The village of Askifou is built on a small plateau, at an altitude of 750 meters. It is 50 kilometers from Chania and 20 km from the village Vrises. It is part of the municipality of Sfakia.
Askifou is the first village we meet when going from Vrises to Sfakia, consisting of five small settlements: Petre, Ammoudari, Stravorachi, Goni and Kares. The appellation of the village probably derives from the ancient word “skiphos” which means “cup” in Modern Greek and it is inspired by the shape of the region that looks like a vessel.
Ammoudari is considered to be the most organized tourist region comparing to the other four settlements consisting Askifou. In the settlement of Ammoudari, visitors can find restaurants, a gas station and rooms to let. The only fir in Crete is found at a house at Ammoudari!
There are approximately 500 people living in the village of Askifou who are mainly occupied in animal husbandry and in cheese making. That explains the excellent local cheeses, like cottage cheese and cream cheese. In November, many inhabitants produce the famous Cretan drink, raki.
Askifou attracts many visitors who either travel to or from Sfakia or go climbing to the neighboring mountains. Everywhere in the village, traditional Sfakian dishes such as pies (cheese pies with honey) and delicious candied (smoked pork with herbs) are offered.
From Askifou, visitors can walk up to the White Mountains. The distance between Ammoudari and the plateau of Tavris -where a mountain retreat exists- is seven kilometers long and the route takes less than two hours to be covered. During the celebration of Pentecost, a great festival takes place in the chapel built there. After the religious rite, delicious food and wine of excellent taste and quality are served to everyone.