White Mountains: hiking, trekking and climbing routes
"Lefka Ori" or White Mountains Range
White Mountains or (Lefka Ori in Greek) is the major mountain range in west Crete; there are 58
summits higher than 2,000 metres (6500 ft) in it. The higher summit is
Mt Pachnes (2453 m, 8048 ft), just 9 ft lower than Mt Idi. Trekking
in Lefka Ori is not easy. Serious mountaineering experience and
equipment are necessary in winter. In summer the main problem are
high temperatures and the lack of any shadow.
Mt Melidaou trekking
A pleasant trekking route is Mt Melidaou (2133 m, 6998 ft). From
Omalos Plateau you follow the signs to Kallergi's shelter.
There is a dirt track leading there in about 1,5 hrs.
The shelter is located
at 1780 m, high above Samaria Gorge, and the views are spectacular.
want to spend the night in Kallergi's shelter, then you have to call the Mountaineering Club of Chania (tel.
28210-44647). The shelter 's open from May to October
As you are approaching the shelter do not turn right to it, but
keep going straight up, until you see the E4 signs. Pay attention
to the red dots too. Follow this path up to the Psari summit
(1900 m) and then , for the next 2 hoursrs, walk on the mountain' s crest
up to Mt Melidaou summit. A short time before the summit you have to leave
the E4 path, as it is passing under it, leading to Svourichti shelter (2000m),
Mt Pachnes summit, Mt Zaranokefala summit and Anopolis village.
Mt Kastro trekking
A different trekking route is from Askifou Plateau (on the road
from Vrysses to Sfakia) to Mt Kastro summit. As soon as you get
to Askifou village ask for the dirt road leading to Tavri shelter.
This shelter is located at 1200 m high, 60 persons can be accomodated
in it and you also have to call the Chania Mountaineering Club, if you
want to stay there.
Keep walking past the shelter up to Niato plateau. The road leading
from Askyfou village to Niato plateau is going through a pine-tree forest
and it is a scenic route. At the end of the dirt road try to locate the
E4 signs. Move along it for the next 1 hour up to the mountain's crest.
As long as you notice that the E4path is going down to the right, leave
it and keep moving along the crest of the mountain following the red dots.
In a short time you will be on a summit and right above it you will see
the Mt Kastro summit. You have to go slightly down (about 100 m) and then
up again. In 30 minutes you will be on the summit and enjoy the spectacular
The time needed is 5-6 hours to the summit and 4 hours back. This time
applies to summer, as fog and ice may greatly increase it in winter.