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Lassithi Area

Kato Zakros

Kato Zakros, the seaport of (Ano) Zakros village, is located at south-eastern Crete, 115 km from Agios Nikolaos and 42 km from Sitia. It is the point where the famed European Path E4 which crosses France, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Bulgaria and Greece finishes.




Kato Zakros is a not an over developed touristy area, with only a few traditional tavernas and rooms to stay and therefore suitable for peaceful holidays, with a magisterial landscape and nature, a beautiful crystal clear long sandy beach, unique walking paths and the famous homonym Minoan Palace.

The ruins of the 4th Minoan palace of Crete are found here in Kato Zakros. It was built about 1600 b.c., with 180 apartments covering an area of 8.000 square metres. Its geografical position was strategic and enabled the trade with the East as well as with the other Minoan palaces in Crete. Many of the discoveries and findings are exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion.

The last section of the European E4 path belongs to one of the most beautiful gorges of Crete with a piqturesque landscape with many caves and geological shapes, the "Gorge of the Dead". Hikers should not worry about its name, as it derives from its ancient history: graves of ancient Minoans were found in the caves and steep sides of this imposing gorge, as Minoans believed that posthumous life would be continued in the place. The Zakros Gorge or "Gorge of the Dead" begins just after the village of Ano (=Upper) Zakros and leads to the village and beach of Kato (=Lower) Zakros. There is also another entrance 4 km far away from Ano Zakros located at a large open space on the road leading to Kato Zakros,  which actually offers a "lazy-way" / a shortcut (about 2 hours walking to the exit). Just before the exit there is also a field of ascension. It is passable both during the winter and the summer.
Note: Hikers should carry water with them as there are no working fountains in the "Gorge of the Dead".

One of the biggest caverns of Crete, the Cavern “PELEKITA” with 310 meters length and a small lake in its end, is located 5 kilometres from Kato Zakros and it can be either visited by feet or with a small ship. Very close to this cavern there is an ancient quarry of limestone, from which the courtyard walls of the Minoan palace have been built.

Another interesting cavern that can be visited on foot is "Spiliara", the holy cavern of Minoans, located at the north side of the plain of Kato Zakros.


Published in Lassithi Area
More in this category: « Xerokampos Ierapetra »

Kosmos Rent A Car in Crete was founded in 1979 in Heraklion. Since then our company’s course has been continuously expanding and of steady growth due to professional standards and high quality in our car rental services accompanied with competitive rates. A fact that places our company at the top of the list of car rental business in Crete...