To see the trail in Google Map (indicative trace) - click HERE
Right behind the Mountain Shelter of E.O.S. Rethymnou, one can see the characteristic oak tree named Toumbotos Prinos, on the left side of which begins a path (1) that goes up to the mountain top.
The route is constantly uphill, on a clear path, and maintains a visual contact with the saddle between the peaks of Agathias, to the east, and of Timios Stavros (the True Cross), to the west, at almost all times. For approximately 45 minutes we climb parallel to a dry water course, until we encounter a small cavern (2) on our right-hand side; at this point, the view of the whole south part of the Prefecture of Rethymnon is breathtaking.
Immediately after the cavern we continue eastwards and pass through a small flat area covered with scrub. From the foot of a rocky slope (3) we turn northwards, constantly following the distinct and well-marked path, which goes along the south-western slope of Agathiàs; we continue until the saddle (4), where we arrive after approximately 3 hours and 10 minutes, in total.
From this point, a large view of northern Crete, as well as of the Cretan Sea, opens up ahead of us.
Following the mountain line to our left, in 20 minutes we reach the summit of Timios Stavros (5), the highest peak of Psiloritis and of all Crete, with an altitude of 2.456 m.
While the view from Pachnes, in Lefka Ori, at 2.452 m, is ravishing, on account of the multitude of lower peaks surrounding it, yet the feeling one gets gazing from the top of Psiloritis is quite unique, given the fact that the summit of Timios Stavros stands lone and imposing above all central Crete; the view, weather permitting, is absolutely stunning.
Spending the night on the mountain top, in a clear yet cold summer night, is a unique experience. The dry-stone chapel of Timios Stavros does offer shelter, however one must keep in mind that climbing to the peak of Psiloritis demands fair weather conditions. The fierce northern wind causes problems; particularly in periods when snow can be found on the northern slopes, the wind turning it into a hazardous icy trap. At the plateau found on the summit, north of the chapel, there is a cistern with melted snow water, which is better to be used sterilized only.