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Lasithi Plateau

Culture & History

Our most recommended Lasithi Plateau Culture & History

From Heraklion: Lasithi Plateau, Villages & Zeus Cave Tour

1. From Heraklion: Lasithi Plateau, Villages & Zeus Cave Tour

Enjoy some time away from the beaches and explore a different side of Crete on a guided excursion. See the freshwater springs in the small town of Krasi, visit the Kera and Vidiani monasteries, step into the mythical Psychro Cave, and take part in a traditional ceramics workshop. Get picked up from your accommodation in the morning and take a short drive to the traditional village of Krasi. Gaze at the beautiful freshwater springs and the oldest tree on Crete as you take in the countryside scenery. Up next, stop at two local monasteries. See the Monastery of Kera dedicated to the Virgin Mary, located near the town of Kera. Move on to Vidiani Monastery, a small male monastery at the foot of Louloudaki Mountain. Uncover the secrets of the mythical birthplace of Zeus, Psychro Cave, decorated with impressive stalactites and stalagmites. Lastly, participate in a ceramics workshop and see how traditional pieces are made, before heading over to a typical Cretan tavern with local products and dishes to enjoy lunch at your own expense.

Crete: Dikti Mountains and Lasithi Plateau Tour by SUV

2. Crete: Dikti Mountains and Lasithi Plateau Tour by SUV

Discover traditional life in rural Crete by witnessing the daily activities of the locals and visiting the sites where Greek myths were born. Get picked up from your accommodation for a tour of Potamies, Aposelemis dam, Empasa, and the Dikti mountain range. Visit one of the most characteristic Cretan villages, Potamies, for a tour of a traditional paddock. See the process of milking and cheese-making, meet the animals, and sample their fresh cheese. Next, head to the Aposelemis dam, the largest water supply project in Crete. See the village of Sfendili submerged in the waters of the dam with its impressive old houses fading on the surface of the water. Explore the natural wetlands and spot a unique variety of birds. Continue uphill on the dirt roads to the gorge of Empasa. Feel in awe of the mountainous landscape and thriving wildlife. Try your hand at foraging for native herbs or relax and take in the panoramic views. If your group all agrees, take a trip to Lassithi Plateau to enter Psychro Cave, the fabled birthplace of the Greek God Zeus. Venture further up the route to an altitude of 1250m in the Limnakaro Plateau, where you can fully appreciate the majesty of the vast mountains. Finally, enjoy authentic food baked in the wood oven in one of the most celebrated taverns in the picturesque village of Krasi. Admire the town square filled with fountains and see imposing plane trees that are up to 2000 years old. Return to your hotel full of unforgettable memories of Crete.

From Heraklion: Lasithi Plateau, Cave of Zeus & Knossos

3. From Heraklion: Lasithi Plateau, Cave of Zeus & Knossos

Morning Pick up: We will start collecting participants from pick-up points in the morning. Depending on the place of your hotel/apartment the bus drive will differ. Bus Drive from the last pick up: 30 minutes 1st stop: Village of Krasi – 20 minutes This little traditional village with the beautiful freshwater springs and the oldest and biggest tree on Crete, will be our first stop for about 20 minutes. Enjoy our time in Cretan nature! Bus Drive: 10 minutes 2nd stop: Monastery of Kera – 30 minutes Explore the Monastery dedicated to Virgin Mary that is situated near the village of Kera. Bus Drive: 15 minutes 3rd stop: Vidiani Monastery – 25 minutes A small, male monastery located at the foot of Louloudaki Mountain will be our next stop. Bus Drive: 20 minutes 4th stop: Psychro Cave (Cave of Zeus) - 1 hour 10 minutes Explore the mythical birth place of the king of gods Zeus. Admire the unique site decorated with impressive stalactites and stalagmites. Bus Drive: 10 minutes 5th stop: Ceramics Workshop – 45 minutes Our participants will enjoy aprofessional workshop tosee how traditional ceramics are made and why not try to create their own! Bus Drive: 10 minutes 6th stop: Traditional Tavern for lunch - 1hour 20 minutes There will be a big variety of local dishes made from local products of the Lassithi plateau, homemade wine and products from the surrounding mountains. (The meal is not included.) Bus Drive: 1 hour 20 minutes 7th stop: Knossos Palace – 1 hour Leaving the beautiful region of Lasithi behind, our day will end at the Historical Site of Knossos. There will be a guided tour for about 1hour as well as some free time to take photos of this unique archaeological scenery. End of the tour – Return to resorts: Embarkation in the buses and drive back to the hotels where we gathered participants in the morning. Depending on traffic and on the pick-up places of each one, the time of journey back to the hotel will differ. Bus Drive from Knossos: 1 hour

From Heraklion: Day Trip to Knossos and the Lasithi Plateau

4. From Heraklion: Day Trip to Knossos and the Lasithi Plateau

Discover the breathtaking beauty of the Lasithi Plateau on a day trip from Heraklion. Admire the remaining windmills and the drainage system that dates back to the Venetian Empire. Pass through traditional villages such as Psychro. Visit the Dikteon Cave, where Zeus is said to have been born. Continue to the village of Tzermiado and enjoy lunch in an authentic tavern before going to the Keras Kardiotissas Monastery, known for its remarkable murals. Next, visit the Minoan Palace of Knossos and learn the legend of the settlement at sites such as the Throne Room and Royal Chambers.

Crete: Monastery, Lasithi Plateau & Dictaean Cave Day Trip

5. Crete: Monastery, Lasithi Plateau & Dictaean Cave Day Trip

Visit an Orthodox nunnery, the village of Psychrom the Dictaean Cave, and see a local potter at work in his workshop. Explore the Lasithi Plateau, and make a stop for lunch while learning about the Plateau's history. Visit a small traditional village on the slope of Selena Mountain, and enjoy beautiful views of Crete on this interesting and unique day tour. Visit the Monastery of Kera Kardiotissa, an Orthodox nunnery dedicated to the Virgin Mary, situated near the village of Kera at an altitude of 650m. See the nunnery, famous for the icon of Mary believed to be miraculous, the nunnery's fortified walls, and its 14th and 15th-century murals. Stop next at the village of Psychro, and walk to reach the Dictaean Cave, just above the village of Psychro. See the cave, considered a sacred place of cult worship, and according to Greek mythology, it is believed to be the place where Zeus, the father of Greek gods, was kept and fed from Amalthia. See the most impressive sight is the lake at the lowest point, surrounded by massive stalactites and stalagmites, before moving on to the village of Psychro, where a local potter displays the steps of ceramic art at his ceramic workshop, where anyone interested may give pottery a try. Reach the northern entrance of the Lasithi Plateau, and stop at Seli Ambelou for a lunch break. Take in a panoramic view of the plateau, where in the 1950s and 1960s, was one of Europe's first wind farms. Stop in Krasi, a small traditional village set on the slope of Selena Mountain, and see its huge ancient plane tree, where the leaves and the branches of the tree provide shade all over the square in a unique and unspoiled environment. Finish the tour at Krasi, and return to your hotel.

Crete: Lasithi Plateau and Knossos Palace Day Tour

6. Crete: Lasithi Plateau and Knossos Palace Day Tour

Visit the monastery of Kera Kardiotissa and the Dictaean Cave then meet a potter at work on this exciting day trip. You’ll see panoramic views of the Lasithi Plateau and discover the epic Minoan Palace of Knossos. Your first stop is the Monastery of Kera Kardiotissa, an Orthodox nunnery dedicated to the Virgin Mary, situated near the village of Kera. Famous for the icon of Mary, believed to be miraculous, it’s surrounded by fortified walls and the church features murals dating back to the 14th century. The next stop is the village of Psychro, where you’ll take a walk to reach the Dictaean Cave, found above the village of Psychro at 1025 meters altitude. According to Greek mythology, it’s believed to be the place where Zeus, the father of Greek gods, was kept and fed from Amalthia, a goat, in secret to be protected from his father.  A most impressive sight is the lake at the lowest point, surrounded by massive stalactites and stalagmites. In the village of Psychro, a local potter will show the process of making his art at his ceramic workshop, following centuries-old traditions. A great opportunity to try it for yourself!  The next stop is Seli Ambelou for lunch with a panoramic view of the Lassithi Plateau.  It’s then time for the final destination, a visit to Knossos Palace, the capital of Minoan civilization. You’ll walk through the ancient site and learn how the citizens, believed to be the first Europeans in an organized community, lived 4,000 years ago. You’ll explore the palace and learn about the throne room, the frescoes, and the Minoan columns. 

Private Group Tour in Lasithi & Traditional Cretan Villages

7. Private Group Tour in Lasithi & Traditional Cretan Villages

Ever felt you wanted to get away from crowds and blaze your own trail? This is your chance to enjoy the many sights, tastes and aromas of Crete on your own terms. Take advantage of this personalized tour service and get ready for private tour that will take you from one sight to the next, from breathtaking views to traditional villages to the secret villages of Crete – each one chosen by you. Are you into wine culture, archaeological sites, traditional Greek cooking lessons, unique beaches, or Mediterranean gastronomy? This tour will take you from the heights of the rocky Lassithi plateau to the traditional villages tucked away off the beaten path. Start at the village of Krasi and visit the huge 2,400-years-old Writer’s Plane Tree, named so because it was beloved by Nikos Kazantzakis, one of the most famous Greek writers of the 20th century. In the same village, see how the Cretans used to wash their clothes in the traditional manner. Next up is Panagia Kera, a 13th century Byzantine monastery where you can find a depiction of the Catholic St. Francis, who is famous in Crete among the gorgeous iconography. Afterwards, the tour will ascend to the unique Lassithi Plateau, a rocky and austere place, long treasured for the beauty of its scenery. There you can visit the Diktaion Andron, an ancient cave believed to be the mythological birthplace of Zeus. Have lunch in a traditional taverna outside Krasi, at your own expense.

Crete: Lasithi Plateau Off-Road Land Rover Safari with Lunch

8. Crete: Lasithi Plateau Off-Road Land Rover Safari with Lunch

Experience being driven off-road in a Land Rover through traditional mountain villages and historic landmarks on this Lasithi Plateau safari with lunch. Visit the Cave of Psychro, see the Roman aqueduct, and more. Admire the view from Afentis to the north, south, and west side of the island. The day starts in Hersonissos (Chersonisos). After the necessary briefing from the driver, head south towards the Lasithi Plateau. The road soon leads to the Aposelemis Dam. There you can see the abandoned village of Sfendili, which, depending on the water level, is visible or not. Continue driving on the provincial road among the olive groves to the picturesque village of Amariano. Here you can have a drink and see the remains of the Roman aqueduct. Then, the off-road driving begins. The landscape becomes wilder and the altitude increasing quickly. If you’re lucky, spot the vultures that fly in the area. The road ends at the fertile Lasithi Plateau where there were once more than 1000 windmills, which pumped groundwater to irrigate the fields. Next, stop at the impressive Cave of Psychro (Dikteon Cave) at an altitude of 1025 m. There, according to mythology, Zeus was born. The cave is considered an archeological site and can be visited for a surcharge. To reach the cave, follow a beautiful and short uphill path. If you do not want to walk, there are donkeys that take visitors to the cave for a fee. Right after your visit to the cave, get the opportunity to taste traditional Cretan cuisine in a local restaurant. After your meal, start your return. Travel through the col, where the windmills that the locals used to grind their flour are still standing. A few kilometers later, visit Keras Monastery (Monastery Panagia Kera Kardiotissa), one of the most important religious monuments in Crete. Due to its central location between Heraklion and the Lasithi Plateau, the monastery was used as a shelter for Cretan freedom fighters. Within a few months, between October 1866 and June 1867, Panagia Kera was burned twice by Omer Pasha's army. On the way back, make a final stop in the village of Mohos for a drink of raki (alcoholic drink). The view from the road to the Cretan Sea, Mallia, and Hersonissos as the sun sets is a perfect way to end the day.

Crete: Sightseeing Day Trip with Cooking Lesson and Lunch

9. Crete: Sightseeing Day Trip with Cooking Lesson and Lunch

Explore the Cretan countryside on this tour to a farm in Potamies, the dam of Aposelemis, the gorge of Embasa, the Lassithi plateau, and the village of Krasi. Try farm fresh products, take a cooking and ceramics lesson, and tour an olive oil mill. Be picked up from the comfort of your accommodation in Analipsi, Heraklion, Hersonissos, or Sisi. Sit back and enjoy the scenery on the way to a farm in the rural village of Potamies. Watch as a farmer milks the goats and savor some products made with the milk. Continue to the dam of Aposelemis which is the largest water supply project in Crete. See the sight where the village of Sfendili is submerged in the waters of the dam. Capture pictures of half-submerged houses in this natural wetland with a variety of birds. Drive uphill on dirt roads through the gorge of Embasa. Take in views of mountains and have the opportunity to pick local herbs. Learn how to cook like a local with step-by-step instructions. Prepare dishes from pure ingredients and local products. Visit the Lassithi plateau and head to a pottery workshop to uncover the secrets of Cretan ceramic art. Create your own ceramic masterpiece. Tour the plateau and meet some of the local. Stop at the local cafeteria for a delicious meal baked in a wood oven. Make your way to the picturesque village of Krasi. Stop to see a square with an 18th-century aqueduct and centuries-old plane trees. End your day trip with a tour of an olive oil factory. Learn how to produce olive oil and try some oil samples before returning to your accommodation.

Heraklion: Tour to Cave of Zeus, Mochos Village, & Knossos

10. Heraklion: Tour to Cave of Zeus, Mochos Village, & Knossos

Explore the history of Crete on this tour from Heraklion. Soak up local culture at the villages of Mochos and Krasi. Find out where the mythological figure Zeus was thought to have been born. Travel to the archaeological site of Knossos and the Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Enjoy the convenience of being picked up in a comfortable van from your accommodation in Heraklion. Sit back and relax on the way to the traditional mountain village of Mochos. Admire its narrow alleys, cobbled streets, and colorful gardens.  Continue to Krasi village to view a Platanus tree that is 2,400-year-old. Stand in the shade of this tree which is locally known as the Writer's Tree. Travel to the cave of Diktaion Andron, which is believed to be the birthplace of Zeus. Have the chance to purchase tickets to go inside the cave. Admire views of the Lasithi Plateau before heading to the archaeological site of Knossos. Buy a ticket to the site to see richly colored frescos amid the remains of this Bronze Age palace. Purchase a ticket to the Heraklion Archaeological Museum to explore collections of Minoan art and artefacts. Feel free to stop and purchase lunch during the tour. Return to your accommodation in Heraklion at the end of the tour. 

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What people are saying about Lasithi Plateau

Great tour around the Monastery, Lasithi Plateau and the Dictaean Cave, our guide was very knowledgeable. One thing to bear in mind is to bring cash (preferably coins or a small note) for entrance to the monastery - it's 2€ per person. My wife and I only brought cards and another traveller very kindly paid for us. Water and shoes with good grip are essential for the caves - the hike up is tough and the stairs in the caves can be slippery. We'd highly recommend this tour, it's great value for money.

Great experience. Got plenty of time to see everything in your own pace too. When I wanted to add a last minute extra part to my tour (to Knossos palace), the tourguide Irene made sure this was made possible.

A great tour, the fantastic guide very kind and friendly. The impressive cave and highly recommended to visit the other stops were also tasty, the local wine was very rich.

An amazing day!!! So many wonderful sites to visit, very well balanced trip and well worth the money. I would go again!

Amazing so well set out, so much to see!! Ian is my guide was incredible. One of the best excursions I've been on!!