An overnight stay in the Kallergis Mountain Shelter is an amazing experience for anyone who loves mountains, nature and wants to explore another side of Crete island. From here, you can hike to the summit of Lefka Ori (or White Mountains – altitude 2454) in the regional unit of Chania, and the second-highest mountain range on the island, narrowly behind Psiloritis (2456 m).
The E4 route from Kallergis Mountain Shelter to Katsivelli
From the shelter (1), we follow a dirt road which winds on the northern side of lower summits, in an easterly direction. After approximately 45 minutes, we reach a small flat area (2) and continue a little further to the right, onto a small saddle. Here we come across a small and ruined mitato (shepherd’s hut) and sit to enjoy the magnificent view of the gorge of Samaria and of Gigilos before us.
From the small flat area, we continue on the unsurfaced road. We ignore a left branch of the road and continue on the right one, in an easterly direction. In about 800 m, on our right-hand side, we come to the beginning of a path (3), approximately 50 m before a small dry watercourse. At this point, we are at an altitude of 1.450 m.
After 10 minutes of climbing, the watercourse splits into two branches; we cross both beds and get to the northern side. We then ascend towards a little saddle ahead of us and as soon as we get to the top (about 45 minutes from the dirt road), we reach a small plateau (4). Another ruined stone hut and a sheepfold can be seen here, at the altitude of 1.750 m. The area is bleak and bare, with sparse low bushes.
From the small plateau, we climb for about 20 minutes and, arriving at the ridge (at an altitude of 1.900 m) (5) we discern the peak of Melidaou, not far ahead in the distance. We walk along the ridge and reach the mountain line, which we then follow in an easterly direction, climbing up towards Melidaou (6). The basin of the gorge of Samaria opens up now in all its grandeur, down below to our right. Next, we follow the distinct path towards the peak of Melidaou, until we reach an altitude of 2.050 m approximately. The slope offers an exquisite view to the south.
Here, when the snow melts away, one can spot small Cretan alpine flowers, such as the crocus depicted on Minoan murals. We leave the mountain line, pass cautiously over a steep rocky area and continue on the path which by now follows the southern slope of Melidaou. The path descends in an easterly direction to a small flat area known as Plakoseli (7), at an altitude of 1.850 m. Be advised that the well water in the flat area is not drinkable.
To our left-hand side now the peak of Lines appears, on which rock cairns that resemble human forms can be distinguished. After a hike of 900 m in a bare ravine, following a south-easterly direction, we arrive at another flat area, south of the peak of Linés, at Papasifis (8). In the small flat area, which is full of low prickly bushes, there is a cistern for rainwater (not drinkable). At its north-eastern edge, the shepherd’s hut (“mitàto”) of Papasifis can be seen, where we can take shelter in case of emergency.
We continue southwards, following the path along the slope, on the eastern side of a dry watercourse. After 600 m (9) we see a small flat area with a well, down below, to our right-hand side (not drinkable water).
From this flat area, we follow the path that leads south through the small valley. The route passes west of the central peaks of the Lefka Ori–Pachnes– and then leads into the gorge of Eligias, which ultimately ends up on the beach, in the area of Agios Pavlos.
We follow the path that turns towards the east and goes along the south slope of the peak of Kefalas, following the valley uphill. There are a number of small swallow holes all throughout, which we pay attention to bypass safely. The peaks of Svourichti, to the left, and of Modaki, to the right, can be seen ahead of us, in the distance. The difference in colouring between the northern and the southern slope of Modaki is very striking.
After approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes of continuous hiking from Papasifis, we arrive at a flat area on the foot of Svourichti, at a location called Katsiveli Mitato (10), where a water tank, a well and a shepherd’s stone hut (mitàto) can be seen.
After 400 m from this point, on a saddle to the north, the Christos Chouliopoulos Mountain Shelter (11) comes into view. This will be your spot for the night, at an altitude of 1.970 m.
|Path Length||15 km|
|Hiking Duration||6.5 hour|
|When to hike||Spring, Autumn, Summer|