The Askifou plain is located on the main road to the south from Vrisses to Hora Sfakion – about 14 km from Vrisses and 17 km to Hora Sfakion. The name Askifou is said to derive from the ancient word Skifos, which means cup, as the circular plain looks like one. Around the plain there are small villages – Ammoudari and Petres on the west side, Kares on the north side and Goni against the east side. Ammoudari is the main village. In Kares is a private war museum. The plain hight is 700 m. In the winter there can be snow. The inhabitants are occupied with raising live stock, farming (grains, cereals, potatoes, grape), cheese and wine making and producing the Cretan liquor Raki. There are many walnut trees in the area, as well as fruit trees and honey flowers.
From the Askifou plain there are several walking routes:
1) from Kares via Asfendos down the Asfendos gorge to Ag. Nectarios on the south coast, mainly on cobbled mule tracks and farmer roads
2) from Ammoudari zigzagging up the mule track to the rim of Tavri plain and turning south to the Tavri Refuge (1200 asl) and Niato Plain . From Niato it is possible to walk south to Imbros or Anopolis mainly on farmers roads, or up to Kastro (2218 asl), and also the long and streneous route into the higher mountains westwards of Lefka Ori.
3) from Goni to Kallikratis and Asi Gonia on old mule tracks an easy walk around the plain from Ammoudari, Petres, Goni, rounding Goni on the southern and the eastern side, north to the Turkish fortress, Kares and back to Ammoudari.
After the Battle of Crete in 1941, many of the Allied forces retreated through this areas on their way to Sfakia. At that time the road was on the eastern side of the plain.
The ruined Turkish Fortress is placed on a hill on the north-eastern side of the plain. It can be seen all around the plain and is the first to meet you when entering through the pass before the plain from the north. This fortress is one of several built after the failed 1866 Revolution during the struggle for independence. There are very good wiews from the hills of the fortress and the cache place over the plain and the mountains surrounding the the plain.
The cache is placed on the hill north of and next to the ruined Turkish Fortress. We do not know how safe it is to enter into the open area inside the fortress, so be careful. It is about 100 m from the hill where the cache is placed over to the ruined fortress on a stoned path
How to get there
Drive the road from Vrisses against Hora Sfakion, about 14 km. Recommended parking along the eastern side of the road when entering through the small pass and have the Askifou plain with the Turkish Fortress before you. Starting point for walking is in the end of this area on N35 17.936 E24 11.730. From here it is a path down to a crossing of paths (N35 17.668 E24 11.659), take the path against west that is going up and ends on the hill with the cache. Here can be one or two fences for the goats and sheeps. They are normally easily opened by rope or wire. Just close them again. There is also a path southward to Goni and one westward and down against the plain. A new sheepstall on the edge of the plain with strong fences around it, has stopped this way to the fortress.
The cache is a curver plastic box 10x10x15 cm. with a few smaller things inside, log-book, pen and pencil. Please set it back just like it is found. Spoiler photos are enclosed.