Askifou Plateau is located in the west part of the White Mountains – on the road from Sfakia towards Apokoronas and Chania. It resembles a cup, and is surrounded by the peaks of Kastro (2218 m) at the west, Trypali (1493 m) at the east and Angathes (1511 m) at the south. Around the edges of the plain are the villages of Ammoudari, Kares, Kosto, Petres, Mesa and Exo Goni and Stavorachi.
The plateau has been cultivated for a very long time: it produced high-quality potatoes, grapes and wine, walnuts and small amounts of fruits.
Its name is unusual: perhaps from the word skyphos (a bowl or cup) recalling its physical form. It is mentioned for the first time in the Byzantine period (1182), as a fief of the Melissenoi.
Under Venetian rule it was run by a proveditore.
During the Ottoman years, the region was the scene of bloody conflicts between the insurgents and the Turks, as the plain was another natural way in to the Sfakia region. There is even a Turkish fort, but it was never manned for long. Here convened the Grand Assembly of the Cretans to declare union with Greece in the failed revolution of 1886.
One can get here from Chania, by a long trek via Chora Sfakion.
In Kares there is a privately-run War Museum
In Ammoudari exist rent-rooms, restaurants, cafes, bakers with traditional goodies and a Post Office. Askyfou itself is famous for its paximadia rusks and its pies!
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