Hiking to the Psiloritis on Crete: This walk is actually a heavier hike or mountain walk to the Psiloritis. The Psiloritis is the highest mountain of Crete with a height of 2.456 meters. This mountain is also known as the Ida mountain. The Psiloritis is located in central Crete in the province of Rethymnon. Psiloritis is a bit higher than the Lefka Ori mountains in Chania (white mountains). The mountain has snow for approximately 7 months per year.

On the top of Psiloritis is a small church built from rocks, with a cross. The name of this church  is Timios Stavros, which is also written on some signs to show you the way to the top of the mountain. Every year at the 14th of September the name day of the church Timios Stavros is celebrated. The mountain was used in ancient times for the extraction of gold and copper. Down from the Psiloritis mountain, at the Nida plateau, is the Idaion Antron cave located. In this cave Zeus was born, or was it the cave of Zeus at Lassithi?! According to the legend, Zeus grew up on the top of Psiloritis.

Hiking to the Psiloritis on Crete – Starting the hike from Nida Plateau

Hiking area around the Psiloritis: There are several ways to reach the top of the Ida mountain (Psiloritis). You can also hike from the South of Crete to Psiloritis, but most hikers start their hike from the Nida Plateau. You can also stay overnight close to the starting point at the Nida Plateau. This is advisable, because then you are able to start hiking early in the morning to the top of the mountain. It is not a luxury hotel, but a good accommodation for active hikers. There are 5 other mountains around the Psiloriti: Koussakas 2209 meter, Voulomenou 2267 meter, Stolistra 2325 meter and Agathias 2424 meter. From the Nida Plateau you can start the climb up to Psiloritis from a height of approximately 1.500 meter, close to the Idaion Antron cave.

Information about the hike to Psiloritis: The mountain hike to Psiloritis is beautiful, but very challenging! It is a long mountain hike to the top of Psiloritis. It can be cold on the top of the mountain, as well in the summer as in the autumn or spring, sometimes it can be even extremely cold!  There is snow on the top until the beginning of July. Make sure you have the right shoes for this long mountain hike. This hike is in total 20 kilometres with a hiking time of 10-12 hours.

The trails in the mountains have a lot of loose stones. Do not underestimate the weather conditions while hiking on Psiloritis. It can be quit dangerous when it rains with all the loose stones. The trail from the Nida Plateau is well marked with dots and you will also see E4 signs. In the spring the marks of the trail to Psiloritis are often covered with snow. The ideal time to hike to Psiloritis is definitely autumn.

Hiking to the Psiloritis on Crete – Hiking trail to the top of the mountain

Hiking to the top of Psiloritis: The trail starts below the mountains close to the Idaion Antron cave. In the beginning of the trail you will have to climb along rocks with a splendid view over the Nida plateau. The plateau is beautiful green with a lot of sheep and their shepherds. You will see a lot of sheep and goats during this hike. After the first climb, a trail with loose stones brings you up between 2 mountains. At the top of this trail you must first follow a path down and then make the climb along and between 5 mountains. Once you reach the top you will see the North coast of Crete and left in the corner the top of Psiloritis. Along this climbing trail the path brings you to the top of Psiloritis.

When you reach the top you can see with clear weather all around Crete, you can also see Santorini in the North and Gavdos in the South. Gavdos is southernmost island of Europe. On the top you can have a break protected from the strong wind at Timios Stavros. Then starts the descend to the Nida plateau, be careful of the loose stones and rocks. Normally it is not so nice to hike the same trail twice, but now it doesn’t matter, because you will see different views along this mountain hike. It is also possible to hike back via the other side of the mountain along the E4 walking trail of Crete.

Walking information about Crete: Have a look on the page with more walking information about Crete. There are a lot of walking possibilities on Crete.

Holidays on CreteApartment rental and accommodation on Crete. It is the perfect place for family apartments and holiday homes.

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Hiking to the Psiloritis on Crete