Omalos

Distance 39km South of the city of Hania

South of the city of Chania and at a distance of 39km is located the plateau of Omalos, at an altitude of 1080m with an extent of 25 square kilometers, mainly inhabited during the summer months. It is a geological polje surrounded by many White Mountain peaks. It has three different entrance/exit access points: one from the north in the direction of Chania, one from the west towards the villages of Selinou and one in the south east through the Samaria Gorge.

From the plateau starts the dirt road which leads to the Kallergi Mountain Refuge at 1680m which is exemplarily equipped for ” would-be” climbers of the White Mountain summits. On the plateau is the grave of Hatzimichali Yiannari, the well-known chieftain of the 1866 revolution against the OttomanRule in Crete. Also there is the cave chasm of Tzani, the natural outlet of the water from the polje 3 million years ago which, although its total length has not been explored, appears to be more than 10km.

The few horticultural and fruit producing cultivations are clearly seasonal, as there is usually snow - cover for 3-5 months. The plateau is, however, the indisputable centre of livestock rearing for the Prefecture of Chania, like the Askifou plateau on the west side of the White Mountains, with a large production of dairy products of exceptional quality. In winter, in its eating-places, many Chania people gather to enjoy the snow-covered peaks and to try the wonderful animal products, while in summer they are full of walkers who go through the Samaria Gorge or climb the different peaks of the White Mountains.

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