Skinakas Observatory is a joint research facility of the University of Crete and the Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas (FORTH). Its prime objective is to conduct fundamental research in Astrophysics and to promote it along with enjoying the wonders of the night sky among students and general public in Greece. It currently houses two fully functional telescopes: a 1.3m modified Ritchey–Chrétien telescope and a 0.3m Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. A 0.6m fully robotic Cassegrain telescope is expected to be operational in a restored dome by the 1.3m telescope at the end of 2020.
The observatory is located on top of Ida mountain in Central Crete at an altitude of 1750m. The line-of-sight distance of Skinakas from the city of Heraklion is just 25km, a rather winding 50km drive by car, which takes a bit more than an hour. Along the fully paved road, nearly 20km before Skinakas, one passes the historic town of Anogia, which is well known for its significant role in the recent Cretan history. About 6 km to Northwest from the Observatory there is Ideon Andron, the cave where, according to the Greek mythology, Zeus the mighty Olympian god, grew up as an infant.