GIOUCHTAS MOUNTAIN

The town of Arhanes is located at the foot of Mountain Giouchtas that is considered to be the most important mountain in the area, not only because of its location and its shape that looks like a human head, but also because of its archaeological and ecological value. Giouchtas is 811m. high and according to mythology was the place where Zeus was burried. Besides, the human shape of the mountain is related to Zeus, too.

Ecological and Archaeological Park on Mountain Giouchtas

The ecological park of Mountain Giouchtas consists of the mountain itself and three gorges: the knossan gorge, the gorge of Kounavoi and the astracan gorge, which is the longest one. Important archaeological sites, monuments of the Minoan Civilization, set the archaeological dimension of Giouchtas, including four sanctuaries, a minoan cemetary, ancient Eltyna and the minoan settlement of Myrtia.

There are also many monuments of the recent history on Mountain Giouchtas, of course, such as the Church of Jesus Christ on top of the mountain and two venetian bridges in Karydaki and Agia Eirini. The Venetian Aquaduct constructed by Morosini for the water supply of Heraklion and the Museum of Natural History of the Ecological and Archaeological Park of Giouchtas are also situated in Agia Eirini.

At the same time, the ecological dimension of the mountain is remarkable, too, thanks to the flora and fauna of the area. At the gorges one can see hydrophile species, such as willows, osiers, plane-trees, many endemic species of Crete and the rest of Greece, as well as over 44 species of birds and 7 species of mammals.