Asterousia, the southernmost mountain range of Europe
Asterousia is the southernmost mountain range of Europe, with a profound morphology and high ecological and archaeological value. The name, according to legend, is taken after the ancient king of Crete Asterion, who married Europe obeying to the mandate of her lover, Zeus.
If there is anything that makes Asterousia unique, is the rugged beauty of the landscape: steep slopes on the south side of the mountain range, with a dramatic change in altitude till the level of the sea, impressive canyons ending to scenic beauty beaches, caves and vast rocky areas covered only by brushwood. However, the mountain range does not present high altitudes. The highest peak is Kofinas with an altitude of 1231 m., followed by Madara, the Housakas, Volakas, Sfentylia etc.
Asterousia inspired spirituality and religious cult since the Minoan times. Here, at the peak of Kofinas, Minoans had one of their most important peak sanctuaries – with religious worship to be continued to this day in the same place, at the stone church of Timios Stavros (Holy Cross). In the early years of Christianity, the numerous caves of Asterousia hosted hermits and ascetics, whilst up to date, the monasteries of Asterousia (monastery of Odigitria, monastery of Koudoumas, monastery of Apezanon, Agios Nikitas) have a special religious significance.
Live the experience of Asterousia: indulge in the song of the bells of the sheep, listen to the hum of the wind in the canyons, feel awe at the eagle’s flying over your heads and experience the pure energy of this special place!