THE ROADS OF KATHARO

Other than the main road to Kritsa, there are three other tracks that lead from the Katharo plain. None of the tracks are for the faint hearted, as they can be exceedingly rough and only really suitable for 4 x 4's. It must also be borne in mind that should you break down whilst travelling these routes in a hired vehicle, you may incur the total cost of the vehicle for its retrieval. Make sure your insurance covers you for off road driving.

This is a high plain, and during the winter months usually February and March several feet of snow have been known to fall and may last for several weeks, although the main road to the plain is usually cleared fairly quickly. During the early months and perhaps even early May, depending upon how bad the winter was, the tracks on the plain can be like quagmires and deeply rutted. The rivers of which there are two, are in spate and impassable. Although there are three bridges even getting to them is difficult. Come the better weather when the tracks have been "graded" (levelled) it is possible to drive a small saloon car around the plain on certain roads although I would not recommend it.

The road west eventually leads to the Lassithi plateau; this is a journey of some 10 kms. The road through the Katharo plain is mainly made up of hardcore, which during late summer and winter becomes increasingly full of potholes until it is graded again. Although the road through to Lassithi has only recently been intermittently resurfaced with concrete and hardcore, the surface is not good. This journey should only be made with a suitable vehicle. Travellers wanting to get to Lassithi often follow the concrete road which veers to the left and loses you in the middle of the plain. Where the road turns left carry straight on and follow the signs for the Havga gorge.

The road to the east divides after 4.5 kms. (the junction is signposted), the left route going to Kroustas, 18.5 kms. The first 13 kms. is track that again has been recently resurfaced and requires the same care as the Lassithi route. The right track making it's way down to Males some 10 kms. This route certainly needs to be navigated by a 4 x 4 and is totally unsuitable for any ordinary road vehicle.