Armenohandrades Plateau

Plateau of Armenohandrades is located 23km south of Sitia and is a part of Crete that remains completely unknown, intact and authentic. It takes its name after the two settlements of Armeni and Handras, which today form a single settlement.

Basically, in the region you’ll find two neighboring plateaus, connected by a narrow valley. The largest plateau in the west hosts the village of Handras, with its beautiful farms and the whitewashed metal windmills. Indeed, these windmills are the ones who you will meet in the Lasithi Plateau. Indeed, even Cretans do not know that the windmills, which are the emblem of the Lasithi Plateau, are also found in Handras. Moreover, while in Lasithi they are no longer used by its residents, except for touristic purposes, in Handras they continue to work for watering the vines!

Near the plateau of Handras, it is worth visiting the medieval village of Etia with the restored Venetian villa, situated next to the road running from Papagiannades to Ziros. Furthermore, close to the ancient Etia, you should visit ancient Pressos, which was one of the three powerful towns of ancient eastern Crete (the rest were Itanos and Ierapytna).

Finally, next to Handras (about 1km) is the deserted medieval village and castle of Voila from where it is believed that the family of Dionysios Solomos came (Dionysios Solomos is one of the most important Greek poets and the writer of the national anthem of Greece).

The second smaller plateau lies to the east. Here is the "capital" of the area, the village of Ziros. The village is nice and here you will find very basic services, such as gas station and bank. Ziros has faced a modest growth, a key driver of which is the military camp with the radar of the Greek Air, standing on a neighboring mountain.

Ziros is the starting point of the narrow snake-like road with the countless turns, running close to the deserted villages Hametoulio and Lamnoni, which are worth a stop. The road crosses the wild gorges of Agia Irini and Lamnoni and ends at the beautiful beaches of Xerokambos. The narrow track is really majestic, crossing the wild and arid mountains and overlooking the turquoise waters of Amatos beach, the small islands of Kavali and, in the background, Koufonisi Island. It is certain that in many places, you will stop to take many photos.