Askifou Plateau

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High in the White Mountains

Askifou Plateau, Crete

Askifou Plateau  - Οροπέδιο Ασκύφου is a wide natural valley surrounded by the White Mountains in Chania Crete. Inside the plateau are the small villages of Kares, Ammoudari, Petres and Goni.

Visitors will find themselves on the plateau as they cross the White Mountains from Chania or Rethymnon on the way to Chora Sfakion, the southern beaches accessible by ferry and Frangokastello.

οροπέδιο Ασκύφου, CreteAskifou Plateau, Crete

On the Plateau

On the plateau explore:

  • Kares
  • Ammoudari
  • Petres
  • Goni
  • Kastro Koules
  • Askifou War Museum
  • Taverna Askifou
  • Tsitsiridis Kafe Taverna
  • Tsitsiridis Cheese Shop
  • Agios Georgios Methystis Chapel
  • E4 European Walking Tracks

Whilst in the region, be sure to try the local speciality – Sfakian pies – these are made with the fresh, local mizithra cheese and lashings of mountain honey.

Hikers and walkers will find plenty of mountain paths including the European Walking Path E4, which passes by here.

This walking path crosses the whole of the island of Crete, from the west to the east, following a total of 320 km of local walking paths, covering some of the most scenic and remote parts of the island.

After visiting the plateau, head south to Imbros village at the edge of the gorge then travel by curvy mountain roads to Chora Sfakion, the distance from Kares to Chora Sfakion is 23 km.

Σφακιανή Πίτα - Sfakian Pie - like a yummy pancake with local honey

Askifou Plateau and the Mountains in Crete

Those more adventurous may wish to explore further to the plateau of Kallikratis and its small village. Perhaps visit with Babis and Janina at Wild Herbs of Crete (above). Call first because they might not be in that village at the time of your visit.

Wild Herbs of Crete, Kalikratis VillageWild Herbs of Crete - higher up on Kallikratis Plateau
Wild herbs of Crete - chamomileWild herbs of Crete - chamomile


There is plenty of hiking in and around the plateau:

  • There is a short walk of 5 kms around the circuit of the plateau.
  • From the village of Ammoudari starts the E4 walking path to Katsiveli. The total track is 20 km and it is one of the hardest parts of the E4 route in Crete. This must be done by experienced walkers from May to September.
  • Also from Ammoudari starts the next section of the walk which is from Askifou to Imbros Gorge and to Kallikratis Plateau. This walk is 18 km and also care must be taken in these mountains.
  • From Ammoudari is an 8 km walk to the higher Niato plateau.
  • Birdwatching, photography, mountain biking and rock climbing are all popular here

Imbros Gorge

South of Askifou Plateau is Imbros Gorge. This rocky canyon has a walking trail that is open all year round. Take around 2.5 hours to walk 8 km one way, starting in the village of Imbros and ending in the village of Komitades.

Imbros Gorge, explore an arch in stunning limestone, caves and cliffs on this 8km hike (image by Graeme Churchard)


Lefkoritis Mountain Resort in Snow, White Mountains, Crete
Lefkoritis Mountain Resort - Crete
Lefkoritis Mountain Resort - Crete - with horse rider in foreground

The village of Ammoudari has a few rooms for rent, Lefkoritis Mountain Resort has rooms, a restaurant, horse riding, a swimming pool, gorgeous grounds and plenty of and mountain activities to choose from. Sports such as basketball, volleyball, tennis and soccer are offered. The area is really great for hiking and paragliding which can be organised from the resort, as well as scuba diving on the south coast.

This place is made of stone and wood and is a curious mixture of traditional Cretan mountain knowledge and modern amenities to suit the young and young at heart, don't miss the traditional food such as hearty mountain stew.

The owner, Nick Kalogeris, says "Lefkoritis Resort is a venue in a place both for nature lovers as well as for those seeking an alternative and out of the ordinary break. It is an ideal destination for relaxation, recreation and activities all year round".

Panorama Askifou

Panorama Askifou is a villa located in the village of Kares on the plateau. With sweeping views over the plateau and the mountains and lovely comfortable accommodation. Here also is a local taverna where you can experience the Sfakian cuisine especially the Sfakian pies and fresh mountain cheeses. Choose from a studio room, double, triple or quadruple room. Here the Lentaris brothers will look after you.

Villa Askifou is located in Goni village and offers magical views across the valley. This traditional Cretan home will give you a real experience of the culture and history of the island whilst offering all modern comforts. This is a 6 bedroom villa sleeping 14 adults and 4 children.  Yianni will look after you.

Villa Skyphos is Askifou Plateau

Villa Skyphos in Petres village is modern and stylish with a pool and outdoor areas, again taking in the wide mountain and plateau views. The villa sleeps 6 adults and 2 children in 3 rooms. Angeliki speaks Greek, English and German and will show you wonderful hospitality.

Askifou Plateau

Askifou plateau covered in snow

Region of Chania

Samaria Gorge in the White Mountains of Crete

In the region of Chania, there is just so much nature to explore:

There are great beaches nearby to explore:

And further in the west of Chania, some extraordinary places:

Chania Town

Chania harbour looking to the White Mountains

Enjoy the Old Town of Chania on your way to Askifou - we recommend staying within the walls of the historic town to soak up the atmosphere.

While you are in Chania explore:

  • narrow lane ways
  • boutiques and studios
  • Old Venetian Harbour
  • Venetian Lighthouse
  • artesanal workshops
  • art galleries
  • Venetian Town Walls
  • museums
  • ancient sites such as Ancient Kydonia
  • Fort Firca and the Maritime Museum
  • Trimartiri Orthodox Cathedral
  • Chania Municipal Market
  • Museum of Archaeology
  • Restaurants, cafes and tavernas

Videos of Askifou

Thodoris Athitakis has shared his love of his village with these videos:

Jeannette shares some beautiful images of the mountains and the plateau here:

Getting Here

The area can be reached by a comfortable drive 50 km from Chania town. Leaving Chania you pass through Vrysses then turn south. Visitors may arrive here on the way to Sfakia, Frangokastello or Loutro Crete, or perhaps Imbros Gorge.

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Anastasi & Apostoli - authors of We Love Crete

"We trust you have enjoyed these tips from the team at
We Love Crete. Evíva!"

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