Plateau of Lasithi

Lasithi Plateau rings with the trill of goat bells, bordered by the cloudy peaks of the rock-studded Dikti mountain chain…

Lassithi Plateau is one of the few areas in the Mediterranean with permanent inhabitants at an altitude of 850 m, is the largest mountain plain in Crete.

The plateau is famous for its white-sailed windmills, a local invention that have been used for two centuries to irrigate the land. Despite their vast number in the past, today they are less than 5000 windmills standing, most having been replaced by less-attractive but convenient mechanical pumps. The original stone windmills were built by the Venetians in the 17th century.

The Lasithi Plateau’s rich soil has been cultivated since Minoan times. Today this huge plateau has been transformed into a giant garden. Up to a few years ago irrigation was managed by thousands of small windmills. In a way it was a massive wind-farm. Human settlement here is very old, and animal-rearing, agriculture were the main occupations in the past.