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Crete's Lassithi Plateau and Dikti Mountains

the lasithi plainThe best areas for flora near this famous plateau studded with windmills to the north of the Dikti mountains are on the surrounding slopes and upward, as the plain itself has been so heavily cultivated that it has lost much of its previously rich flora.

At the high pass to the northwest there are some higher altitude scrub birds, and from this pass one can watch birds of prey which breed in the mountains, including griffon vultures, peregrines, lammergeiers, and golden and Bonelli's eagles.

Flowers in this areas include several orchids, and the endemic Sternbergia which flowers in autumn, and is related to daffodils, though resembling more a golden crocus. Paths ascend into higher altitudes from the well known Psikhro Cave (on the southwest side of the plateau), and near the cave are found crag martins and choughs.

Mt DiktiOn the slopes in stony garrigue are found Cretan cyclamen, endemic arum, sand crocuses, orchids similar to those found at the pass, and spiny chicory. Yet other flowers are found on higher cliffs and slopes, including the endemic alison, an alyssum, and an endemic crosus that flowers in late autumn. Beautiful dwarf oak trees also grow here. The rarest plant in Crete grows on the eastern side of the massif, a silver leaved bindweed, of which less than ten plants were counted (as of a few years ago); an endemic butterfly is also found here.