Lassithi Plateau offers countless opportunities for exploration: picturesque villages, the cave of Diktaion Andron, side roads of unknown destination that once delimited the numerous windmills of the region. Needless to say that this mountainous ‘district’ hides many secrets, including other plateaus, smaller, less famous, deserted and absolutely beautiful.
As you head towards the hidden plateau of Limnakaro, following the road from Kaminaki village, the panoramic view of Lassithi Plateau will be a sufficient reward for the difficult mud-covered dirt road you drive on. Behind you extends a verdant land with scattered villages and ahead of you rise the snow cupped summits of Mount Dikti. Soon you will arrive at the two-aisled chapel of Agio Pneuma (Holy Spirit), built during the second Byzantine period. It is worth exploring its interior with the old ornaments and faded frescoes. Every year the chapel celebrates the day of the Holy Spirit with a unique custom: shepherds bring their sheep to the chapel and the priest blesses them. It is also worth visiting the site on Great Friday, when naturalist and hiking clubs gather here to attend the liturgy and accompany the route of the epitaph around the flowery spring landscape of the plateau.
The plateau of Limnakaro, just like the plateau of Omalos Viannou, is uninhabited (with the exemption of a few shepherds huts, aka mitata) and respires the familiar serene wildness of Cretan mountains and a unique sense of freedom. We found ourselves alone in a plateau where the only sound we heard was the strong frozen wind storming down from the snowy summits and the ‘meditating’ bells of invisible –but always present- goats.
When we were done ‘meditating’, we took the (easier for those who don’t have a 4x4 vehicle) road to the historical village of Avrakonte and enjoyed another excellent view to both plateaus: ascetic Limnakaro behind us and lively Lassithi Plateau ahead.
Our ancient ancestors knew something, when they decided to worship Zeus on Cretan plateaus