The famous plateau of Omalos is surrounded by Lefka Ori (White Mountains) is located at an altitude of 1040 to 1250 meters and is just 38 km from the city of Chania.
The plateau has been a shelter for the locals and the base of rebels for two and a half centuries during the Turkish occupation of Crete, but also during all other wars against invaders.
From the plateau and specifically from the location Xyloskalo at 1250 m high, starts the path along the world famous Samaria gorge. In Xyloskalo you can find a forest outpost and information kiosk about Lefka Ori and Samaria Park.
Opposite from Xyloskalo rises the peak of Gigilos (Rotten). The peak of Gigilosis is at 2080 m and the Greek Mythology states that is was the location of the Crete-born god Zeus throne. West from Gigilos in the peaks of Agathopi (1768 m) and Psilafi (1984 m) also the Greek Mythology states that the god of gods (Zeus) was performing his chariot races.
One of the most beautiful routes in the White Mountains is the climbing of Gigilos, with a duration of two and a half hours walking. This route is quite easy. Half-way to Gigilos (one hour from Xyloskalo), is the spring of Linoseli (Seli of the Hellenes) where the water at 1500 m high is ice-cold during all seasons of the year. At ancient times there was a famous Oracle there. Just before that, there is the Demonospilio (cave of daemons), which according to a tradition was the den of daemons. In Gigilos there are many climbing routes that have been mapped out by Greek and foreign alpinists. More than 10 cave systems, rip down the surface of the mountain, the deepest of them with 115 meters vertical descent, is found while climbing towards the peak.
Southeast of the plateau a mountain road five kilometers long, leads to the mountain lodge of Kallergi, at 1680 m height. From there the view of the Cretan and Libyan sea, of the Samaria gorge and the island of Gavdos is magnificent. From the lodge one can continue mountaineering across the White Mountains towards Sfakia or elsewhere.
When climbing down the plateau, on your right there is the large cave Honos or the cave of Tzanis, where there was the den of the chieftain Tzanis Markos during the first years of the Turksih invasion. He was also called Fobos (fear), as he was actually the fear of the invaders. This cave was explored for the first time by speleologists from Chania and France. Its length reaches 2,5 kilometers, the height distance from the entrance to the depth is 241 meters and forms a huge covered gorge.
Opposite the entrance of the cave of Tzanis, on a small barrow, there is the Tower and the church of the famous chieftain of the White Mountains, Hadzimihalis Yiannaris. He was a rebel from the village of Lakki, born in 1851 and died in 1916.
Hadzimihalis Yiannaris was burried with the honors of a general, in Omalos, according to his own will. He was great in appearance and in soul and served as a general leader of Kydonia from 1866 until 1898. Hadzimihalis Yiannaris was one of the pioneers in the uprisings of 1855 and 1856 and one of the major contributors of the great uprising of 1866. He had been imprisoned many times by the Turks, but he always managed to escape. In such a hard and impossible escape from the fortress of Firkas in the town of Chania in 1860, he vowed on the success that he would build the small church of Agios Panteleimon here in Omalos next to the Tower that later became his grave. Hadzimihalis Yiannaris was for some period an exile in Odessos in Ukraine. In 1912 he became a member of the Parliament and member of the government of the Autonomous State of Crete. On December 1, 1915, he handed the flag the king of Greeks to be raised in the fortress of Firkas for the official union of the island of Crete with the rest of Greece.