Crete: Lasithi Plateau

Lasithi Plateau looks like a volcanic caldera – it is round and surrounded by mountain ridge all around while the inside is perfectly flat. In actuality, this is just an endorheic plateau, meaning it is without drainage – water comes down from the mountains and disappears here. As such, the Plateau given its elevation and colder climate as compared to the rest of Crete has been used for agriculture for millennia, probably 6000 years! Only Venetians, Ottomans, and Hitler banned agriculture here and displaced or killed all the inhabitants as Lasithi historically been the hideaway of Cretan rebels. In summer, the water is nowhere to be found so in the beginning of the 20th century a system of 10,000 windmills was built for irrigation. It was the world’s first wind farm! Only few remain these days, mostly as tourist attractions.