Skinakas Mountain

Skinakas Mountain, the highest paved road of Crete

Skinakas Mountain is a high mountain peak at an elevation of 1.752m (5,748ft) above the sea level, located in the Heraklion regional unit, Crete, Greece. It’s said to be the highest paved road of Crete.

Located in the Psiloritis mountain, within the Idi (Ida) mountain range, the road to the observatory is paved but very narrow and steep with sections up to 16.4%, so extreme caution is needed. For these reasons it is strongly advised that buses are not used to carry visitors to the Observatory during open days since, depending on their size, they are often not able to reach the peak. The surface is damaged in places as well as the sides. Don’t get too near the sides, some places are just tarmac covering space. Road is definitely sketchy and getting into worse condition each year.

The road to the summit is very steep. Starting from Anogia, the ascent is 16.8 km (10.43 miles) long. Over this distance the elevation gain is 950 meters. The average gradient is 5.65%. The road was built in 1984. The road with all the hairpin turns in combination with the scenic landscape and the picturesque villages confirms that this is one of the best road routes in Crete. To enjoy driving on this stunning road, rent a car in Crete.

It’s one of the highest roads of the country. During winter months it is often covered with snow. The summit hosts the Skinakas Observatory, with two telescopes and modern equipment and facilities both for research and educational activities in astronomy. Parking space on the site is very limited. In days of high traffic, waiting for observing can exceed one hour. It’s worth the drive for the views at the top. Even in the summer cold and strong wind can blow. With good air visibility you can see both seas.
Pic&video: Rab and Lynette 



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