Well… if someone tells you they were hiking Mount Ida (Psiloritis) in Crete, better ask them which part and which side.
Mount Ida, also known as Psiloritis (translates to: Tall Mountain), is the biggest mountain of Crete. Crete is a huge island, so you understand that hiking Mount Ida is not just a… simple hiking.
To be precise Mount Ida is a mountain chain that consists of the White Mountains (west); Mount Dikti (east); the plains of Messara, the Asteroussia Mountains and the Libyan Sea (south); Herakeion and Rethymno are at the north. It is a really big area.
We did a relatively small hiking trip on Mount Ida, while staying at Arodamos Traditional Guesthouses during our 5 day summer trip in Crete. That was one of the 2 hiking trips we did while in the island. You can read more here.
Arriving at Arodamos, on Mount Ida
After landing to the airport of Heraklion we took our rental and drove towards the mountains. Arodamos is located at the region of Malevyzi.
The guesthouses are located near the “Livadi” Plateau of Mount Ida. They constitute one of the 7 Geoparks of Europe, also protected by the Natura 2000 program due to extended biodiversity.
It is around 1 hour from Herakleion.
The guesthouses are located in a really isolated location after the village of Krousonas. Each apartment is autonomous as it comes with a kitchenette, so better to get some provisions if you want to cook there.
Apartments are really spacious and with tall ceilings. You will feel very comfortable.
There is an indoors tavern in Arodamos of course, with plenty and tasty food.
The view from Arodamos is equally nice and the pool is a nice surprise in this location.
Yet, the high point of this place is… quietness. If you need to relax, away from the noise of daily life, then this is one of those places to be.
Small kids will find this pleasant enough.
We knew we would have a great time, after enjoying our welcome coffee and some butter cookies.
If you like cycling then there is a number of bikes to use. Along the premises you can also do archery and of course hiking.
However, keep in mind that hiking paths here are not marked at all. The owners will provide you with instructions and you will need to memorize the route, or have a GPS device to track the route and follow it back.
If you like read our article on how to choose such a GPS device for hiking.
Hiking around Arodamos
We decided to do our hiking a bit late in the day, as our whole trip included to visit different locations in Crete, almost every other day.
The route was through green areas, where lots of goats were looking at us a bit puzzled. Here are a few highlights. Our trip had a goal. That was to find the Vromonero location where lots of holm oaks exist.
The difficulty factor of this hiking was 1 (maybe less). It was more of a nice walk through the countryside.
Wandering in the Cretan countryside for 3-4 hours will really make you hungry, so when we came back we wanted to have a proper dinner.
The tavern located inside the hotel had a really good variety of food.
Tasting genuine Cretan hospitality
We were really hungry as we were traveling most of the day. After the hiking part we wanted to taste some of the specials.
We had, fried liver, lamb with a magnificent sauce, the famous Cretan fries (big chunks of potatoes fried in olive oil), tzatziki, boiled greens, and fresh fruits.
We “watered” these down with a good amount of tsikoudia (raki), while the father of the owners was telling us stories about Crete and his life.
It was late at night and we were a bit drunk, but happy and smiling. We were also tired so we went to sleep in our big guesthouse apartment.
This location is ideal for those seeking to relax, while avoiding main cities and the beaches, or better (if you are fine with driving time) to use this place as a base.
Arodamos is a family owned and managed hotel and they are fine to show the kind of hospitality they would show if you were a… relative.
All food served is locally produced, as the family is also involved in farming and livestock.
We hope you will enjoy this place that is located on Mount Ida (Psiloritis).