Kallikratis is a small plateau (named by the village located there) in the White Mountains in Sfakia province, at an elevation of some 540 m.
Its history, as that of the self-named village on it, is great – and particularly blood-soaked. The name comes from Manouses Kallikratis, admiral and leader of the Cretan defenders of Constantinople in 1453.
The village played a significant role in the struggles for liberty, providing some important fighters – as is recorded in many rizitika, those warlike songs. The plain also holds a strategic position for all would-be conquerors, as being one of the three main entrances into Sfakia.
For example, in the 1867 Revolt, the Turkish forces invaded Sfakia, through this plateau, and before then, in 1770 and 1821, the village had already been twice razed by the Turks! The Germans in 1943 treated it to the same fate, plundering and executing over 30 people as a punishment for partisan activities.
Now only a few people live there permanently, making a living from their livestock. But in the summer it becomes livelier – especially at the time of the sheep-shearing.
Access now is via Asi Gonia, Myriokephalo, the Askyfou plain or from Frangokastello (the worst road!).
Southwest on the plain is the Kallikratis gorge which leads to the village of Patsianos, a 4 km walk down a pathway.
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