Diktaion Andron

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Diktaion Andron: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Heraklion: Lasithi Plateau & Psychro Cave Guided Trip

1. From Heraklion: Lasithi Plateau & Psychro Cave Guided Trip

Morning Pick up: We will start collecting participants from pick-up points in the morning. Depending on the place of your hotel/apartment the bus drive will differ. Bus Drive: 30 minutes 1st stop: Village of Krasi – 20 minutes This little traditional village with the beautiful freshwater springs and the oldest and biggest tree on Crete, will be our first stop to enjoy the Cretan landscape and the countryside. Bus Drive: 10 minutes 2nd stop: Monastery of Kera – 30 minutes Explore the Monastery dedicated to Virgin Mary that is situated near the village of Kera. Bus Drive: 15 minutes 3rd stop: Vidiani Monastery – 25 minutes A small, male monastery located at the foot of Louloudaki Mountain will be our next stop. Bus Drive: 1 hour 20 minutes 4th stop: Psychro Cave (Cave of Zeus) - 1 hour 10 minutes Explore the mythical birth place of the king of gods Zeus. Admire the unique site decorated with impressive stalactites and stalagmites. Bus Drive: 10 minutes 5th stop: Ceramics Workshop – 45 minutes Our participants will enjoy a professional workshop to see how traditional ceramics are made and why not try to create their own! Bus Drive: 10 minutes 6th stop: Traditional Tavern for lunch There will be a big variety of local dishes made from local products of the Lasithi plateau, homemade wine and products from the surrounding mountains. (The meal is not included.) End of the tour – Arrival at resorts: Embarkation in the buses and drive back to the hotels where we gathered participants in the morning. Depending on traffic and on the pick-up places of each one, the time of journey back to the hotel will differ.

From Heraklion: Knossos & Psychro Cave Guided Day Trip

2. From Heraklion: Knossos & Psychro Cave Guided Day Trip

Morning Pick up: We will start collecting participants from pick-up points in the morning. Depending on the place of your hotel/apartment the bus drive will differ. Bus Drive from the last pick up: 30 minutes 1st stop: Village of Krasi – 20 minutes This little traditional village with the beautiful freshwater springs and the oldest and biggest tree on Crete, will be our first stop for about 20 minutes. Enjoy our time in Cretan nature! Bus Drive: 10 minutes 2nd stop: Monastery of Kera – 30 minutes Explore the Monastery dedicated to Virgin Mary that is situated near the village of Kera. Bus Drive: 15 minutes 3rd stop: Vidiani Monastery – 25 minutes A small, male monastery located at the foot of Louloudaki Mountain will be our next stop. Bus Drive: 20 minutes 4th stop: Psychro Cave (Cave of Zeus) - 1 hour 10 minutes Explore the mythical birth place of the king of gods Zeus. Admire the unique site decorated with impressive stalactites and stalagmites. Bus Drive: 10 minutes 5th stop: Ceramics Workshop – 45 minutes Our participants will enjoy aprofessional workshop tosee how traditional ceramics are made and why not try to create their own! Bus Drive: 10 minutes 6th stop: Traditional Tavern for lunch - 1hour 20 minutes There will be a big variety of local dishes made from local products of the Lassithi plateau, homemade wine and products from the surrounding mountains. (The meal is not included.) Bus Drive: 1 hour 20 minutes 7th stop: Knossos Palace – 1 hour Leaving the beautiful region of Lasithi behind, our day will end at the Historical Site of Knossos. There will be a guided tour for about 1hour as well as some free time to take photos of this unique archaeological scenery. End of the tour – Return to resorts: Embarkation in the buses and drive back to the hotels where we gathered participants in the morning. Depending on traffic and on the pick-up places of each one, the time of journey back to the hotel will differ. Bus Drive from Knossos: 1 hour

Crete: Dikti Mountains and Lasithi Plateau Tour by SUV

3. Crete: Dikti Mountains and Lasithi Plateau Tour by SUV

Discover traditional life in rural Crete by witnessing the daily activities of the locals and visiting the sites where Greek myths were born. Get picked up from your accommodation for a tour of Potamies, Aposelemis dam, Empasa, and the Dikti mountain range. Visit one of the most characteristic Cretan villages, Potamies, for a tour of a traditional paddock. See the process of milking and cheese-making, meet the animals, and sample their fresh cheese. Next, head to the Aposelemis dam, the largest water supply project in Crete. See the village of Sfendili submerged in the waters of the dam with its impressive old houses fading on the surface of the water. Explore the natural wetlands and spot a unique variety of birds. Continue uphill on the dirt roads to the gorge of Empasa. Feel in awe of the mountainous landscape and thriving wildlife. Try your hand at foraging for native herbs or relax and take in the panoramic views. If your group all agrees, take a trip to Lassithi Plateau to enter Psychro Cave, the fabled birthplace of the Greek God Zeus. Venture further up the route to an altitude of 1250m in the Limnakaro Plateau, where you can fully appreciate the majesty of the vast mountains. Finally, enjoy authentic food baked in the wood oven in one of the most celebrated taverns in the picturesque village of Krasi. Admire the town square filled with fountains and see imposing plane trees that are up to 2000 years old. Return to your hotel full of unforgettable memories of Crete.

From Agios Nikolaos: Day Tour to Zeus Cave & Lasithi Plateau

4. From Agios Nikolaos: Day Tour to Zeus Cave & Lasithi Plateau

After pickup from your hotel, the first stop on your tour is Kritsa, a historical village rich in legends. Here you'll discover picturesque gorges and several ancient archaeological and religious sites. From Kritsa, drive higher into the mountains through the pine forest and past Katharo Plateau (altitude 1250m). This plateau is famous for the Cretan dwarf hippopotamus fossils found in the area and features a magnificent landscape surrounded that is home to many legends dating back to the Ottoman era. Next you'll visit the impressive Lassithi Plateau (altitude 1150m). More than 10,000 traditional windmills operated in the area until just a few decades ago. In the 1950s and 1960s, the plateau was actually one of the first wind farms in Europe. If you're lucky, you'll also have a chance to see some native wildlife. From here you'll continue on to the Diktaean Cave, that is, the birthplace of Zeus, which is located at the village of Psychro (altitude 840m). Finally, explore the village of Krasi and take photos of the famous Cretan author Nikos Kazantzakis’ beloved plane tree. This particular plane tree’s circumference is approximately 24 metres and it is estimated that it is 2400 years old.

Crete: Sarakina Gorge, Forests, and South Coast Safari

5. Crete: Sarakina Gorge, Forests, and South Coast Safari

This tour will take you high into the mountains of the Lassithi Range (or Dikti Range), offering you an abundance of stunning panoramic views. Picking you up from your accommodation at 10:00AM, you will then start your climb up through several very picturesque traditional villages, one of which you shall stop at for a short break to shop or grab coffee. You will next go off road and move on up through the Kroustas Forest to a point approximately 1,000 meters above sea level. From way up there you will be able to see both the Lybian Sea (south coast) and the Aegean Sea (north coast). You will also be able to view the stunning peaks of the snow capped Mount Spathi (2,140 meters above sea level, second highest on the island), whose north face is home of the Psychro Cave, birth place of the Greek god Zeus. The views you will encounter throughout your tour can't be beaten, and there will be plenty of opportunities to stop for photographs. Whilst in the mountains you will be taken to a traditional Greek taverna for a meze lunch with local wine, and at the conclusion of your tour, you will be returned to your point of origin.

Crete: Monastery, Lasithi Plateau & Dictaean Cave Day Trip

6. Crete: Monastery, Lasithi Plateau & Dictaean Cave Day Trip

Visit an Orthodox nunnery, the village of Psychrom the Dictaean Cave, and see a local potter at work in his workshop. Explore the Lasithi Plateau, and make a stop for lunch while learning about the Plateau's history. Visit a small traditional village on the slope of Selena Mountain, and enjoy beautiful views of Crete on this interesting and unique day tour. Visit the Monastery of Kera Kardiotissa, an Orthodox nunnery dedicated to the Virgin Mary, situated near the village of Kera at an altitude of 650m. See the nunnery, famous for the icon of Mary believed to be miraculous, the nunnery's fortified walls, and its 14th and 15th-century murals. Stop next at the village of Psychro, and walk to reach the Dictaean Cave, just above the village of Psychro. See the cave, considered a sacred place of cult worship, and according to Greek mythology, it is believed to be the place where Zeus, the father of Greek gods, was kept and fed from Amalthia. See the most impressive sight is the lake at the lowest point, surrounded by massive stalactites and stalagmites, before moving on to the village of Psychro, where a local potter displays the steps of ceramic art at his ceramic workshop, where anyone interested may give pottery a try. Reach the northern entrance of the Lasithi Plateau, and stop at Seli Ambelou for a lunch break. Take in a panoramic view of the plateau, where in the 1950s and 1960s, was one of Europe's first wind farms. Stop in Krasi, a small traditional village set on the slope of Selena Mountain, and see its huge ancient plane tree, where the leaves and the branches of the tree provide shade all over the square in a unique and unspoiled environment. Finish the tour at Krasi, and return to your hotel.

Crete: Lasithi Plateau and Knossos Palace Day Tour

7. Crete: Lasithi Plateau and Knossos Palace Day Tour

Visit the monastery of Kera Kardiotissa and the Dictaean Cave then meet a potter at work on this exciting day trip. You’ll see panoramic views of the Lasithi Plateau and discover the epic Minoan Palace of Knossos. Your first stop is the Monastery of Kera Kardiotissa, an Orthodox nunnery dedicated to the Virgin Mary, situated near the village of Kera. Famous for the icon of Mary, believed to be miraculous, it’s surrounded by fortified walls and the church features murals dating back to the 14th century. The next stop is the village of Psychro, where you’ll take a walk to reach the Dictaean Cave, found above the village of Psychro at 1025 meters altitude. According to Greek mythology, it’s believed to be the place where Zeus, the father of Greek gods, was kept and fed from Amalthia, a goat, in secret to be protected from his father.  A most impressive sight is the lake at the lowest point, surrounded by massive stalactites and stalagmites. In the village of Psychro, a local potter will show the process of making his art at his ceramic workshop, following centuries-old traditions. A great opportunity to try it for yourself!  The next stop is Seli Ambelou for lunch with a panoramic view of the Lassithi Plateau.  It’s then time for the final destination, a visit to Knossos Palace, the capital of Minoan civilization. You’ll walk through the ancient site and learn how the citizens, believed to be the first Europeans in an organized community, lived 4,000 years ago. You’ll explore the palace and learn about the throne room, the frescoes, and the Minoan columns. 

Private Group Tour in Lasithi & Traditional Cretan Villages

8. Private Group Tour in Lasithi & Traditional Cretan Villages

Ever felt you wanted to get away from crowds and blaze your own trail? This is your chance to enjoy the many sights, tastes and aromas of Crete on your own terms. Take advantage of this personalized tour service and get ready for private tour that will take you from one sight to the next, from breathtaking views to traditional villages to the secret villages of Crete – each one chosen by you. Are you into wine culture, archaeological sites, traditional Greek cooking lessons, unique beaches, or Mediterranean gastronomy? This tour will take you from the heights of the rocky Lassithi plateau to the traditional villages tucked away off the beaten path. Start at the village of Krasi and visit the huge 2,400-years-old Writer’s Plane Tree, named so because it was beloved by Nikos Kazantzakis, one of the most famous Greek writers of the 20th century. In the same village, see how the Cretans used to wash their clothes in the traditional manner. Next up is Panagia Kera, a 13th century Byzantine monastery where you can find a depiction of the Catholic St. Francis, who is famous in Crete among the gorgeous iconography. Afterwards, the tour will ascend to the unique Lassithi Plateau, a rocky and austere place, long treasured for the beauty of its scenery. There you can visit the Diktaion Andron, an ancient cave believed to be the mythological birthplace of Zeus. Have lunch in a traditional taverna outside Krasi, at your own expense.

Heraklion: Tour to Cave of Zeus, Mochos Village, & Knossos

9. Heraklion: Tour to Cave of Zeus, Mochos Village, & Knossos

Explore the history of Crete on this tour from Heraklion. Soak up local culture at the villages of Mochos and Krasi. Find out where the mythological figure Zeus was thought to have been born. Travel to the archaeological site of Knossos and the Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Enjoy the convenience of being picked up in a comfortable van from your accommodation in Heraklion. Sit back and relax on the way to the traditional mountain village of Mochos. Admire its narrow alleys, cobbled streets, and colorful gardens.  Continue to Krasi village to view a Platanus tree that is 2,400-year-old. Stand in the shade of this tree which is locally known as the Writer's Tree. Travel to the cave of Diktaion Andron, which is believed to be the birthplace of Zeus. Have the chance to purchase tickets to go inside the cave. Admire views of the Lasithi Plateau before heading to the archaeological site of Knossos. Buy a ticket to the site to see richly colored frescos amid the remains of this Bronze Age palace. Purchase a ticket to the Heraklion Archaeological Museum to explore collections of Minoan art and artefacts. Feel free to stop and purchase lunch during the tour. Return to your accommodation in Heraklion at the end of the tour. 

Crete: Lasithi Plateau Off-Road Land Rover Safari with Lunch

10. Crete: Lasithi Plateau Off-Road Land Rover Safari with Lunch

Experience being driven off-road in a Land Rover through traditional mountain villages and historic landmarks on this Lasithi Plateau safari with lunch. Visit the Cave of Psychro, see the Roman aqueduct, and more. Admire the view from Afentis to the north, south, and west side of the island. The day starts in Hersonissos (Chersonisos). After the necessary briefing from the driver, head south towards the Lasithi Plateau. The road soon leads to the Aposelemis Dam. There you can see the abandoned village of Sfendili, which, depending on the water level, is visible or not. Continue driving on the provincial road among the olive groves to the picturesque village of Amariano. Here you can have a drink and see the remains of the Roman aqueduct. Then, the off-road driving begins. The landscape becomes wilder and the altitude increasing quickly. If you’re lucky, spot the vultures that fly in the area. The road ends at the fertile Lasithi Plateau where there were once more than 1000 windmills, which pumped groundwater to irrigate the fields. Next, stop at the impressive Cave of Psychro (Dikteon Cave) at an altitude of 1025 m. There, according to mythology, Zeus was born. The cave is considered an archeological site and can be visited for a surcharge. To reach the cave, follow a beautiful and short uphill path. If you do not want to walk, there are donkeys that take visitors to the cave for a fee. Right after your visit to the cave, get the opportunity to taste traditional Cretan cuisine in a local restaurant. After your meal, start your return. Travel through the col, where the windmills that the locals used to grind their flour are still standing. A few kilometers later, visit Keras Monastery (Monastery Panagia Kera Kardiotissa), one of the most important religious monuments in Crete. Due to its central location between Heraklion and the Lasithi Plateau, the monastery was used as a shelter for Cretan freedom fighters. Within a few months, between October 1866 and June 1867, Panagia Kera was burned twice by Omer Pasha's army. On the way back, make a final stop in the village of Mohos for a drink of raki (alcoholic drink). The view from the road to the Cretan Sea, Mallia, and Hersonissos as the sun sets is a perfect way to end the day.

Other Sightseeing Options in Diktaion Andron

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What people are saying about Diktaion Andron

Overall rating

5.0 / 5

based on 22 reviews

Nikolas was a excellent guide! He was very professional, knowledgeable and thoughtful. From providing us cold water and chilled hand towels at every stop, to surprising us with delicious local sweet cheese pastries, to taking wonderful pictures of us, we could have asked for a better guide. This is a great tour for those who don’t have lots of time, but want to see glimpses of the local side of the island as well as some of the top tourist stops. NOTE: You will have to either conduct a self guided tour or pay for a tour guide at Knossos, the driver will not tour you through the ruins. The view of the plateau was beautiful from the mouth of the cave. NOTE: the cave is quite a steel trek up the side of a mountain (~10-15 minute hike). Once you’re at the top, there is a steel staircase that leads down into the cave. Providing you have the time, this tour can be quite flexible, including stops to see an olive oil factory, a pottery shop where you make your own pot, and Raki tasting!

The excursion was very nice and I can only recommend it. We always had enough time between the stops, it was very relaxed and not at all hasty. The food in the tavern was very tasty, the service was nice and the food came quickly. The ascent to the cave is a bit strenuous, but you can climb up the hill at your leisure and take breaks inside, or you can take the donkey taxi for a small fee. During the bus ride, the guide told many facts about the different places & ran a story about the Greek gods, so that you get an even better connection to the cave. All in all it was very nice.

I really enjoyed this trip!!! Roman our tour guide was very knowledgeable, warm and friendly. I felt like I've known him for yrs. He made the trip enjoyable cracking jokes and answered all the questions that we had. He even took us to a little town on our way back (which was not part of the tour) so that we could get an idea of hope life use to be in crete.

Only to be recommended! It was a really nice trip where you get to see a lot! The food in the tavern is so-so, but the rest of the trip is all the nicer. The cave is very nice - even if the way there is only for sporty people.. all in all it was a super nice day!

The tour was well organized, from pick-up to return transfers. The bilingual tour guide was also very good. We would definitely book again!