Mt Idha (Psiloritis) [11.14] Hiking Map
Mount Ida, known as Psiloritis, is located in the center of Crete and covers a part of the prefectures of Rethymnon and Heraklion. Among its many peaks the five highest are Timios Stavros (2454m), Agathias (2424m), Stolistra (2336m), Vouloumenou (2267m) and Kousakas (2211m) . Indeed, the peak of Timios Stavros (the Holy Cross) is higher by just 1 m from the highest peak of the White Mountains (Pachnes), thus being the highest point of Crete.
Caves and other karst formations, deep canyons, small plateaus, forests, and bare alpine zones make up the imposing natural scenery of Psiloritis. A Natural Park has been established comprising the mountain and its northern coastal zone. Due to the variety of rock formations and fascinating geology, Psiloritis Natural Park became member of the European Geoparks Network in 2000 and in 2008 joined the UNESCO Global Network of Geoparks .
The ancient Minoans considered Mt Ida as a sacred mountain and many myths are related to it. The cave of Ideon Antron, near the plateau of Nida, was associated with the upbringing of Zeus, the greatest God.
An open stone chapel of Timios Stavros (Holy Cross), site of an annual pilgrimage on September 14, is located on the summit.
The view from the top is spectacular.