Minoan settlement Karfi on Lasithi plateau.
Karfi is a crucial Minoan village east of Diaselou tis Ampelou (Seli) which is placed at the borders of the areas of Heraklion and Lasithi.

Top at Karfi
On the top at Karfi.

The village was constructed on the eastern section of the magnificent limestone outcropping and experts say it populated the entire level space amongst the highs Small and Big Koprana and housed around 3,500 residents. The title Karfi (Nail), is unusual, and it was assigned afterward because its authentic historic title was ‘forgotten’.

The village started in the period when the Minoans were pursued aside by the Dorian people who occupied Crete. It was established about 1100 BC at the location where at the top of the mountain a temple at this time existed. At this high faraway historical holy location a tiny amount of Minoan culture lived through unharmed for around four hundred years following the occupation of Knossos. In the mountains of Eastern Crete a non-Greek dialect was still being existed and frequently written into Classical times, and the individuals who spoke it continued to be recognized as ‘Eteocretans‘ – ‘true Cretans’.


The historical value of the location was initially described by Evans, however the village itself was initially identified by the English archaeologist, Pendelebury (1937-39).

 idol of the goddess
Idol of the goddess found at Karfi.

One of the most essential discoveries of the site is the idol from the goddess together with arms raised possibly prayer or blessing, having a tubular center, small legs and a bird on her top. The discoveries are actually visible at Room 11 in the Archeological Museum of Heraklion.
Not any other significant objects were found, most likely since the village wasn’t instantly demolished but instead progressively forgotten (maybe by the rough weather conditions there) its population which took their important things away with them.
Also in Karfi a number of vaulted tombs have been discovered, most of them looted. The looters arrived in the event the snow begins melting so that you can find the burial plots. In locations where you can find graves, the snow melts faster, since the air underneath increases the temperatures.

[amazon_link asins=’3763348409′ template=’ProductGrid’ store=’cretip-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’1b3bca4d-fa8b-11e6-81a8-cb4cce7631f8′]

Probably the most fascinating aspects of the ancient village is actually its arrangement of stone paved roads that highly looks like the structures of the present day settlements within the Lasithi region. The water supply to the historical village originated from Vitsilovrysi, “the source of eagles’, which can be situated close by and which used to keep much more water than it does these days.

 path to Karfi
The path to Karfi from the little chapel in the side valley above Tzermiado.

Karfi can be also reached via hiking from Tzermiado by way of a marked and satisfactory route that begins from the Papoura top (c. 1-hour walk on the E4 Lasithi hiking path) or the Nisimos plateau which goes through the Astividerou spring.

Pictures from hiking, Karfi and the view

Directions to the hiking path to Karfi

map creteLink to map with directions:
Click here: Directions Karfi.

Please share this:


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Crete Tip
Scroll to Top