As you explore different parts of Greece, you encounter wonders, oddities, and glimpses of history, culture, and the daily lives of the old inhabitants. A prime example is Mitata, the ancient stone shelters of the Cretan shepherds. These mountain dwellings still stand today and reveal how people used to live and adapt to their environment. Mitata are landmarks of Crete that you should visit and learn about their fascinating story.
Mitata: The impressive ancient mountain lodgings of Crete
Mitata (plural) are ancient stone structures that dot the mountains of Crete, dating back to the Minoan civilization. They are mostly found in the majestic White Mountains and Psiloritis, where they stand out as monuments of history and culture. But what are these remarkable and old Mitata that still grace the Cretan landscape today? A closer look at a mitato (singular) reveals its unique and intricate design. It is made entirely of stones that fit together without any glue or cement. This also means that it took a lot of skill and patience to build a mitato, especially in the rugged and remote mountainous regions of Crete.
Mitata served and still serve today as mountain lodgings for some of the Cretan shepherds. These are mainly used during the summer months when the weather conditions allow for staying in these shelters. The word mitato derives from mitatum, which is the Latin term for a military camp or barracks.
The authentic Crete with its endless beauty
Crete is a place to visit all year round. Every time you go there, you will discover new things in its landscapes and attractions. There are some spots that you should definitely see, such as Knossos, the ancient palace of the Minoans. The Cretan Gorges are another highlight that you should include in your plans, especially if you love nature. In Crete, you can also find the village of Milia, which has no electricity and offers a unique experience. Another charming and colorful village is Archanes, which is considered to be a very vibrant place. And of course, there is the village of Myths and the story it has to share with you.
Don’t miss them no matter when you are in Crete. Add them to your itinerary along with Mitata. And make sure you don’t leave the island of Crete without tasting its local delicious cuisine…
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