Added by Andreas Brokalakis

Enjoy a breathtaking view and take amazing photos

Askifou plateau is located in the heart of the White Mountains sierra in western Crete, approximately 50 km from the city of Chania. At an altitude of around 1200m, the plateau is surrounded by many of the high peaks of the White Mountains (most of which are above 2000m of altitude) and in winter time it is often covered in snow, creating a magnificent spectacle, especially when someone overlooks it from higher ground.

There are four villages in the plateau, the largest of which is called Askifou. From the main square of Askifou village a road ascends that leads to another two plateaus: Tavri and Niato. This road provides an amazing view of the Askifou plateau from above and an opportunity for great photos.

Once you reach the main square of Askifou, you will see a sign on the right towards Tavri Refuge. Follow this road, which is paved for the next few kilometers but then continues as a dirt road when you enter the forest. In winter time, it will most probably be covered by snow before you reach the dirt road, so you may park your car there and continue on foot. As the road is built at the edge of the mountain, it offers a clear view to the plateau all the way before turning on the left to reach Tavri.

Overlooking at the Aksifou plateau you may see at the center a hill at the top of which there are two Turkish castles, built in 19th century. At the southern side of the plateau is the starting point of the Imbros gorge (you may find more info about hiking that gorge in this adventure posted here: ). At the northern side of the plateau lies the village of Kares.

If you are more into hiking, besides the road, there is a trail that takes you to the same spot. You should be warned though that it is quite steep and therefore quite tiring. It is part of the E4 european hiking trail.

Continuing on the dirt road you can reach the plateaus of Tavri and Niato as mentioned before. At the Tavri plateau, there is a mountain refuge operated by the Mountaineering Club of Chania. It is not open by default and if you would like to stay there, you should contact the people of the club.

At the village of Askifou, you can find all sorts of facilities, from mini markets to traditional cafes and restaurants, as well as accommodation.

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