|Location :||Crete, Greece|
Anavasi Topo25 11.12 Lefka Ori (White mountains)
GPS: Garmin Euro Greece v.10.03 Fam.
|Primary factor :||2038m|
|Hiked :||May 2010|
|See also :||
...is the highest peak in the Lefka Ori range (White mountains) and the 2nd highest peak on Crete. The normal starting point is the Anopoli village (approx. 600m). You get there via Chora Sfakion on the south/southwest side of Crete. From Anopoli, you can drive all the way up to 2000m (effectively 1900m) on a 4WD dirt road. Small cars can also reach 1900m elevation, but not with approval from the rental car companies...
The route from the mountain road and up to Páchnes is marked by cairns and the path is visible when not covered by snow. If you drive all the way up to 1900m, the summit is only 1,5 hours away. The view from the top is tremendous. If you don't get to see the ocean, the mountain range itself is quite stunning. The route description below is based on a hike all the way from Anapoli - a long hike that is not recommended in any way.
The Lefka Ori range consists of more than 30 (all depending on how you count) peaks exceeding 2000m, and peakbaggers can go crazy up here. If you plan to camp, expect to camp on rocky ground.
The Samaria gorge is the most famous of the many gorges found inside the Lefka Ori range. It is one of the longest gorges/ravines (if not the longest) in Europe, and is one of the major tourist attractions on Crete. The starting point is Omalos - approx. 11km northwest of Páchnes.
GPS measurement read 2452m (on the ground), averaged over a 10-minute period (error margin +/-2m).
Google's interactive map. You can zoom, pan and click on the markers.
These route description are valid per May 2010. All distances are approx.
Route 1: Anapoli - Páchnes
The starting point is the Anapoli village. If you drive from Hania/Chania, then follow the motorway/main road to the east, pass Souda, and look for the exit (appears suddenly) to Chora Sfakion, approx. 26km southeast of Souda. Follow this road up the mountains and then down to Chora Sfakion by the south coast. Continue west in the direction of Anapoli, and a long, eroded and curvy road brings you up to Anapoli.
In Anapoli, locate a marble statue in the town centre (and a roundabout). Then locate a narrow side road to your right and follow it approx. 2,2km to the north. The road (which is already a bit rough) forks here. The road to your right is your way up the mountain. If you have prepared correctly, you'll keep on driving. If you like long walks, park here (N35.23759 E24.08186).
An alternative ascent route is the E4 trail 350-400m east of your trailhead, which runs up a valley and joins the mountain road at 1600m elevation. The E4 trail does not seem to be signposted and can be hard to find.
From the end of the mountain road, continue northwest on the mountain path up to a col (N35.29560 E24.05152) between Páchnes and peak 2335m. A signpost points you in the direction (west) of Páchnes. The path runs on the north side of Ghavalá (2370m) then joins the ridge and continues up to Páchnes summit (N35.29196 E24.03212). Descend your ascent route.