We start our exploration by visiting the magnificent monastery of Panagia Kera, which played a major role and suffered significant damage during the Cretan Revolt. A splendid monument of architecture and iconography, it operates as a nunnery and it gathers pilgrims from all over Crete.
Our second stop is the magnificent Monastery of Vidiani, dedicated to Zoodochos Pigi (Spring of Life). It was abandoned until the mid 19th century, when it was restored with great diligence. Today it is a hermitage, housing a small natural history museum as well.
Our next stopover is the Dictean Cave, a cave of mystic atmosphere, impressively adorned by large columns, stalactites and stalagmites. According, to mythology, the Dictean Cave was the birthplace of Zeus, the father of gods, and also the place he was worshipped.
Even today there are lots of pottery workshops, where we can watch the skiful crafts-men make beautiful ceramic pots. A legendary cave, the Cronion Cave, is our next stop. Cronus, Zeus’ father, used to live there before Zeus’smother moved him to the Dictean Cave to rescue him from his father’s rage. The cave is said to be guarded by a giant dragon and no one is allowed to enter.
It is a cave of great archaeological value, as it was used as a dwelling, a burying site and a place for worship. Our wandering ends by visiting Tzermiado, the capital of the Plateau. Here we can enjoy our lunch and the hospitality of the locals, in the middle of a beautiful and attractive environment.
Monastery of Kera Kardiotissa
Dicti cave-birthplace of Zeus
Psychro-traditional potter’s factory
Tzermiado-traditional Cretan gastronomy (lunch stop)
Monastery of Vidiani