Askifou Plateau is located 50 kilometers south of Chania at an altitude of 730 meters. The name Askifou comes from the ancient Greek word “skoufos”, meaning cup, as looking at the plateau and the White Mountains that surround it, the landscape looks like a huge cup.
The Askifou area consists of four settlements, Ammoudari, Goni, Kare, and Petre. The permanent residents of the settlements are mainly involved in livestock farming, the cultivation of vines, potatoes, fruit trees, such as walnuts, and some tourism. The visitor will taste beautiful traditional flavors and enjoy the comforts of Cretan hospitality in traditional accommodation.
Inside the plateau is a small hill, on top of which are the ruins of two Turkish buildings. They are called “The Mules of Askyphus”. They were built in the late 19th century by the Ottomans. A point of particular strategic value, as they could control the passage from the area of Apokoronas to Sfakia. During the Turkish occupation, the Sfakians proved to be worthy patrons of the country, as in 1821 they expelled the Turkish army. Unfortunately, in 1823, the Ottomans returned and destroyed the settlements completely and the plateau was deserted.
A few kilometers south of Askifou is the Imbros Gorge. Along the gorge, you will find the enchanting route that leads you to Sfakia. At the west end of Askifou lies the imposing Kastro peak, at an altitude of 2,219 meters, where two smaller plateaus form unparalleled beauty. The first is called “Tauri” and starts the settlement of Ammoudari, while the second is called “Niatos”. In Tauri, there is the mountaineering refuge serving the European E4 Trail. It is a shame for the visitor to find himself in the Askifou area and not to “taste” the magnificent beauty of nature while exploring the trails of the plateau.
The settlement of Askifou is housed in the settlement of Karé. The museum houses the personal collection of Mr. Hadjidakis Georgiou. Visitors will admire a large collection of weapons since 1770, most coming from World War II, such as bombs, missiles, rifles, aircraft parts and more.
Finally, those who love nature and hobby hunting can visit the Lefkoritis Resort. Lefkoritis hosts various activities such as horse riding, mountain biking, hiking, excursions, while hunters can hunt in a privately controlled area. Equipment and hunting dogs are available from the shooting range. Lefkoritis has traditional accommodation covering all the comforts of the guest.
Routes from Askifou:
The peaks surrounding the plateau are Kastro to the west (2,218 meters), Trypali to the east (1,493 meters) and Agathes to the south (1,511 meters).
- To the west of the plateau, begins a road and path to Tauri’s shelter. From here start hiking routes to the White Mountains and the ascent to Kastro peak
- To the east of the plateau, a road begins for the abandoned village of Asfendos and the Kallikratis plateau. From there, continuing the route, you can visit Frangokastello, Asi Gonia and the Green Springs of Argyroupolis.
- From the opening on the south side of the plateau, the road passes to Chora Sfakion and Frangokastello. Here is the beautiful Imbros Gorge, with a 2-hour descent to the village of Komitades.