From Heraklion: Cave of Zeus & Lassithi Plateau Day Trip

Uncover the mythical depths of Crete by exploring Zeus' Birthplace & Lassithi Plateau from Heraklion!

7 hours
Group Type
From €160 / person

Embark on a mesmerizing journey through Crete's heartland on our exclusive tour from Heraklion to the mythical Lassithi Plateau. As you ascend the mountains, marvel at the breathtaking scenery, from the Aposelemis dam to the towering Psiloritis range.

Explore the legendary Psychro Cave, the reputed birthplace of Zeus, and witness the panoramic splendor of Crete unfold. This tour is a profound journey through the myths, flavors, and natural wonders of Crete, promising memories that will last a lifetime.

Breathtaking ascent through the mountains with views of Aposelemis dam and Psiloritis range.

Visit the mythological Psychro Cave, the legendary birthplace of Zeus, with stunning vistas of the Lassithi Plateau.

Photo opportunity at the Lassithi Plateau's historic windmills and a taste of local life in the picturesque village of Krasi.

Optional exploration of the Panagia Kera Kardiotissa monastery, featuring some of Crete's best-preserved Byzantine frescoes.

What you can expect?

Embark on an awe-inspiring journey from Heraklion to the majestic Lassithi Plateau, where the drive itself is an adventure.

As you ascend the mountains, the road offers breathtaking views of the steep slopes, the tranquil Aposelemis dam, and the grand Psiloritis mountain range that dominates central Crete.

The largest plateau on the island, Lassithi is embraced by 18 villages that cultivate a rich variety of vegetables and fruits, particularly renowned for their potatoes. The plateau also boasts a historic collection of characteristic metal windmills, which formed one of the earliest wind parks in the early 20th century and were instrumental in irrigating this fertile land.

Your first major stop is the enchanting Psychro Cave, the mythological birthplace of Zeus. The climb to the cave is a visual feast; with each step, the panoramic views of the Lassithi plateau expand before you, offering a perfect Instagram moment upon arrival. Inside, you'll find yourself in a world of stalagmites and stalactites, where the cool, deep chasm inspires awe and wonder—fitting for a site chosen as the cradle of the king of gods.

The descent back to the base is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich Cretan flora, including the island's famous aromatic plants, many of which are unique to Crete.

After your descent, make an inspirational photo stop at the edge of the plateau by the stone-built mills. Here, you can capture the essence of Crete, from the mountain tops to the coastal views, all while standing amidst a historic symbol of the island's agricultural past.

The journey continues to the picturesque village of Krasi, celebrated for its delectable cuisine and the monumental Plane of Krasi, a tree that has stood for at least 1500 years and has been recognized as a Monumental Tree. Under its expansive shade, the esteemed Greek novelist Nikos Kazantzakis once found his summer retreat.

For those interested in deepening their understanding of local religious traditions, a visit to the Panagia Kera Kardiotissa monastery is an enlightening option. This Venetian-era monastery is home to one of the most exquisitely preserved Byzantine frescoed churches in Crete.

Here, you can continue the discussion of ancient cults and transition to the Orthodox tradition, learning about the significance of monasteries, their historical roles, and the captivating tale of the twice-returned stolen icon of Panagia Kardiotissa, of the heart, which now resides in Rome.

As the day winds down, you'll return to Heraklion through the coastal town of Malia, reflecting on a day rich in history, culture, and the natural beauty of Crete.

Know Before You Go

  • Families with infants are not advised to go up the cave, as the temperature differences may affect them and the trail needs some attention, so carrying a baby is not ideal. The same goes with people with heart problems and mobility issues.
  • If you suffer from claustrophobia please know that due to the formation of the cave, you will have to walk downwards to the bottom of the cave.
Inclusions & Exclusions
  • Hotel pick up and drop off
  • English-speaking driver 
  • English-speaking local guide
  • Transport by air-conditioned minivan
  • All taxes & VAT
  • All personal expenses
  • Lunch
Trip Advisor
One -in-a-lifetime experience full of Greek Mythology and unbeatable landscapes. Me and my wife were amazed by the cave and loved the vibe of Lassithi. The tour guide was so friendly and knowledgeable that we felt like we made a new friend. I also felt so close to nature! Bravo! Highly recommend!
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