Lefka Ori

The Lefka Ori range, known to Cretans as "Madares", stretches from the southern part of the Prefecture of Chania to the Libyan Sea at Sfakia. At this point the tallest peaks are to be found: Paknes (2.450 m.), Kastro (2.218 m.) and Trocharis (2.409 m.). The word "Madares" comes from the verb "madao" (meaning to molt or shed) and the locals judge it to better describe the range which, for the most part, is barren of trees.

Following scientific measurements made by the Military Geographic Service, using instruments of extreme accuracy, Lefka Ori was officially declared the tallest mountain in Crete at 2,453.65 meters. Mount Psiloritis, which is located on the other side of Crete, came just behind at a height of 2,453.59 meters.

In total, there are around 50 peaks of the Lefka Ori range that are over 2000 meters high. Due to the peculiarities of the morphology the visitor should be equipped with both directional instruments and knowledge as the possibility of getting lost amidst the "sea" of peaks is a very real possibility.

Even though the range experiences a high yield of annual rainfall (2000 ml), during the summer months it is extremely dry. There are no springs to supply water so it is vital that the visitor be equipped with provisions.

Askyfou Plateau

The Askyfou Plateau is located 50 km from Chania, at an altitude of 730 meters. It belongs to the Province of Sfakia. The plateau is surrounded by the Lefka Ori range and is shaped like a giant trophy cup. The ancient Greek word for trophy was "skyfos" and hence the name of the plateau. It is quite possible that several thousand years ago, the Askyfou Plateau was a large lake.

The plateau has historical significance. In 1821 a large battle between the Turks and the Sfakians took place here with victory going to the local defenders. Unfortunately, Askyfou was burnt by Hussein Bey in 1823.

Omalos Plateau

The Omalos Plateau is at an altitude of 1.080 meters and it borders with the Provinces of Kidonia, Selino and Sfakia. From the plains of Kidonias, one of the entrances (there are three) to the plateau is in the area of Nerantzoporta, at an altitude of 1.087 meters. The second entrance is the Samaria Gorge and the third is to be found on the southwest side of the plateau, from which the road to Sougia begins. The plateau is surrounded by the several peaks of the Lefka Ori range: Bolakias (2.216m.), Gingilios in front of Xiloskalo (2.081m.), Samperos on the west side of the Samaria Gorge (2.005m.) and Psilafi (1.984m.). During the winter season, road travel is often difficult and sometimes impossible due to dense snow drifts. When spring comes the landscape is totally transformed. The plateau is covered by wild plants and flowers and it is an ideal hiking area. There are tavernas and hotels for visitors to the area, some of which operate in the winter as well.

More About Rea Hotel

Rea Resort Hotel in
Chania, Crete, Greece

Stavros, Akrotiri, Chania
Tel:  +30 28210 39001-4
Fax: +30 28210 97504
E-mail: info@rearesorthotel.gr

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