White Mountains

These make up the most extensive range on the island, running from west to east for 40-45 km  and from north to south 35 km. They have a large number of peaks (57) above 2000 m and almost as many (54) between 1500-2000 m.

The most imposing of these are Pachnes (2453 m), Trocharis (2401 m), the Soros Mesa (2397 m), Bournelos (2342 m). The most impressive of all, though not the highest, is Gigilos (2005 m), which rises above the west side of the Samaria Gorge, with its wild ravines filled with snow.

The Mountain Ranges of Crete. White Mountains or Madares of Chania

The White Mountains are characterized by extensive upland plateaux and striking gorges. The largest and most outstanding of the latter are located on the steep southern slopes, in particular those of Aghia Irini (Irene), Samaria, Aradena and Imbros.

Of these Samaria is the best known, with its drop of 1500 m and length of 18 km.

Mother, if my friends arrive (Rizitiko) - Nikos Xylouris

The main plateaux of the White Mountains are Askyfou (at an altitude of 730 m), Kallikratis (750 m), Anopolis (600 m) and of course the famed Omalos plain – at 1080 m, whence starts the Samaria Gorge.

At the feet of the south slopes are to be found the most attractive and isolated beaches, and on their sides have grown up extensive forests of pine, oak and cypress.

White Mountaines. View from Agia Irene Gorge

On the south slopes of the White Mountains, and also towards the centre, runs the European Walking Trail E4. For those who love to tramp about, go mountaineering and indulge in free-skiing, the White Mountains offer many trails of varying degrees of hardness and in greatly differing landscapes.

  • Tips, Suggestions, Iseful info
  • History, Culture
  • What to do (Activities)
  • What to see (Culture, Nature)

Additional Info

  • location

    West Crete, the Chania prefecture

  • altitude 2453 m. - Pachnes summit
To view the 3D map download and install Google Earth plugin

Contact Us

Subscribe to our newsletter!

We use cookies to improve our website and your experience when using it. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Policy.

I accept cookies from this site