Ida Range (Psiloritis)

The mountains of Ida, better known as Psiloritis, are located in the center of Crete and cover a large part of Heraklion and Rethymnon Prefectures. Among its many peaks and the offshoots of the main massif, the five highest peaks are the most dominant: Holy Cross (2456m), Agathias (2424m), Stolistra (2325m), Voulomenou (2267m) and Kousakas (2209m). Indeed the peak of the Holy Cross is just 3m higher than of the highest peak of the White Mountains (called Pahnes), being the highest point of Crete.

Psiloritis offers an amazing experience to those who try to know it better, and there you can see some of the most impressive landscapes of wild beauty. Deep caves, karstic formations, deep gorges, small plateaus, pine and oak woods, villages on the edge of the cliff, bare alpine zones: all that make up the unique scenery Psiloritis.

Apart from the woods of Rouvas, Vromonero and Pardi, you can visit the beautiful villages around the Psiloritis slopes. In mountainous Mylopotamos area, with Anogia being its capital, you will meet authentic Cretan people, and on the villages on the south slopes of Psiloritis you will enjoy the magnificent views of the plain of Messara. From Anogia you can visit the Nida Plateau and the cave Ideon Andron, the ancient Zominthos and Skinakas Observatory. You can also visit the plateau Livadi and return to Heraklion via the alternative road that runs along Gaidourorachi Gorge.

The Ida is full of caves with the largest cave being the magical Sfendoni in Zoniana, which can be visited. Other caves are those of Kamilari in Tylisos, Gerontospilios in Melidoni, Doxa in Marathi, the cave of Kamares, Chonos in Sarhos and Marathospilios. You can also visit the karstic Voulismeno Aloni near Tylisos, formed after the collapse of a large cave.

The gigantic mountain Psiloritis stores huge amounts of water while snow on the peaks remains till May or June.