Giouchtas – Archanes

You don’t have to go far to get close to nature. The 'anthropomorphic’ mountain of Giouchtas is near to Heraklion and has an easy ascent. The views are endless and it is rich in wild life and nature. Put on your walking shoes and go!

  • Giouchtas – Archanes
  • Giouchtas – Archanes
  • Giouchtas – Archanes
  • Giouchtas – Archanes

The Holy mountain of Giouchtas is the first thing you see once you reach the port of Heraklion. It looks like a leaning male head. Giouchtas is rich in ancient myths and according to legend it is the home of Zeus’ tomb. The ascent is relatively easy and short so it shouldn’t take very long to reach the top. The mountain path starts at Archanes and elevates through pine trees and cypresses, rocks and brush woods.

You’ll smell the aroma of oregano, thyme and sage. The view from the top certainly compensates for any slight loss of breath! There is a platform with a 360 degrees view called ‘tetraklitos’ Jesus. With a bit of luck you’ll see the vultures, eagles and falcons that nest here and proudly fly around. Beneath there are vineyards, fields and olive trees that form a colorful mosaic that reaches as far as Heraklion and the sea.

After a well deserved rest take the path that leads to the Minoan archaeological site (and to the ruins of the not so old TV station). You will pass through a small botanical garden where all the plants are labelled before reaching the top where there was once an ancient Minoan sanctuary. Wave to Zeus as you make the descent and breathe the fresh, clean air. Once you reach Archanes why not sip a local raki as a reward for your efforts!


Families should know

  • Make sure you wear comfy shoes for climbing and take sun cream, a hat, water and maybe a snack
  • Avoid the trip at noon time as it gets very hot in the summer
  • Be really careful on the descent as the path can be slippery in places
  • For the lazier ones who would still like to admire the view from the summit there is a dirt track that leads to the top and is relatively easy to ascend
  • It takes approximately an hour to reach the top (excluding rest stops)

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Kids will love

The easy ascent to the mountain and the myths surrounding it

Parents will love

The endless view from the top of the mountain of Giouchtas

Best season to visit

  • Open during Spring Spring
  • Open during Summer Summer
  • Open during Autumn Autumn
  • Open during Winter Winter
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Other parents say...

  • Every year at August the 6th, there is a big festival and the path of Giouchtas fills with religious people with candles and holy bread. A unique experience of piety.

    Nikos V.
  • The wild Cretan beauty of nature in all its grandeur.

    Dafni S.
  • A local religious festival takes place every 6th of August. The path of Giouchtas gets crowded with people holding candles and holy bread. A unique experience of piety.

    Nikos B.
  • A great example of the grandeur and beauty of the wild Cretan nature.

    Dafni S.

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