Lassithi Plateau
Lassithi Plateau
4.5
About
This flat stretch of land high up in the mountains of Crete is rumored to be the birthplace of Zeus.
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles1,061 reviews
Excellent
527
Very good
357
Average
127
Poor
33
Terrible
17

Paulina B
Salisbury, UK11 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022 • Couples
Very large plateau a few kilometres from the tourist beaches of Malia and Cherssonissos. There are many mills and fields. Several small villages with many small restaurants. You need a car to go around the plateau.
Written August 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ChewyFrankfurt
Frankfurt, Germany41 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022
If you are staying along the coast in Crete like we were then this would be worth a trip if you have a car. Just do not follow the Plateau Lassithi on google maps unless you are going on a 4WD, or go as far as the car allows you, was a nice journey.
We stopped enroute at a busy Greek tavern. This area is where we saw some local houses, lots of plantations and views.
We did not go to the cave of Zeus but saw also goats and sheep and even an eagle (or vulture, a big one it was).
Written November 14, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Burnettmed
Omaha, NE29 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2016 • Family
We rented a car out of Elounda for this trip. We just went through the Cyclades, so we wanted a change of view from dry, scrubby coastal topography, and we got it! The road up from Malia is faster and less windy than the one from Agios Nikolaos. While there are some tight turns, you never feel like you are going to fall off the mountain! You do not need a Jeep or anything -- the road is well-paved. Once up there, we were surprised to find that the climate was still warm, even in early October -- the jackets stayed in the car. Also, tour buses have slacked off -- we only encountered two. Don't expect a lush tropical rainforest surrounded by hundreds of windmills. This is an dryish agricultural region surrounded by layers of mountains, but it has its own beauty. Come to see if Greeks can walk on flat ground! In October many of the roadside stands you hear about in the reviews have closed up for the season, but the tavernas are all open and fantastic. The Homo Sapiens Museum is a brief, quirky diversion along the road. Also recommended -- the cave. It was fun, with nice formations. It's not a vast cavern, and so those who are out of shape may not feel that the walk (or donkey ride) up the mountain and then up and down the stairs in the cave is worth the visit to the small pool of water at the bottom. However, my hiker family with tweens walked up from the parking lot in about 12 minutes, and the kids loved the mythology connection. Overall, the ride is a lovely day out -- even this late in the season, all our Greek hosts were gracious, and it's fun to just set out and discover things along the way.
Written October 10, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LMcMillan_11
Glasgow, UK49 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2017 • Family
We had a hire car and drove up, roads are ok if you are confident driving. Some of the villages are very narrow and there are often tour buses going around. We stopped at the Homosapien museum, windmill site and the Psychro Cave. Plenty of villages around the plateau and everyone was very friendly. Lots of places to eat, your really spoilt for choice with the number of tavernas right the way around. The cave is worth a visit if you are reasonably fit as it is a climb and can be difficult in the heat, the cave itself is mostly steps also. Best views of the plateau are from the hill leading to the cave. Overall, worth a visit for a bit of tradition, local food and lovely scenery.
Written July 22, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mihaela Lica Butler
Heraklion, Greece404 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2019 • Family
It's a famous site, ideal for nature walks and famous as the site of the Diktaean Cave - the birthplace of Zeus, just above Psychro. It's mainly an agricultural area, but it attracts a fair number of tourists - mainly hikers and nature lovers.
Written June 25, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Berry K
Crete, Greece64 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2016 • Friends
First of all I have to say that the review called “The fertile area of Crete” is quite wrong. The reviewer refers to another place not to the Plateau of Lasithi. No plastic greenhouses there and the distance from Rethimon could be 150 km with lots of high mountains, in between the two places, that prevent you see as far as Lasithi. So please correct.
It is quite a large plateau with lash growth of garden produce. Potatoes, beans lettuces, tomatoes melons and water melons. It is round shaped surrounded by high mountains. At the bottom of the mountains and all around the plateau there is a string of 20 villages, all of them nearly deserted. The people have gone and the land is cultivated by the the 3000 inhabitants left.
it used to be known for its windmills, which in the 80s, provided a wonderful spectacle, as they were turning in the wind pumping water from the bottom of the earth, in order to water the plantations. Now there are very few reminders left and the place is no longer the romantic place it used to be.
Above the village of Psychro there is Dicteon Andron, a deep cave, where according to mythology Zeus, the king god of all ancient Olympian gods was born. There he took, Europe, one of his lovers, on honeymoon, when he abducted her from Illyria in the Middle east. This nymph gave her name to our continent Europe.
It is not a spectacular cave, nonetheless quite interesting. At Psychro just before you start the climb, on foot, to reach the Dictean cave there is a number of tourist standard restaurants. There are two very good ones which serve good quality Cretan food. Skapanis Taverna on the side of the mountain on the road to Agios Nikolaos and Vasilis at Tzermiadon.
There is also a good hotel in Tzermiadon and another one at Agios Konstantinos, but I cannot recall the names. It is not too difficult to find them if you are in need of one.
Lasithi offers cool summer climate and very interesting walks.A good one is the climb to Limnakaros, situated at the very foot of mount Dickti. There you will enjoy steep rock formations and if you are lucky you can see the Cretan vultures, Kokalas, flying high up in the air.
In the middle of the Plateau there is the church of St john, which has a very interesting temple. So have many churches in many villages and they are made by local artists.
it is not recommended for a day trip for young children under the age of 8 or over 70s unless you are fit.. The trip from the nearest city centre could be tiring.
Written July 25, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SophiaSeriouslyNow
Athens, Greece158 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2014 • Family
Definitely worth the drive. There is a breathtaking view once you take the high road reaching the rocky "entrance" of the plateau. The Plateau can be reached a) from Heraklion b) from Malia through Krasi or c) from Neapoli, Hersonissos and Agios Nikolaos through Krystalenia Monastery and Mesa Lasithi. Driving from Heraklion at the entrance of the Plateau, called Ampelos sadle, there are ruins of 3 windmills on each side of the mountains. To get the best view of the whole Plateau drive to Psychro village and further up to Diktaion Andron (Cave of Zeus) to see stalaktites. The other vantage point from where you can see the whole Plateau is on the eastern side of the Plateau on the road to Neapoli-Hersonissos. There is only one caffe-restaurant with excellent view and good food called Skapanis.
Written January 12, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Andrea T
Shalimar, FL653 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2014 • Couples
Although the attraction here is the windmills, when we visited, there were no sails on the windmills which was disappointing. The drive around the area was nice, but nothing special.
Written December 21, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Graham B
Graham B
Devizes, UK41,461 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2013 • Couples
The ride up to the plateau is as much an adventure as exploring the plateau itself. We took the road from Stalis up through Mohos, then continued up to join the main plateau road to the south of Gonies, before the twisting final ascent via the Ambelou Pass, after which the road winds down to meet the peripheral road that encircles the plateau.

There are around fifteen small villages on this peripheral road; most visitors who don't wish to drive the entire route usually turn left and head for Tzermiado, the principal village of Lassithi, this borne out by the countless small shops selling rugs, pottery and other tourist-orientated goods. This is where the coach tours will usually make for too, so we turn right and tour the plateau in that direction.

This easterly side of Lassithi certainly appears to be very dilapidated, empty fields that last time we were here, were bursting with fruit, vegetables and olive trees, but today, has an air of quiet desolation. We see villagers dressed in rags, one old man sits astride the war memorial in the village of Kaminaki with holes in his trousers and shirt, yet he bids us a cheery "kalimera" as we walk past. I would so like to photograph him, but would not dream of infringing upon his privacy.

A few locals are gathered in the local kafenion, playing tavli and knocking back raki, they look at us with polite interest as we stroll by, so we greet them and are immediately greeted in return. These are the weather-beaten faces you see on the Kazantzakis novels that tell the story of the "Paliakaries", the fearless freedom-fighters who fought long and hard to rid Crete of her occupiers during World World 11.

We return to the car and drive on through Koudoumalia, Avrakondes and Agios Konstantinos, all have beautiful churches and private dwellings with well-tended gardens, bursting with flowers as well as tomatoes, cucumbers, courgettes, beans and overloaded apple, lemon and lime trees.

You can tell it's almost time for the coach tours to arrive as even the smallest tavernas have charcoal grills smoking or rustic rotisseries with vast lumps of goat and lamb getting an all-over suntan. No doubt the tour guides steer their patrons to the "favoured" taverna...

We reach the turning for the village of Mesa Lassithi which will take us down to Neapoli via the only other road from the plateau. Lassithi is all about how Crete used to be, a patchwork of small fields growing everything imaginable, much of it sent down to the bustling resorts on the north coast. Fortunes seem to vary; some villages are replete with expensive 4 x 4's, others look as if poverty is the daily acceptance. But please go and see how Crete used to be.
Written September 16, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TL Paul
Szeged, Hungary11 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2019
We visited this place for the second time in 7 years. It is a flat area surrounded by small villages. The climate is colder than down at the sea, hence they can grow fruits and vegetables that is not possible elsewhere in Crete. In every village you can find small family tavernas. We had lunch at the same taverna as 7 years ago, owned by an older couple. They remembered us, and I couldn't fight with my tears. Somehow I have a strong emotional, sacral feeling when I am there. There are some touristic attractions about which you can read in tourist guides. But what I will do next time is to stay there for a week in the small villages and talk with local people, visit the pubs, find some place with traditional music. Just experience their life.
Written October 10, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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