off his head and hung it on the saddle of his horse, leaving it free. The animal returned to Aski, transferring the news of extermination of the janissary. The headless corpse was buried here and covered with stones. On this primitive grave, the Christians who came by, threw a stone with an accompanying curse "All Turks should go like this". Over time a large pile of stones formed and the placename of Seli of Hortatsa was renamed (officially) to Tsoulis Mnima (Tomb).

From Tsouli Mnima we descend along a dirt road to the main road connecting all village of plateau Lassithi, near Kato Metohi village. Here we can stop our course or continue to Agios Georgios village, that is the starting point of two E4 subparts. The route from Kastamonitsa to Kato Metohi takes about 3 hours and the part from Kato Metohi to Agios Georgios takes about 1:30 hours.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Heraklion Prefecture, Lassithi Prefecture
  • Type: E4 trail
  • Length (km): 16
  • Difficulty (0-10): 2
  • Hiking Hours: 4:30
  • Accessibility: Paved road, Dirt track, Walking

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