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Traditional Villages in Eastern Crete :

Sitia :: Palekastro :: Ierapetra

Karidi by Palekastro




This village, about 25 km from Sitia, 23 km from Palekastro and 600m above see level, is reached either by a road that passes through various mountain hamlets (Metochia Piskokefalou) or by a new road that branches off the road from Palekastro to Zakros near Adravasti; it is approximately 8 km from the main road. A stone slab with a sculpted relief of a branch of walnut tree complete with nuts, is said to have been found at a local place called Koutsounara, and the name of the village is derived supposedly from this find (Karidia: walnut tree).

In the Venetian census of 1583 it is not mentioned. although it is marked on contemporary maps and mentioned in deeds of the period.In proper excavations have yet been carried out, but of the chance finds from the district the most important is a very fine stone double axe which is now ίπ the Iraklion Museum.

There are two noteworthy caves in the Karidion area, both with traces of inhabitation. They are the Katofigi cave at Limnilakkos and the Peristeras cave. This latter is one of the more important Cretan caves. It is 1 km east of the village, some 300 m north of the public road, and the place is known both as Plativolo and Peristeras.

The mouth of the cave is 540 m above sea level. It is a deep subterranean cavern opening into Jurassic Limestone, and there is a difference of 63 m between the level of the entrance and the lowest point.


The opening is 23,5 m wide and 12 m high, but a big rock fall prevents close examination of much of the entrance area. From here one passes into a huge chamber 80 m deep and 35 m wide; at part the height varies between 2-12m. At the left of the back of this chamber a narrow gap leads, after a sharp drop of 4m, into a series of curved chambers which swing round to connect up again with the left wall of the main chamber.

Nature has adorned the first two chambers richly with stalagtites, stalagmites and pillars of stone. In the third and fourth chambers human bones were found, and other signs of habitation. From examination of the sherds it has been concluded that the cave was in use from the early minoan to the Late minoan period, and also in Byzantine times.

From the book "Sitia", N.Papadakis, Arcaeologist,1983
Impressive pictures to the uninhabited buildings
There are still neat yards in the village
Walking across the narrow streets, you think you have been transfered through the time in older ages.
Wonderful narrow streets among the neighbourhoods
Neighbourhood completely uninhabited
Karidi in winter! From Karidi on the way to Sitanos!
Karidi in winter! It is one of the most rare snowfalls in the village
Karidi in winter! The snow white gives a different look and charm.
View to the village from the road to Sitanos
The old school in a very good condition
View to the village from the northern side
View to the village from the school
The fount of the village
Few kilometres before Karidi driving from Adravasti. An area with wonderfull landscape.



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