Dikti Range or Lasithiotika Mountains

The mountains of Dikte stretch in the east part of the island, on the borders of Heraklion and Lassithi prefectures. The highest peak of Dikte is called Karfi (Nail) (alt. 2148m), located on the southern part.

The center of Dikti range hosts the largest plateau of Crete, Lassithi Plateau, at an altitude of 850m.

Several canyons cross the mountains of Dikti. Two of them have the same name Havgas, one connecting Katharo and Lasithi plateaus, while the second starts from the top Afendis Christos being the beginning of the river Anapodaris. Moreover, important are the gorges of Lapathos, Sarakina and Kritsa.

The area of Dikte is one of the most fertile areas of Crete and has enormous ecological importance as a shelter for birds of prey. Unfortunately, forests have declined dramatically over the period until the Ottoman Era, when there were dense forests with indigenous wildgoats. During the German Occupation (1941-1944), many forests were destroyed by the Germans because they were previously used for hiding rebels. The slopes at low altitude are full of olive, carob and pine trees. In the southeast part of Dikte, the mountains circle one of the finest remaining pine forests of Crete, Selakano Forest. The forest species that dominate here are rough pine, holly, maple and juniper.

The fertile plateaus and valleys of Dikti produce a variety of agricultural products like potatoes, vegetables, pears, apples and walnuts. The mountains are also used for traditional sheep farming. Tourism is not developed, apart from some historical places such as the village Psichro in Lassithi, where the Diktaean Cave is located. The Cave of Psichro has been linked with the birth of the God of the Gods, Zeus. In the nearby village Marmaketo, you can also visit the small Cave of Trapeza, where Saturn was believed to have stayed.