At Lasithi (East Crete) exists the largest plateau on the island and the only one inhabited year round, as well as other smaller ones of exquisite beauty.
At an altitude of 850 m, the Lasithi Plateau is the largest mountain plain in Crete – and the only one occupied all the year round. Roughly ovoid, it runs some 11 km east-west by 6 north-south. Surrounding it are the peaks Selena (1559 m) at the north, Afendi (1588 m) and Louloudaki (1163 m) west, Spathi (2148 m) to the south and Katharo (1564 m) and Varsami (1545 m) to the east.
Limnakaro is a small but lovely plateau, at an altitude of 1150 m – best known in climbing circles. Here begin several of the climbing routes on the Lassithi mountains: the main and most frequneted ones lead to the tops of Afendi, Spathi and Lazaro. As well as the beautiful scenery, you can visit the small church of Aghios Pneumatos (from the Second Byzantine period), and admire the architectural skills of the mitata that belong to the herders.
Plateau of Nisimos, the third in the attractive set of such plains around Lassithi, is set to the north of Tzermiado, and east of Karfi. The path up is pleasant: it starts at a dirt road at the west edge of Tzermiado village, where a sign directs one to the church of the Holy Cross (Timios Stavros). After some 2 km on the uphill path, one reaches the Nismos plain.
Katharo plateau sits at 1100 m; to its southwest rear the high peaks of the Lassithi mountains. It is linked geomorphologically and hydraulically with the main and lower Lassithi plain through the Havga gorge which for most of the time runs as a torrent.