42.22. Selia to the high ridge west and Krioneritis Walk and Cycle in Crete

22. Selia to the high ridge west and Krioneritis Walk and Cycle in Crete

Seven kilometres to the top, good track at first, then rough steep ground with no paths. This makes it unsuitable for cyclists. Krioneritis often has snow patches in March and the wild flowers are superb. It dries out quickly later in the spring and the flowers wither. You must be an experienced and fit walker to tackle this walk.

Take the main road west out of Selia and almost immediately fork right up a track. This heads north-west at first towards the mountains, passing a small church after one kilometre. The track then swings west with the mountain rising on your right and follows a mostly level course for a further two kilometres to end at a goat house with a ridge ahead. You can see the main road below swinging round to the south.

45 min. Follow a well used goat path that continues west on the edge of open ground with a shallow valley of fenced land on your right.

55 min. Look out for the point where the low ridge in front of you runs into the mountain on your right. On the high mountain to your right there is a slight dip due north of you before the ridge climbs steeply up to the summit to the west. I made my way directly up this flank to the ridge. The angle that you see this from below makes it look much steeper and more rocky than it is. I was able to make my way up between solid outcrops of limestone with the cracks between full of flowers. No climbing was needed at any point. The hillside is much more broken further east with rocky ridges running across the mountain side with cliffs both above, facing the mountain itself, and below.

1 hr 45 min. As you get close to the top the slope gets less steep and hides small sink holes full of soil and richer vegetation. Head west through this region until you are at the base of the ridge that leads north-west to the summit. This final stretch is rough and rocky.

3 hours A concrete survey post marks the summit and the views are superb all the way round.

To the west of the peak is a high col and this provides the easiest routes down. Pick your way with care down through the rocks to the col itself. There are cliffs between you and the track to the south. From the col one track runs south-east below these cliffs to reach the main road between Rodakino and Selia after five kilometres.

Another track runs west and then south to drop through a series of hairpins to reach the road well to the west of Rodakino. A distance of six kilometres to Rodakino.

I have tried descending east from the peak to the village of Alones but I do not recommend it. Fine loose screes run out over invisible cliffs. After dropping due east from the summit onto the screes you must traverse across to your right to where a rocky valley descends steeply below the point where the high ridge changes direction to the west. A goat path is visible here and a black polythene water pipe. Follow the line of the water pipe down keeping the rocky valley on your left until you reach the track on the edge of Alones, a remote village that sees few tourists.

From Alones you can follow route 40, a track that runs through the valley on the north side of the mountain all the way to the top of the gorge at Kanevos. This is an attractive track that climbs and falls fairly gently. Several large bends in the track can be cut on older paths. From Alones to Kanevos is seven kilometres.

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