A "literary" mountainous village
Take the road to Lasithi Plateau and after crossing the village of Avdou (Αβδού) you will soon see the sign to Krassi. Even if this is not your destination, we suggest you take the turn and make a quick stop in this scenic village.
A majestic centenary plane tree and founts with stone-built arches spilling spring waters will welcome you in the main square of the village. In the summer the shade of the plane tree is godsend and in the winter the whole setting will remind you of the Alps.
The stone made aqueduct, known as Megali Vrisi (Great Fount) was constructed in 1890 as the inscription on it indicates. The construction consists of three arches spilling drinking water directly from the mountain springs – so do not hesitate to drink, wash you face and fill your bottle! Over the middle arch you will see three portraits and an inscription:
"Reflection, knowledge and humanism were once united, - years have passed -
in Krassi, under the shelter of the wide plane leafs
and within them wild restless branches meddled,
humanity, excellence, justice and freedom."
The inscription refers to the so-called “literary fellowship of Krassi” that gathered here and engaged in long conversations under the plane tree. So, this is not an ordinary plane tree. It is also one of the oldest in Crete (over 1000 years old and according to some, over 2000 years old) and with 24 meters in circumference and 100 meters in the spread of its branches, it is also one of the 5 greatest trees of Europe. The plane tree was recently proclaimed a protected natural monument by law and also has a high… literary value! It is commonly known as “the plane tree of Nikos Kazatzakis”, since the famous writer spent hours under its shade reading and writing or discussing with his literary companions (the Alexiou, Varnalis and Avgeris families and many other intellectuals of the time). The “intellectual” Alexiou family actually originated from Krassi.
Relax under the shade of the plane tree, enjoy a wonderful view, take a stroll in the pebbled lanes of the settlement, look for the Minoan vaulted tomb in the site of Armi and finally don’t forget to pay a gastronomic visit in one of the traditional taverns of the village.