The plateau of Omalos has an irregular circled shape with a diameter of about 4klm and it lies at an altitude of 1080m. It is about 40klm away from the city of Chania. Due to its natural fortification it has always been a refuge during the Turkish occupation in Crete. Fertile once, today only a small part of it is cultivated and it is mostly used for flocks of sheep and goats to graze here. During the winter, snow may cover Omalos and the road may be closed for several days, while in spring the thaw turns it into a huge lake.
The area is of outstanding beauty and ideal for mountain hiking or walks. On the south side of the plateau is Xyloskalo, the entrance to Samaria Gorge. Worth visiting is the grave of Hatzimichalis Giannaris, who was the leader of 1866, 1878 and 1897 revolutions against the Turks.