The National Trail 01 – Visit lasithi

The National Trail 01

For the trail 01 (= plateau 1) a proposal has been made by the Mountaineering Association of the Lasithi Plateau for it to be marked and recognized, but unfortunately the proposal is still pending.

The trail starts from the village of Lagou, heads NW, passes through the place “Tou Katsouli o Lakkos” and reaches “Asfendami”. At this place, there used to be one of the largest mill sites in Crete. Today we can see the ruins of 23 windmills. This mill site was moved further west to Seli Ampelou after the Revolution of 1866-69.

Vitsilovrisi, located a little lower than “Asfendami”, is a spring from which it seems that the nearby settlement “Karfi” was watered and next to which a small sanctuary was excavated. The church that appears further west is Agios Georgios Asfendamis, which was mentioned earlier.

From “Asfendami” we can follow two routes: One to Papoura and the other one to Karfi.

Route to Papoura. We head SW and we reach the top of the hill, where according to the archeological findings, there was an ancient settlement that went almost as far as Seli Ampelou.

In the Minoan years, a small settlement was inhabited by the inhabitants of the nearby Late Minoan settlement of Karfi, when they peacefully abandoned their inhospitable peak, around the 10th century BC and Papoura evolved into a crowded city over the next three or four centuries. The name of this city is not known to us. Various proposals have been formulated in this regard: Lassinthos (Paul Faure), Datala (Watrouss) etc.

Papoura was abandoned during the classical era. Apart from some experimental excavations and surface research, the site remains virtually unexplored.

Route to Karfi. Very close to us to the NW rises a huge rock that looks like a nail inserted in the western slope of Selena. So, between this rock and the adjacent hill of Mikri Koprana, a remarkable sub-Minoan settlement has been excavated, which was named after the shape of the nearby rock.

At the site of this settlement, during the Middle Minoan period (2200-1550 BC) there was a sanctuary of Korifi. The first inhabitants settled here around the 12th century BC and this settlement was a large and rich mountain refuge (altitude 1,250m) of the Minoans. It is estimated that at the time of its heyday it had about 3,500 inhabitants.

Relatively soon, however, around the 10th century BC, the settlement was abandoned peacefully and its inhabitants moved to neighboring Papoura. But even from there it did not take long for the inhabitants to move to the plain where various settlements began to be built on the northern slopes of the Plateau such as: Donadis, Kefali, Kollona etc.

We return to the starting point of the mountain route (for those who tried it) and head to the last village of the right route which will be the first if we choose the left one, i.e. the Limnakaro Plateau .