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Cicerone Guides: Walks and Treks – The High Mountains of Crete: White Mountains, Mount Ida and Lassithi

Walking / Outdoor Guide

Series: Cicerone Guides

By: Loraine Wilson (Author)

395 pages, 122 colour photos, 23 colour maps

Cicerone Press

Paperback | laminated cover (not waterproof) | Aug 2015 | Edition: 3 | #226139 | ISBN-13: 9781852847999
Availability: Usually dispatched within 48 hours
NHBS Price: £16.95 $21/€19 approx

About this book

Guidebook to walking and trekking the high mountains of Crete. The largest of the Greek Islands, Crete's mountains provide breathtaking walking and wilderness to this popular island. The routes in The High Mountains of Crete are graded for difficulty and range from short, easy strolls to challenging, multi-day treks and summit climbs, so there are options for walkers of all abilities.

All the mountain ranges of Crete feature high plains, gorges and ravines, but in the heart of the Lefka Ori there is something else. High above the treeline snow thaws by July to reveal a great circle of massive barren peaks, interspersed with 'moonscape' outcrops, or depressions, of sinkholes in black, grey or red rock. This high desert wilderness is seldom visited but covers some 960 km2.

In central Crete, where the island is at its widest, the huge mass of Psiloritis (Mount Ida) dominates the whole region. Covering about 560 km2 this massif is different in that a single huge, partly scree-surfaced summit ridge rises above massive cliffs on one side and a large area of lower peaks and forested foothills on the other. The summit of Mount Ida, at 2456 m is the highest point in Crete. It offers several challenging linear walking routes including the high level Nida Plain.

The Lassithi Mountains cover about 780 km2 and virtually divide central Crete from the eastern end of the island. It is not only the largest of the high mountain plains but also the largest flat area in Crete. About 820 m in altitude, it is oval in shape, more than 9 km across west-east, and 5 km north-south.

In Crete the E4 starts at Kastelli and takes in several of the less-visited archaeological sites on its journey east. Although the main trail follows the mountainous backbone of Crete, Cretan branches of the Hellenic Alpine Association have also designated good route 'variations' either along the coast, or as branches that lead to the main trail.

There is also lots of general information provided on walking in Crete, getting there and getting around and advice on making the most out of exploring the island's mountains. With its dramatic gorges and numerous peaks rising to over 2100 m, high mountain plains, forested crags, massive cliffs and remote beaches, Crete offers a wide range of landscapes and challenges for walkers. A combination of the climate and its ancient historical sites make the Greek island of Crete a great destination to explore on foot.

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Cicerone Guides: The High Mountains of Crete laminated cover (not waterproof)

Now published as a full colour guide, this new edition supersedes and...

NHBS Price: £13.99 $17/€16 approx


Hillwalking and trekking regions
Plants, trees and flowers
Wildlife and hunting
Getting there
Getting to the trailhead
When to go
Insects and other hazards
General information
Types of pathways
What to take
Using this guide

Part 1 The White Mountains (Lefka Ori)
The Omalos Plain

Walk 1 Around the Omalos Plain
Walk 2 The Gorge of Samaria National Park
Walk 3 The Ascent of Gingilos
Walk 4 Xyloscala to Kallergi Refuge
Walk 5 Kallergi Refuge to Melendaou
Walk 6 Xyloscala to Koustoyerako via Strifomadi
Walk 6A Koustoyerako to Xyloscala via Strifomadi
Walk 7 Omalos to Koustoyerako via Ay. Theodoros chapel
Walk 7A Koustoyerako to Omalos via Ay. Theodoros chapel
Walk 8 Omalos to Ay. Irini Gorge
Walk 9 Ay. Irini Gorge to Souyia
Walk 9A Souyia to Lissos and Paleochora (E4 Trail)
Walk 10 Omalos to Zourva
Walk 10A Zourva to Omalos
Walk 11 Zourva to Meskla
Walk 12 Omalos to Lakki and Meskla
Walk 12A Lakki to Omalos

The Northern Foothills
Walk 13 Kambi to Volikas Refuge
Walk 14 Kambi to Melidoni
Walk 14A Melidoni to Kambi
Walk 15 Kares to Gournes
Walk 16 Melidoni to Fres
Walk 17 Fres to Vrisses
Walk 18 Fres to Vafes via Tzitzifes
Walk 19 Melidoni to Vafes via Vothanas
Walk 19A Vafes to Melidoni via Vothanas
Walk 20 Vafes to Vrisses
Walk 20A Vrisses to Vafes
Walk 21 Vafes to Askifou

The Askifou Plain
Walk 22 Around the Plain
Walk 23 Askifou to Imbros
Walk 24 The Imbros Gorge
Walk 25 Kommitades to Hora Sfakion
Walk 26 The Asfendou Gorge from Askifou
Walk 27 Askifou-Goni to Kallikratis
Walk 28 The Kallikratis Gorge
Walk 29 Askifou-Ammoudari to Niato (E4 Trail)
Walk 30 The Ascent of Kastro
Walk 31 Askifou to Imbros via Trikoukia
Walk 32 Askifou to Anopolis (or Hora Sfakion) via Kali Lakki
Walk 33 Askifou to Vafes
Walk 34 Krappis to Lake Kourna

Walk 35 Anopolis to Loutro
Walk 36 Kambia to Loutro
Walk 37 Kambia to Anopolis or Ay. Ekaterini
Walk 38 Kambia to Hora Sfakion
Walk 39 Anopolis to Aradena
Walk 39A The Aradena Gorge
Walk 40 Aradena to Ay. loannis and Sellouda
Walk 41 Aradena to Ay. Roumeli via Sellouda
Walk 42 The Aradena Forest and Kroussia
Walk 43 Anopolis to Askifou via Kali Lakki

The south coast of Sfakia
Walk 44 Hora Sfakion to Loutro (E4 Trail)
Walk 45 Hora Sfakion to Anopolis
Walk 46 Hora Sfakion to Mouri
Walk 47 Loutro to Livaniana and beyond
Walk 48 Loutro to Ay. Roumeli (E4 Trail)
Walk 49 The Gorge of Samaria National Park
Walk 50 Around Ay. Roumeli
Walk 51 The Eligias Gorge, Angelokampi and Turkish forts
Walk 52 Ay. Roumeli to Anopolis via Sellouda

Mountain treks
Trek 1 Theriso to Livada via Kolokithas
Trek 1A Livada to Theriso
Trek 2 Kambi to Livada via Volikas EOS Refuge
Trek 2A Livada to Kambi
Trek 3 Askifou to Livada via Niato and Grias Soros (E4 Trail)
Trek 3A Livada to Niato and Askifou (E4 Trail)
Trek 4 Livada to Katsiveli (E4 Trail)
Trek 4A Katsiveli to Livada (E4 Trail)
Trek 5 Katsiveli to Potamos (E4 Trail)
Trek 5A Potamos to Katsiveli
Trek 6 Omalos (or Kallergi Refuge) to Potamos (and Katsiveli) via Melendaou (E4 Trail)
Trek 6A Potamos to Kallergi Refuge (E4 Trail)
Trek 7 Potamos to Ay. Ioannis via Zaranokefala
Trek 7A Ay. Ioannis to Potamos via Zaranokefala
Trek 8 Anopolis to Katsiveli
Trek 8A Katsiveli to Anopolis

The Ascent of Pachnes
Trek 9 Roussies to Pachnes summit
Trek 9A Pachnes summit to Katsiveli
Trek 9B Katsiveli to Pachnes summit

The south coast
Trek 10 Ay. Roumeli to Souyia (E4 Trail)
Trek 10A Souyia to Ay. Roumeli (E4 Trail)

Part 2 Psiloritis (Mount Ida)
Walks and treks from trailheads of the foothills

Walk P1 Anoyeia to the Nida taverna
Walk P2 Zaros to Ay. Ioannis Rouvas chapel via the Rouvas Gorge
Walk P3 Ay. Ioannis chapel to the Nida Plain (E4 Trail)
Walk P4 Kamares to the Kamares Cave
Walk P5 Kamares Cave to the Nida Plain
Walk P6 Kamares to the summit of Mount Ida
Walk P7 The Arcadi monastery to Aravanes Kampos
Walk P8 Aravanes Kampos to the Nida Plain
Walk P9 Lakkos Mygerou (Livadia) to summit of Mount Ida
Walk P10 Aravanes Kampos to Toubotos Prinos EOS Refuge
Walk P11 The Amari Valley: Fourfouras and Kouroutes

Walks and treks from trailheads on the Nida Plain
Walk P12 Nida to the summit of Mount Ida (E4 Trail)
Walk P13 Summit of Mount Ida: descent to Kamares
Walk P14 Nida to Anoyeia on the E4 Trail
Walk P14A Nida to Anoyeia on Old Droving Trail
Walk P15 Nida to Ay. Ioannis chapel (E4 Trail)
Walk P16 Nida to Kamares via Kamares Cave
Walk P17 Nida to the Arcadi monastery

Part 3 The Lassithi (Dikti) Mountains
Walk L1 Kastamonitsa to Ay. Georgios (E4 Trail)
Walk L2 Ay. Georgios to Tzermiado
Walk L2A Tzermiado to Ay. Georgios
Walk L3 Tzermiado to Karphi and back
Walk L4 Ay. Georgios to the Katharo Plain and back
Walk L5 Ay. Georgios (for Mt Dikti summit) to Selakano (E4 Trail)
Walk L5A Selakano to Ay. Georgios (E4 Trail)
Walk L6 Selakano to the Katharo Plain (for Lassithi or Kritsa)
Walk L6A Katharo Plain via south rim road to Selakano
Walk L7 Katharo Plain to Kritsa (for Ay. Nikolaos)
Walk L7A Kritsa to the Katharo Plain
Walk L8 Magoulas to Xeniakos and Ano Viannos
Appendix A Route summary table
Appendix B Glossary
Appendix C Further reading
Appendix D Useful contacts
Appendix E Index of maps

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Loraine Wilson is an experienced guide to the White Mountains with over 18 years experience, a wealth of local knowledge and contacts, together with a deep love of the wild landscape and local people. On her returns to England she is an architectural photographer and her photographs are a splendid attraction to this, her first guide.

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