A historical village about 18km south of Heraklion, Profitis Ilias, built on the hill of Rocca, had a strategic location and used as a fortress of the ancient city Lykastos and then, later on, took the name “Temenos” from the Venetian fort.
This is an easy and enjoyable 11 km trail that leads to the village of Ano Archanes, one of the best restored villages in Crete with a vibrant and traditional aesthetic that welcomes visitors from all around the world.
The E4 route from Profitis Ilias to Ano Archanes
From the eastern exit of the village of Profitis Ilias (1), we follow the asphalt road for 1.700 m. We then turn left (northwards) to a downhill dirt road (2), continuing straight on, northwards, for 300 m. Next, we turn right (eastwards) (3), ignoring any branch roads and after 600 m we turn left (northwards) (4). After 200 m, we take a right turn-off and immediately after it a left one, continuing for 100 m. We then leave the unsurfaced road and walk along an olive grove, towards a stream bed which can be seen down below (5).
We cross the stream and follow the dirt road, which zig-zags on the slope for 900 m through vineyards until we reach the foot of the south-western slope of the peak of Yiouktas. You may also find it written as Giouchtas. There, the unsurfaced road meets an asphalt road, which we follow to the right (6). The road bypasses Yiouktas on its southern side and meanders through the cultivated land on its south-eastern slope.
After 2 km, we arrive at the junction with the main road between Archanes and Choudetsi. This is exactly where the road that goes up to the summit of Yiouktas also begins (7). If we follow the road which meanders up the eastern slope of the mountain (about 2,7 km) we shall reach the summit, at 770 m, where there is the chapel of Afendis Christos.
From here, we can also visit the Minoan villa of Vathipetro, which is 1,5 km towards the south. The asphalt road on our left, which we will take, leads to Ano Archanes. We take the road to Yiouktas for 300 m; then, we see a widening of the road, where a rough footpath (8) begins. After approximately 300 m, we come to a dirt road, which we follow in a northerly direction, ignoring any turn-offs. After 700 m, we cross the main dirt road and continue northwards for another 600 m. We then walk along the main road (9) and reach the first houses of the town of Ano Archanes (10).
|Path Length||11 km|
|Hiking Duration||3.5 hour|
|When to hike||Spring, Autumn, Summer, Winter|