The birthplace of Zeus, refuge for rebels throughout numerous battles and wars, the natural home of shepherds and wildlife, the setting of countless mystical customs, rituals and myths. Meet Psiloritis mountain, rising as the ultimate symbol of Crete, 'manliness' and freedom!
The 'ritualistic' walk to the summit of Psiloritis (aka Mount Ida) is a yearly tradition organized by the cultural associations of Livadia with the support of the Municipality of Mylopotamos and Region of Crete. This year it will take place on Sunday August 16. The route starts from an altitude of 1,700 m. at the site of Lakkos Mygerou. Those who dare to take the challenge they follow a 3 km trail towards the summit, 750 higher from the starting point.
The walk is in no way easy. However, the trail is well marked and if you start early in the morning you will feel more relaxed to take long breaks and 'charge your batteries'. Before you fall into despair think that elderly people do this walk every year, so save your pride and continue! In any case, you won't be alone, as on this day thousands of people walk on this legendary trail.
When you are finally on the top of the summit, in an altitude of 2.456 m. you will be astonished from the spectacular view that unravels all sides of Crete before your eyes, but also from the number of people on the summit! You will see several 'sleepy heads' popping out the small artificial craters on the southern steep slope. They are the 'crazy people' that arrived the day before and spent the night with the company of the stars and chilling winds. And why not, since the open space on the summit is one of the best open air hotels in the world (and accomodation is free)!
On the summit stands the chapel of Timios Stavros, where a religious ceremony takes place early in the morning. And then, musicians and dancers invite you to sing and dance with them on this sacred earth spot. But don't drink too much raki, because you also have to walk back!
When you return where you started, in Lakkos Mygerou, a feast with Cretan music and lots of food awaits you. Dozens of lambs will be 'sacrificed' and cooked in the traditional way (antikristo) for the visitors. So, even if you decide that you are not ready to climb to the summit, you can at least attend this feast! However, we suggest that you give it a try...the combination of the two is what makes the whole experience worth it and the walk will definately open your appetite!