Panagia Kera

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Panagia Kera: Our most recommended tours and activities

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

1. 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.

Private Group Tour in Lasithi & Traditional Cretan Villages

2. 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.

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

3. 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 Panagia Kera

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What people are saying about Panagia Kera

Overall rating

5.0 / 5

based on 3 reviews

Excellent and very interesting day. The guide was very friendly, accommodating and available. Very good driving, very clear explanations. We recommend this excursion

Our guide was super friendly and knowledgeable...we had an amazing time!!