Ski holiday on the southernmost snow in all of Europe.
In a recently released New York Times publication entitled "The ‘Best Spring Skiing Anywhere’? Try Crete", published on Jan. 4, 2022, the northern slopes of Psiloritis are included among the best ski and snowboard descents in the world.
The author of the article Biddle Duke noticed that “the Greek island has no lifts, no lodges, no trail maps. But for those willing to climb for their turns, it’s got miles of wide-open terrain, dependable spring snow and no crowds”.
Duke’s full Times Travel article is available online: https://nyti.ms/3zvrtQk
Rethymno, located in the middle of the island of Crete, is covered by the two main mountain groups: Psiloritis, the mountain in the centre of the island, home to the highest peak of the island (2456 m), where Zeus was raised in a cave, and Lefka Ori (White Mountains) the western group, the largest, most varied and most complex. Lefka Ori are among the six pristine highland areas in Greece safeguarded from all forms of human intervention, including a ban on the construction of controversial wind farms.
Discover and ski at Psiloriti’s 30 to 40 degree, wide open, treeless sides which look out onto the turquoise waters of the Libyan sea all the way to the south and the Aegean sea to the north. Psiloritis, UNESCO Global Geopark, is the most challenging mountain for skiing. Driving about 40km from Rethymno to Anogeia or Livadia allows you to put the skis and try several possibilities to go up and down, long and wide slopes to spoil yourself. Welcoming wide open trails with nice terrains to hike up someplace and ski down making lots of turns and zipping down the mountain enjoying the silent snow conditions.
Visiting the mountain area of Rethymno you get to know the other side of Crete. On the way from Rethymno to the mountains, the meadows along the road get greener and greener as you go, and the olive trees’ silver leaves shine under the warm sun. Enjoy the untouched pristine beauty of nature and total seclusion. The time seems to have stood still in some villages. Far from the tour operators and the all-inclusive seaside resorts and beaches experience, head up to Mt. Psiloritis for spring skiing in the heart of the island. That’s another fun activity you can do with your friends and family.
Rethymno is working to introduce sporting snow activities as another off season experience and to develop sustainable tourism all year round. The locals, seeing that the mountains could be used for more than farming, welcome locals and visitors to discover Rethymno’s unspoiled mountains and enjoy the big vista of Mt. Psiloritis and its ravines.
Visit local shepherds and learn how they make cheese the traditional way, traditional tavernas to taste local wine, homemade dishes, wild greens and organic fruits and vegetables or a local “kafenio” where men get together drinking coffee or raki and telling stories about the mountains.
Just come to enjoy the outdoors on a surprising winter holiday!
Pierra Creta is a ski mountaineering race that started a couple years ago with the latest event taking place in more than 210 entrants, 70 of them foreigners, from 11 different countries for the southernmost skiing event in Europe.
Next Pierra Creta event March 5-6 2022
Registrations open till 31 of January
More info: pierracreta.gr