Highlights of the Lassithi Plateau
Summary of Highlights: Lassithi Plateau, Kera Monastery, and the villages of Tzermiado and Moschos.
Approximate Duration6 hours
Surrounded by the often snowcapped Díktean Mountains and blessed by mild weather, the Lassithi Plateau is a picturesque and appealing place. But what makes it a destination not to be missed is its collection of unusual windmills, installed centuries ago by the Venetians to irrigate the farms and orchards. Step aboard an air-conditioned motor coach for this delightful outing to the plateau.
Within a half-hour of leaving the pier, you will reach the Lassithi Plateau, a seemingly inaccessible area that has been inhabited since Neolithic times. In fact, once settled, the region proved to be quite hospitable, as both the Minoans and the Dorians successfully farmed the land. But in 1293, the Venetians swept in, conquering the local people and razing the villages. Two and a half centuries later, the Venetians built 10,000 white-sailed windmills to irrigate the fallow farms. Unlike their Dutch counterparts, the windmills are quintessentially Mediterranean, as they are roughly hewn from large pieces of stone rather than assembled from wood. Very few of the windmills are in use today, yet they stand as picturesque sentinels over the land.
Your route affords panoramic views of the Lassithi Plateau and its windmills before taking you to the Monastery of Kera. Dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the monastery boasts extraordinary Byzantine frescoes.
Following your stop at the monastery, continue to the village of Tzermiado. Here, you will have the opportunity to have a lunch of Cretan delicacies at a local restaurant. Adding to your enjoyment will be entertainment of music and dance.
En route to your Crystal ship, stop in the village of Moschos, where you will marvel at dramatic views of the villages of Hersonissos, Stalis and Malia.
As this excursion involves walking over uneven surfaces, it is not recommended for guests with walking difficulties. It is recommended that guests wear flat, comfortable shoes. The order of sights visited may vary. Pre-reservation of this Crystal Adventures excursion is recommended.