Jiouchtas Mountain

Jiouchtas is located west of Archanes, about 10km south of Heraklion. It\'s a small mountain with a maximum height of 811m, but it occupies a special position in the heart of the Cretans and that’s why we mention it here. Located in a unique landscape with vineyards and olive groves, it is bounded by fertile valleys on the north, the green Sylamiano Gorge on the east and the valley of the River Giofiros on the west.

In the ancient times it was considered a sacred mountain, mainly because it resembles a human face that looks to the sky from the northwest. Even today the human like mountain causes awe. According to the legend, this is the face of Zeus and the mountain is his tomb. Indeed the name Jiouchtas is a corruption of the Latin word for Zeus, Jupiter.

The mountain was very important for the Minoans since it was the first mountain they saw while their ships approached the shores of Crete.

The mountain vegetation is low, but there are small clumps of cypress and pine trees in many areas. The inaccessible vertical cliffs of Jiouchtas are a unique haven for eagles and vultures.