Due to its rich geodiversity, its beautiful scenery and its history and tradition, Psiloritis Natural Park was included, from its early foundation, at the European Geoparks Network, and later at the Global Geoparks Network by UNESCO. Since then, Psiloritis Natural Park, in co-operation with the municipalities and other bodies of the local authorities and communities, developed the appropriate infrastructure to provide to both its inhabitants and its guests a high quality life in a non-urban environment.
Psiloritis Natural Park extends in an area of 1.159 Km2, with 157 settlements and towns and a population of about 42.234 inhabitants (population density 36.4 inh/Km2). It comprises the Psiloritis mountains and its northern coastal zone in central Crete. Psiloritis is the highest mountain of Crete, reaching up to 2.456 m. It is an area with a rich history and mythology. The Natural Park combines the unique natural environment (part of the area is participating to the Natura 2000 network), the long history, the individual customs and tradition and the outstanding civilization with the fascinating geology.
The travelers will have the opportunity to explore the area through five excursions on the mountain range of Psiloritis, which will start in the end of spring 2019. The Geo-Trails of Psiloritis Natural Park pass from old routes that connect the mountainous villages and bring us in contact with sites of cultural heritage, archaeological sites, mitata (shepherds' huts, the mountainous shelters of Crete), and the wild nature of the mountains.
The visitors may spend 1-5 days, walking on Psiloritis Geopark and staying in the villages they encounter in their path. The routes encirling the high tops and hills will give us an overall view of the unique landscape, the history and the life in the area of Psiloritis.
1) On the Foot(hills) of Zeus - Zeus route
A route through old paths that connects the villages of the mountain and the traveler with the activities and the customs of the people of this most lively and densely populated mountainous area of Crete.
2) The royal meeting between King Minos and Zeus - Minos route
A mountain trail in the heart of the high mountain following the route that, according to the myth, Minos was walking in order to be given the laws from the gods, climbing every nine years qualityup on the highest mountain, passing from Zominthos and Petradolakakia. The route ends at the Nida Plateau, the predominant pasture of the region, and the Ideon Andron Cave, or the 'Cave of the Shepherdess', as called bynn the locals.
3) Following Talos the bornze giant robot, Talos route
A tour on Talean Mountains, the mountains with the pointy peaks associated with the myth of the bronze giant Talos. The toute passes through the roots and the hills between the the Talean Mountains and leads us to villages that remain almost completely uninfluenced by tourism, still representing a part of the real traditional Crete. According to the myth, Talos was living at the seafront area on the edge of the these mountains (that took their name after him) protecting the island from attacks from the sea.
4) The abduction of Europe from Zeus- Europe route
A route theat connects the villages of the southern part of the Psiloritis Mountain and passes from Rouvas Gorge Lake of Zaros (also called Votomos).
5) The pastures of god Pan - Panas route
Explore the beautiful gorges of the western side of Psiloritis with the enchanting view to the Amari valley and discover the ancient sanctuaries and the bearded vaultures that find shelter in the mountain.