Lefka Ori or Madares is a mountain range located in Western Crete, in the Chania prefecture. The White Mountains or Lefka Ori occupy a large part of the centre of West Crete and are the main feature of the region, they consist of limestone, from light grey to bluish or black color. The "White Mountains" have got their name from the perpetual white or off white color of their peaks as the off white of limestone during the summer and fall interchanges with the snow that covers the peaks until late in spring; the highest summit is Pachnes with 2,453 m and there are over 30 summits that are over 2,000 m high. The Lefka Ori have about 50 gorges, the most famous being the Samaria Gorge. Another characteristic of the mountain range is that there are a number of plateaus that exist at heights of 500–1,100 metres, such at those of Askifou, Kallikratis and Omalos which are all surrounded by mountains. Pachnes is the second tallest peak in Crete, after Mount Ida, known as "Psiloritis" and the 10th in Greece.
There are only a few main roads leading into the White Mountains. From the north the roads to Omalos and the entrance of the Samaria Gorge and the road to Chora Sfakion through the plateau of Askifou further to the east. There are other approaches from the west from Sougia and Paleochora leading to Omalos as well as approaches from northeast from Argyroupoli – Asi Ghonia and from Plakias-Frangokastello along the southern coast in the east. There are a few other minor roads leading to higher altitudes; the central and southern part of the Lefka Ori lying at an altitude of 1,800 m and above resembles a "moon landscape". This is technically called a high desert, it is unique in the northern hemisphere. The prominence of the Lefka Ori range can be seen in the aerial footage below of the Hania province from space: There are four refuges in Lefka Ori; the Volikas Refuge was built in 1958. It is located at an altitude of 1,450 metres, it can accommodate up to 30 persons. The Kallergi Refuge was built in 1970.
Its altitude is 1,650 m and it can accommodate 45 persons. It is located 5 km from Omalos; the Tavris Refuge was built in 1992 and it is located near Ammoudari, 7.5 km from Askyfou, at 1,200 metres. It can accommodate up to 45 persons; the Svourichti Refuge was built in 1994. It is located seven hours from Anopolis at 1,980 m and it can accommodate 20 persons; the Lefka Ori has a rich history as a hiding place for rebels during Cretan uprisings against the Venetian and Ottoman rulers, as well as during German Occupation. The Lefka Ori are home to both of Greece's caves with depths greater than one kilometer and the Cave of the Lion. Greek Mountaineering Club of Chania
Almyrida is a resort located in the Apokoronas region of the northwest coast of the island of Crete, Greece. The village is 25 kilometers from Chania, in Chania regional unit. Traditionally a fishing village Almyrida has a long beach, popular with families. Wind surfers, paddle boats and beach chairs can be rented on the beach. There are many hotels, rental rooms, bars and cafe bars, gift shops, grocery stores and bakeries, all of which are open late into the night in the tourist season. Almyrida is famous for its delicious food, as well as for the shallow waters, ideal for children
Sfakiá is a mountainous area in the southwestern part of the island of Crete, in the Chania regional unit. It is considered to be one of the few places in Greece that have never been occupied by foreign powers. With a 2011 census population of 1,889 inhabitants living on a land area of 467.589 km2, Sfakia is one of the largest and least densely populated municipalities on the island of Crete. The etymology of its name is disputed. According to the prevailing theory, it relates to its rugged terrain, deriving from the ancient Greek word σφαξ, meaning land chasm or gorge; the road from Chania to Sfakiá crosses the island from north to south, through the village of Vryses. From this village the route crosses the White Mountains to Hóra Sfakíon by the Libyan Sea. Halfway from Vrisses to Hóra Sfakíon is the fertile plateau of Askifou, surrounded by high mountain peaks. From here to Hóra Sfakíon the road is spectacular; the road hugs the western slope of the Imbros Gorge offering scenic views. Another scenic route is that leading from Kapsodasos to the plateau of Kallikratis, northeast of Hóra Sfakíon.
There are many beaches in Sfakiá. More adventurous visitors can follow the European hiking footpath E4 which crosses Crete through Sfakiá's mountains; the coastal villages can be reached by ferry boats. Not far east from Hóra Sfakíon is Frangokastello "Frankish castle"; the Venetian fortress here was built in 1371 to deter pirates and unsuccessfully, to control Sfakiá. It is ruined but is picturesquely set on a wide sandy beach with the towering White Mountains behind. Daskalogiannis was captured here in 1771. Accessible only by boat from Sfakiá is Loutro, a small seaside village with some archaeological ruins, a few houses, small hotels and tavernas. Loutro is car-free. In the north of Sfakiá is the fertile plain of Askyfou; the Sfakía region is crossed by many gorges, among, the famous Samaria Gorge. All these gorges run from north to all end in the sea. Many of them can be walked, several by inexperienced walkers; the region is inhabited by rare animals, like vultures and eagles, the kri-kri, the wild Cretan goat.
The coast of Sfakiá is on the Libyan Sea, inhabited by a diminishing fish population, but dolphins, whales may be seen. The local speciality, "Sfakian Pies", are thin pancakes filled with mizithra cheese and served drizzled with honey. Hóra Sfakíon is famous as one of the centers of the resistance against the occupying forces of both the Venetians and the Turks; the impenetrable White Mountains to the north combined with the rocky beaches on the south helped the locals fight off all invaders. Anopolis, a village near Hóra Sfakíon, is the birthplace of one of the most celebrated Cretan revolutionaries, Daskalogiannis. A famous legend and unexplained phenomenon describes a procession of visions seen in the nearby village Frangokastello as troops that died in the war of independence against the Turks. Patrick Leigh Fermor wrote about their resistance to occupation. Many tales of revolts and uprisings in Crete start in the mountains of western Crete - mountain guerillas, pallikari fighters and rebel assemblies.
After the Battle of Crete during World War II, the locals helped many New Zealand and Australian soldiers escape from here on the night of May 31, 1941, suffering great reprisals. King George II of Greece had escaped this way when the Germans invaded. Near the village of Komitades is the Church of Panagia Thymiani where the revolution of 1821 began. At the village of Loutro is the ruined "chancellery" where the first revolutionary government of 1821 met. Sfakiá is notorious for the harshness of the warlike people. Sfakians themselves are still considered somewhat beyond the reach of the lawmakers and tax collectors of Athens, with vendettas over stolen sheep and women's honour still fought late into the 20th century, with a whole village abandoned. Stealing and banditry had been considered a way of life in the mountains appearing in a Creation myth, which made God Himself a Sfakiot, as recounted by Adam Hopkins:...with an account of all the gifts God had given to other parts of Crete - olives to Ierapetra, Ayios Vasilios and Selinou.
But when God got to Sfakia only rocks were left. So the Sfakiots appeared. "And us Lord, how are we going to live on these rocks?" and the Almighty, looking at them with sympathy, replied in their own dialect: "Haven't you got a scrap of brains in your head? Don't you see that the lowlanders are cultivating all these riches for you?"The Sfakians are famous for their hospitality and generosity towards guests, resulting in a shift from traditional labour towards tourism, with now many families running their own small hotel or restaurant. The archeology and history of Sfakia is the object of a field survey undertaken by the University of Oxford; the province of Sfakia was one of the provinces of the Chania Prefecture. It had the same territory as the present municipality, it was abolished in 2006. Sfakians Portal site about the region of Sfakiá Live webcam from the village of Hóra Sfakíon, Sfakiá Live beach webcam from the village of Hóra Sfakíon, Sfakiá Forum about the region of Sfakiá
Zorba the Greek (film)
Zorba the Greek is a 1964 British-Greek comedy-drama film written, produced and directed by Cypriot Michael Cacoyannis and starring Anthony Quinn as the title character. Based on the 1946 novel of the same name by Nikos Kazantzakis, the film's cast includes Alan Bates, Lila Kedrova, Irene Papas, Sotiris Moustakas. Basil is a British-Greek writer raised in Britain who bears the hallmarks of an uptight, middle-class Englishman, he is waiting at the Athens port of Piraeus on mainland Greece to catch a boat to Crete when he meets a gruff, yet enthusiastic Greek-Macedonian peasant and musician named Zorba. Basil explains to Zorba that he is traveling to a rural Cretan village where his father owns some land, with the intention of reopening a lignite mine and curing his writer's block. Zorba persuades Basil to take him along; when they arrive at Crete, they take a car to the village where they are greeted enthusiastically by the town's impoverished peasant community. They stay with an old French war widow and courtesan named Madame Hortense in her self-styled "Hotel Ritz".
The audacious Zorba tries to persuade Basil into making a move on the much older Madame Hortense, but when he is understandably reluctant, Zorba seizes the opportunity, they form a relationship. Over the next few days and Zorba attempt to work the old lignite mine, but find it unsafe and shut it down. Zorba has an idea to use the forest in the nearby mountains for logging; the land is owned by a powerful monastery, so Zorba visits and befriends the monks, getting them drunk. Afterwards, he begins to dance in a way that mesmerizes Basil. Meanwhile and Zorba get their first introduction to "the Widow", a young and attractive widowed woman, incessantly teased by the townspeople for not remarrying to a young, local boy, madly in love with her, but whom she has spurned repeatedly. One rainy afternoon, Basil offers her his umbrella. Zorba suggests that she is attracted to him, but Basil shy, denies this and refuses to pursue the widow. Basil hands Zorba some money, sends him off to the large town of Chania, where Zorba is to buy cable and other supplies for the implementation of his grand plan.
Zorba says goodbye to Basil and Madame Hortense, by now madly in love with him. In Chania, Zorba entertains himself at a cabaret and strikes up a brief romance with a much younger dancer. In a letter to Basil, he indicates that he has found love. Angered by Zorba's apparent irresponsibility and the squandering of his money, Basil untruthfully tells Madame Hortense that Zorba has declared his love to her and intends to marry her upon his return, which makes her ecstatic to the point of tears. Meanwhile, the Widow returns Basil's umbrella by way of the village idiot; when Zorba returns with supplies and gifts, he is surprised and angered to hear of Basil's lie to Madame Hortense. He asks Basil about his whereabouts the night before; that night, Basil had made love to her and spent the night. The brief encounter comes at great cost. A villager catches sight of them, word spreads, the young, local boy, in love with the Widow is taunted mercilessly about it; the next morning, the villagers find his body by the sea.
The boy's father, holds a funeral which the villagers attend. The widow is blocked from entering the church, she is trapped in the courtyard beaten and stoned by the villagers, who hold her responsible for the boy's suicide. Basil and fearful of intervening, tells Mimithos to fetch Zorba. Zorba arrives just as a friend of the boy, tries to pull a knife and kill the widow. Zorba overpowers disarms him. Thinking that the situation is under control, Zorba turns his back. At that moment, the dead boy's father cuts the widow's throat, she dies at once. Only Basil and Mimithos show any emotion over her murder. Basil proclaims his inability to intervene. On a rainy day and Zorba come home and find Madame Hortense waiting, she expresses anger at Zorba for making no progress on the wedding. Zorba conjures up a story that he had ordered a white satin wedding dress, lined with pearls and adorned with real gold. Madame Hortense proposes their immediate engagement. Zorba tries to stall, but agrees with gusto, to Basil's surprise.
Some time Madame Hortense has contracted pneumonia, is seen on her deathbed. Zorba stays by her side, along with Basil. Meanwhile, word has spread that "the foreigner" is dying, since she has no heirs, the State will take her possessions and money; the poor villagers crowd around her hotel, impatiently waiting for her demise so they can steal her belongings. As two old ladies enter her room and gaze expectantly at her, other women try to enter, but Zorba manages to fight them off. At the instant of her death, the women re-enter Madame Hortense's bedroom en masse to steal her valued possessions. Zorba leaves with a sigh, as the hotel is ransacked and stripped bare by the shrieking and excited villagers; when Zorba returns to Madame Hortense's bedroom, the room is barren apart from her bed and the parrot in her cage. Zorba takes the birdcage with him. Zorba's elaborate
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the 88th largest island in the world and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica. Crete and a number of surrounding islands and islets constitute the region of Crete, one of the 13 top-level administrative units of Greece; the capital and the largest city is Heraklion. As of 2011, the region had a population of 623,065. Crete forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece, while retaining its own local cultural traits, it was once the centre of the Minoan civilisation, the earliest known civilisation in Europe. The palace of Knossos lies in Crete; the island is first referred to as Kaptara in texts from the Syrian city of Mari dating from the 18th century BC, repeated in Neo-Assyrian records and the Bible. It was known in ancient Egyptian as Keftiu suggesting a similar Minoan name for the island; the current name of Crete is thought to be first attested in Mycenaean Greek texts written in Linear B, through the words ke-re-te, ke-re-si-jo, "Cretan".
In Ancient Greek, the name Crete first appears in Homer's Odyssey. Its etymology is unknown. One proposal derives it from a hypothetical Luwian word, *kursatta. In Latin, it became Creta; the original Arabic name of Crete was Iqrīṭiš, but after the Emirate of Crete's establishment of its new capital at ربض الخندق Rabḍ al-Ḫandaq, both the city and the island became known as Χάνδαξ or Χάνδακας, which gave Latin and Venetian Candia, from which were derived French Candie and English Candy or Candia. Under Ottoman rule, in Ottoman Turkish, Crete was called Girit. Crete is the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, it is located in the southern part of the Aegean Sea separating the Aegean from the Libyan Sea. The island has an elongated shape: it spans 260 km from east to west, is 60 km at its widest point, narrows to as little as 12 km. Crete covers an area of 8,336 km2, with a coastline of 1,046 km, it lies 160 km south of the Greek mainland. Crete is mountainous, its character is defined by a high mountain range crossing from west to east, formed by three different groups of mountains: The White Mountains or Lefka Ori 2,454 m The Idi Range (Psiloritis 35.18°N 24.82°E / 35.18.
The island has a number of gorges, such as the Samariá Gorge, Imbros Gorge, Kourtaliotiko Gorge, Ha Gorge, Platania Gorge, the Gorge of the Dead and Richtis Gorge and waterfall at Exo Mouliana in Sitia. The rivers of Crete include the Ieropotamos River, the Koiliaris, the Anapodiaris, the Almiros, the Giofyros, Megas Potamos. There are only two freshwater lakes in Crete: Lake Kournas and Lake Agia, which are both in Chania regional unit. Lake Voulismeni at the coast, at Aghios Nikolaos, was a freshwater lake but is now connected to the sea, in Lasithi. Lakes that were created by dams exist in Crete. There are three: the lake of Aposelemis Dam, the lake of Potamos Dam, the lake of Mpramiana Dam. A large number of islands and rocks hug the coast of Crete. Many are visited by tourists, some are only visited by biologists; some are environmentally protected. A small sample of the islands includes: Gramvousa the pirate island opposite the Balo lagoon Elafonisi, which commemorates a shipwreck and an Ottoman massacre Chrysi island, which hosts the largest natural Lebanon cedar forest in Europe Paximadia island where the god Apollo and the goddess Artemis were born The Venetian fort and leper colony at Spinalonga opposite the beach and shallow waters of Elounda Dionysades islands which are in an environmentally protected region together the Palm Beach Forest of Vai in the municipality of Sitia, LasithiOff the south coast, the island of Gavdos is located 26 nautical miles south of Hora Sfakion and is the southernmost point of Europe.
Crete straddles two climatic zones, the Mediterranean and the North African falling within the former. As such, the climate in Crete is Mediterranean; the atmosphere can be quite humid, depending on the proximity to the sea, while winter is mild. Snowfall is rare in the low-lying areas. While some mountain tops are snow-capped for most of the year, near the coast snow only stays on the ground for a few minutes or hours. However, a exceptional cold snap swept the island in February 2004, during which period the whole island was blanketed with snow. During the Cretan summer, average temperatures reach the high 20s-low 30s Celsius, with maxima touching the upper 30s-mid 40s; the south coast, including the Mesara Pla
Gavdos is the southernmost Greek island, located to the south of its much larger neighbour, Crete, of which it is administratively a part, in the regional unit of Chania. It was part of the former Selino Province; the island is situated at the southern tip of Greece, thus making it the southernmost point of the entire European continent. Gavdos has been known by a wide variety of names. For example, it appears in the biblical account of Paul's journey to Rome in Acts 27 as "Clauda" or "Cauda"; the island was referred to as "Cauda" by Roman geographer Pomponius Mela, as "Gaudos" by Pliny. Ptolemy called Gavdos "Claudos"; the Venetians called it "Gotzo" in imitation of the Maltese island "Gozo". From the 17th to the 19th centuries, the island was known as "Gondzo". A Turkish name of Godzo was "Bougadoz"; the island is 26 nautical miles south of Chora Sfakion. The area of the municipality, which includes the small island Gavdopoula, is 32.424 square kilometres. The island is triangular in shape, its highest point is 345 metres.
The southeastern corner is a rocky peninsula with a natural arch carved by the elements, called Trypiti. A sculpture of an oversized chair sits on top of Trypiti. There is an islet called Gavdopoula to the north west of Gavdos. Gavdos and Gavdopoula are covered with low-lying shrubs. Both are important stops for migrating birds. Local birds include the European shag. Gavdos has a variety of other vegetation, such as maquis as well as forests of pines and junipers. Gavdos is the southernmost island in Greece and all of Europe, with a warm Mediterranean subtropical climate typical of the Greek islands, summers are hot with daily temperatures reaching 32 ° C in August and mild winters by European standards, the coldest month has an average temperature of 17 ° C; the Mediterranean Sea is an important thermal regulator that surrounds it island in all its directions, while maintaining the high temperature of the sea in summer passing from 26 ° C. The mild climate is aided by hot winds blowing from the Sahara Desert.
The countless mountains of the Balkans protect from the cold, continental air, in addition to its island condition. As a result of the Subtropical High of the Azores precipitation is concentrated in winter, making summers dry with no precipitation days during June and August months, it is the sunniest place in Europe and with the highest number of radiation: between 1800 and 1900 kWh/m², values closer to North Africa and the Middle East. There are only a small number of year-round residents of services for tourists are basic; as of 2011, the total population of Gavdos was 152. In reality, fewer than 50 people live permanently on the island. In the summer the total people on the island can reach over 3,500, most of whom are campers and tourists; the largest man-made harbour for ferries is Karave. The island's capital is Kastri; the southernmost populated village is Vatsiana, with a total permanent population of 31 people. Gavdos has supported a permanent population since Neolithic times. However, the island has few permanent residents.
Gavdos has been identified as a possible site of the mythical Ogygia where Kalypso held Odysseus prisoner. Archaeological evidence showed. During that time the flora of the island was overexploited and that started a process of erosion which has continued to this day. Gavdos had 8,000 inhabitants by 900 AD. During the Ottoman Empire's reign on the island, which lasted from 1665 until 1895, Gavdos was known as Gondzo. During this period the population decreased to only 500 by 1882. A reference to Saracens on the island survives: the beach Sarakiniko. In the 1930s the island was used as a place of exile of communists. During World War II, allied forces evacuated some forces to Gavdos following the German victory in the battle of Crete. On, the general phase of urbanization that started in other parts of Greece in the 1960s took place in the 1950s on Gavdos. During that period the islanders exchanged their land on Gavdos with ex-Turkish land on Crete, which had now become exchangeable via the state.
Upon settling in Crete they created a community known as Gavdiotika, part of the town of Paleochora. There are many abandoned terraces on Gavdos. There still is some agriculture on Gavdos. During the summer, the population of the island swells to a few thousand because of tourists, although there are few facilities for tourists. There is one year-round cafe in Carave on Gavdos run by Evangelina Tsigonakis. There is a modern non-functioning reproduction lighthouse tower on Gavdos which now serves as a cafe during the summer season. Gavdos has an FM radio station, Gavdos FM 88.8, available online. Following years of isolation, in 1996 the island came to media prominence. In a NATO exercise Gavdos was the focal point of a confrontation between Turkey. Following that, Prime Minister Costas Simitis visited Gavdos and announced a five-year, €1.5 million plan for the island's development. In 2001, Costis Stephanopoulos, the Greek President, inaugurated a telemedicine centre on Gavdos, an
Viannos is a municipality in the Heraklion regional unit, Greece. The municipality has an area of 221.539 km2. Population 5,563; the seat of the municipality is in Ano Viannos. In September 1943, German occupation forces inflicted heavy loss of life and property on the region of Viannos in reprisal for its support of the Cretan resistance. In late July 2012, the area was hit by wildfires; the province of Viannos was one of the provinces of the Heraklion Prefecture. Its territory corresponded with that of the current municipality Viannos, except a few villages that were part of the province Pediada, it was abolished in 2006