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The Katharo plateau above Kritsa in Crete

If you are staying in Agios Nikolaos or in Kritsa in eastern Crete, I can recommend a trip up to the Katharo plateau. You are offered beautiful views, wild landscapes, beautiful flowers, many birds of prey and a good lunch.


The road to the Katharo plateau in Crete offers many gorgeous views.

The road to the Katharo plateau offers many gorgeous views. You see all the way down to Agios Nikolaos.


The Katharo plateau is located about 16 kilometres above Kritsa and the road to the plateau leads through a beautiful and exciting landscape. The Katharo plateau sits at an altitude of 1,100 metres, accordingly 250 metres higher than the plateau of Lasithi.

That's not the only thing that differs the plateaus from each other. The Katharo plateau is almost undeveloped and it is more wild than beautiful. Here are more goats and sheep than humans. There are not as many plantations as in the Lasithi plateau. Katharo plateau is more like the Wild West.


Hiking in the Katharo plateau above Kritsa in Crete.

Hiking in the Katharo plateau.


If you are interested in birds, you have a good chance of seeing Griffon vulture and Golden eagle. If you are lucky you may also see Bearded vulture, also called Lammergeier. There are only around 500 couples of Lammergeier in Europe, about twenty of them are found in Crete, and some of these are usually seen here at the Katharo plateau.

The Katharo plateau above Kritsa in Crete


Perhaps you ask yourself why you should you go to the Katharo plateau? One reason is, as mentioned, the magnificent drive to the plateau. Other reasons are that the plateau is famous for its unique flora and fauna, and that it is a different place for hikes. Many of the orchids growing here are endemic to Crete, some of them are only found on the plateau.


There are a couple of tavernas and cafes in the only village on the Katharo plateau.

The Katharo centre. The small village is not bigger than this.


If you are not interested in searching for animals and flowers, maybe a simpler lunch is what you are looking for. There are a couple of three tavernas/cafes in the only "village". Kafenion Zervas is one of them, here you can study the plateau's flora and fauna on photographs. If you do not want to go to the plateau at all, you can see the plateau's flowers here.


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