A parade of tour buses makes the ascent to the spectacular Plateau of Lassíthi, one of the high points of Crete both in altitude and atmosphere; although accommodation is paltry, you may want to spend more time there after the groups have gone. For it is unique: a green carpet hemmed in on all sides by the Díktean Mountains, snowcapped into April. The uncanny cave where Zeus was born is the chief attraction, while Karphí, a Minoan last refuge, is just as weird, but harder to reach.
There are two roads up from the coast. The one from Chersónisos passes a series of old villages; above Potamiés, the lovely cruciform church at the abandoned Moní Gouverniótissa has excellent 14th-century frescoes, including a powerful Pantocrator who stares holes into sinners (key at the kafeneíon).
Images by anonymous , Garrett Ziegler, Jerzy Strzelecki, Lourakis, Lourakis (talk), Olaf Tausch, Shadowgate