This excursion is suitable for all of you that want to take it slow in the Cretan farmland and seek authenticity.
You can admire places that carry a mixture of remains from ancient and past civilizations that flourished or ruled on the premises. From the birthplace of Zeus to the historic monasteries, the sophisticated drainage system to the famous windmills and the Lasinthos eco-park, there’s surely plenty for you to see!
More to that, you will be carried away by the stunning nature that holds time still so you can forget any stress that bewilders the mind.
Our first stop is at the historical Monastery of Kera Kardiotissa.This monastery is inhabited and run by nuns, located in an idyllic landscape. Known to be first built at 1333, its history is linked to the miraculous icon of Virgin Mary .There you can see plenty of frescoes and a variety of other icons, dating back to the 14th century.
Next is the Lassithi Plateau .Located 850 m above the sea level, it is a world on its own, away from the hustle of the rest of Lassithi. Also, one of the most well-known touristic destinations and the largest plateau in Greece. It gained its popularity mainly due to its renewable energy sources, built in the 50s-60s.The famous windmills-the hallmark of the plateau- are truly unique.
As an agricultural region, water supplies were of major importance .This was well – known in past times under the Venetian rule (1205-1669), when the linies, the famous drainage system was built. The windmills followed until today where technology is accumulated to help the locals.
Surrounded by Diktis Mountain and 18 quaint villages, it still retains the atmosphere of another era. The scenery in the villages of the Plateau reminds something of the Wild West – sweet blanciness, with perhaps an excessive lull.
You can visit from here the highest place of the plateau, where the village Psychro is situated. From there 15-20 minutes’ walk, along a busy trail leads to the Dikteon Andron cave. It is said to have been the place where Zeus, the father of the Greek ancient gods, was born. Here you can admire the impressive stalactites and stalagmites that are well worth the walk.
Tzermiado, the capital of the villages on the plateau, will amaze you with its natural beauty. It can be reached by two destinations, one from Agios Nikolaos and one from Heraklion. On the entrance you will encounter a group of 26 stone flourmills, whats left from the 1900 circa when this used to be the largest flourmill area in Crete. Here, we will have a stop to enjoy lunch at a local taverna.
Our last stop is the magnificent Minoan Palace of Knossos, the center of the Minoan civilization and the landmark of Crete. The place where myth meets history. .Here you will have a guided tour and you will learn about King Minos, his daughter Ariadne, and of course the mythical Minotaur that lived in a maze, the so called Labyrinth. The marvellous architectural plan of Daedalus, the rare and luxurious materials, the advanced techniques of construction, the elaborate drainage system and the size of the palace make it one of the most amazing sights on the island.