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Psiloritis
Mountain/Rock

Psiloritis

 
Psiloritis

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Creta, Greece, Europe

Lat/Lon: 35.24253°N / 24.77348°E

Object Title: Psiloritis

Elevation: 8057 ft / 2456 m

 

Page By: Rick B, Thomas Gurviez

Created/Edited: Feb 3, 2005 / Nov 6, 2011

Object ID: 153646

Hits: 18222 

Page Score: 83.48%  - 18 Votes 

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Overview

Psiloritis is the highest mountain of Creta, a greek island mostly known for its beaches. Between november and june, you also can see white mountains from almost everywhere in the island, and enjoy sea, sun and ... snow (sorry for it...). Psiloritis is approximately located in the centre of Creta, quite close to its biggest city Heraklion. In summer the mountain can get quite crowded, when the weather is not too hot.

Psiloritis is a sacred mountain in the greek mythology, the god Zeus is supposed to be born in a cave close to the start of the normal route. On the very summit you'll find a ruined chapel.

The trail to the summit is a very easy one, at least during late spring and summer. Beware of the heat in summer, as the temperatures can rise well above 30 degrees Celsius and there is no shade on the higher slopes of the mountain. On the other hand, the area receives heavy snow during winter, and deserves some ski hiking from january to march. When there is lots of snow, the trail might be hard to find, it is marked with red and/or yellow spots of paint.

Enjoy the fabulous view and the landscape of whole Creta, which is standing below your feet, you can feel like a god...

Getting There

The E4 hiking trail, which crosses the whole island from west to east, leads directly over the summit of Psiloritis. Therefore there are two main ascent routes for the mountain.

  • The easiest and most common way to the summit is the E4 trail from the ski resort of Creta (!), in the Nida Plateau at around 1500 meters high. A large and well-marked trail starts from the Ideon Andron cave, and leads to the summit in about 3 hours. From Heraklion there is a road (in good condition) to the village of Anogeia. There are also busses coming from Heraklion and reaching this village during the whole year. After the village the road coninues up to the plateau of Nida (about 15km far from Anogeia). From Nida-plateau begins the most common path to the summit of Psiloritis. Nida is at the east side of the mountain without accomodation possibilities. There is only a taverne that works in the weekends.

  • The other side of E4 trail goes up to the summit from the village of Fourfouras. The ascent from this side covers more than vertical 2000 meters, so the return trip will take you about 8 - 10 hours (5-6 up, 3-4 down). The E4 trail on this side of the mountain is marked with yellow dots of paint and the occasional sign. Sometimes the markings are hard to find, but the trail is well trodden. Finding the start of the trail from this side can be hard, this map has details on finding it, and other valuable information can be found in the comments section of that page. This side of the mountain used to be the normal starting point, from Fourfouras or the nearby village of Kouroutes, but these days they are apparently less popular. From Kouroutes there is also a dirt road to the Stoubotos Prinos hut (see the 'huts' section for more information)

    There is also another road (in bad condition) that goes far inside the south area of Psiloritis coming from the village of Lochria.

    The best way to get to the trailheads is to hire a car in one of the major cities (e.g. Heraklion). Bus information is very hard to find on Crete. According to SP member parky though, there's a daily 7am "Amari bus" from Rethymnon which can take you to Fourfouras. Please see here for more information.

    Finally, the guide book The High Mountains of Crete by Cicerone Press contains lots of useful information on Psiloritis (thanks to SP member parky for pointing this out).

    Huts

    There are two huts on this mountain. The nearest is the hut of "Stoubotos Prinos" (1600m.) in the south site of the mountain. You get there from the village of Fourfouras or Kouroutes. From Kouroutes there is a road that goes straight to the hut (in the winter not possible to go by car). From the hut about 3-4 hours to the summit. It belongs to the Mountaineering Club of Rethymnon and you have to take the key to get access in the hut.

    The other hut is the hut of "Prinos". It belongs to the Mountaineering Club of Heraklion and it is far away of the summit (on the east side of the mountain.

    With special thanks to alkiskond.

    Red Tape

    No permit, parking pass or fee required. On the south side you will find some goat fences, please leave all gates as you find them.

    Other than that, just be afraid of the crowd during summer time !

    When To Climb

    The mountain can be climbed year-round, no technical climbing gear is required. On dry trails, usually free from snow from late june to late november, only hiking shoes are needed.

    In summer, beware of the heat. Temperatures can soar well above 30 degrees Celsius, and on the higher slopes there is no shade whatsoever. Make sure that you bring enough water!

    Don't forget your skis in winter, but be aware of the avalanche danger on the steep slopes. Indeed a french ski-hiker died of an avalanche in Creta in the 90's.

    Additional caution should be taken in winter: If there is snow there its almost impossible to see the spots that mark the trail, so that means,
    that on the higher slopes you will have a lot of problems finding the right way between so many small
    peaks around. Only people that know the path right good will not have any problems
    to find the way during winter (thanks Alkiskond).

    Additions and Corrections

    [ Post an Addition or Correction ]
    Viewing: 1-10 of 10    
    alkiskondUntitled Comment

    alkiskond

    Voted 9/10

    Peter, i agree with you. Only in the mountains of "Leuka Ori" is a danger of avalance howerver lower than in the Alps. The danger there is higher after it has been snowed a lot and with sun.
    Posted May 4, 2005 7:08 pm
    PeterCorneliusSpaethUntitled Comment

    PeterCorneliusSpaeth

    Hasn't voted

    Though I do not want avalance danger to be underestimated in Krete, I believe usually there is less danger than e.g. in the alps. It is due to the high temperature difference between day and night. This melting and freezing quickly causes the snow to get as solid as concrete. We skied slopes of a steepness I would avoid in the Alps. Did so both on Psiloritis and in the Levka Ori. It is in line with what I have heard from friends which have been there tsome years before us.





    Best skiing season seams to be March. But don't expect snow to reach much lower than 1.900m.





    Best Regards, Peter.
    Posted Feb 5, 2005 8:52 am
    alkiskondHUTS

    alkiskond

    Voted 9/10

    There are two huts on this mountain. The nearest is the hut of "Stoubotos Prinos" (1600m.) in the south site of the mountain. You get there from the village of Fourfouras or Kouroutes. From Kouroutes there is a road that goes straight to the hut (in the winter not possible to go by car). From the hut about 3-4 hours to the summit. It belongs to the Mountaineering Club of Rethymnon and you have to take the key to get access in the hut.


    The other hut is the hut of "Prinos". It belongs to the Mountaineering Club of Heraklion and it is far away of the summit (on the east site of the mountain.
    Posted May 4, 2005 7:03 pm
    Rick BRe: HUTS

    Rick B

    Voted 6/10

    Hey alkiskond,



    Does this mean that you can reach the Stoubotos Prinos hut by car in summer? I didn't read anything about that in the guide books. By the way, is the Stoubotos Prinos hut on this picture? I'm sorry I can't upload a better picture now. There is a road there, as you can see. But we also saw signs to a hut further down in the forest..?



    I'm helping Thomas a bit with improving the page, especially the getting there sections.



    Cheers,



    Rick
    Posted Dec 10, 2007 4:53 pm
    alkiskondRe: HUTS

    alkiskond

    Voted 9/10

    yes Rick, this is a picture of "Stoubotos Prinos"-hut. You can reach the hut in summer even in winter sometimes (when there is no snow). Besides that road there is also a hiking-path that connects the hut with the village of Fourfouras.



    Talking about acces: there is also an onether road (in bad cond.) that goes far inside the south area of Psiloritis coming from the village of Lochria.
    Posted Dec 11, 2007 6:19 am
    alkiskondUntitled Comment

    alkiskond

    Voted 9/10

    Peter, i agree with you. Only in the mountains of "Leuka Ori" is a danger of avalance howerver lower than in the Alps. The danger there is higher after it has been snowed a lot and with sun.
    Posted May 4, 2005 7:08 pm
    KlausBuechlerUntitled Comment

    Hasn't voted

    In May 2005 I want to climb up to the top of Psiloritis with a friend from the Nida-highland.


    Accordingly the recommendation, needing only tennis shoes, we decided to let our mountain shoes at home and started the tour with good runningshoes. But because of this equipment we had to give up 200 highmeters and about 1 km before our aim.


    It is most irresponsible to recommend tennis shoes!


    This climbing tour is absolutely comparable with such in the higher Region (above 2000 m) of the Alps.!


    It is a high mountain-Chain! Nearly the hole way is extremely stony. You must get your eyes straight above on the way, always! Otherwise you risk serious injuries. Surely you need no climbing gear, but tide mountain shoes are necessary, sticks help you to share the power upstairs and unburden your legs downstairs.And ,at least in may, there are not crowds of people, we only met a group of frenchman comming up from the top. They recommended us to return, because some snowfields in front of the top.


    Don't forget windjackets.


    We started and ended the tour with car from Anissaras (Chersonissos) by blue sky, but in the psiloritis region it sometimes threatened thunderstorm.


    But with the right equipment it will be a very splendid unforgetable tour. Look my added fotos!


    Posted Aug 14, 2005 2:04 pm
    WoundedKneeUntitled Comment

    WoundedKnee

    Voted 8/10

    I climbed it in tennis shoes (and my friend did it in flip-flops!!!!), but it was late June. There was still a smattering of snow on the slopes, but nothing you couldn't avoid. I think it all depends on what time of year you climb.





    I really don't recommend flip-flops, though.
    Posted Aug 22, 2005 6:10 pm
    IcehunterAbout Psiloritis

    Icehunter

    Hasn't voted

    In winter time January to mid March usually there snow even from the upper part of the gravel road that leads from Kouroutes to the refuge of Stoumpotos Prinos.Two trekking poles are necessary i agree and also a rigid boot compatible with crampones for the cold clear days of winter.It depends on the winter of course.Personally i have climbed the mountain twice both in early April.In April of 2003 there was too much snow beginning from the refuge and crampones were necessary.In April 2005 there was snow only in the final slope ant the ridgeline that leads to the peak
    Posted Aug 22, 2006 9:24 am
    Gangolf HaubCoordinates appear to be off

    Gangolf Haub

    Voted 10/10

    A mountain in the sea? The following coordinates might not be 100% correct but much closer than the current ones.



    35.24253

    24.77348

    Posted May 4, 2007 3:44 am

    Viewing: 1-10 of 10    

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