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Category Archives: Villages of Crete

Anogia is a small town in Mylopotamos municipality, 52 km from Rethymno city at an elevation of 700-790 meters, on the chine of mound Armi.

Its name translates as “upper floors” and is due to the location on which it is situated. Thanks to the steepness of the land of Psiloritis and the rebellious spirit of its inhabitants, Anogia has always been on the forefront of liberation struggles of Cretans against various conquerors. It was conquered by the Turks in 1648 and constituted a monastery village, dedicated to the mosques of Valide Sultana, while it has also served as a revolutionary center. In May 1822, the Anogians defeated the Turks, under the leadership of Vassilis Sbokos. This triumph triggered the looting and burning down of the village by Serif Pasha on July 14, 1822, when its inhabitants had left it in order to fight at Messara. This was the first holocaust of Anogia, while two more holocausts ensued. A few months before the Cretan Revolution of 1866, a meeting was held in Anogia for the election of the chieftains of Eastern Crete. In the same year, three Anogians were included among the warriors killed during the holocaust of Arcadi, which deterred Seriz Pasha from occupying the region in a heroic way. In 1867, Omer Pasha occupied Anogia, and in November 1867, Resiz Pasha burnt down the village for a second time, only 45 years after the first holocaust. The inhabitants of Anogia also took part in the revolutions of 1878 and 1897, as well as the Macedonian and Epirot Struggles. During the World War II, the Anogians were among the first to participate in the resistance against the Nazi conquerors, creating armed groups in cooperation with the Allied Headquarters of Middle East, under the leadership of Ioannis Dramountanis (Stefanoyannis) who was executed by the Nazis on February 12, 1944. As a culmination of the resistance of the Anogians, the village was totally destroyed in August 1944. The third holocaust of Anogia began on August 13 and lasted until the end of the same month. At Armi, the central square of the village, there is an inscription bearing the order of the German commandant of Crete, which ordained the destruction of the village. German soldiers began mobbing Anogia on August 13, 1944 and initiated the gruesome task of executions, looting and destruction. Men and boys had fled to the hide-outs of the rebels and the inaccessible gorges and caves of Psiloritis. A great part of the non-combatant population found shelter in neighboring villages and survived thanks to the solidarity of their inhabitants who hosted whole families for years, in harsh conditions. Nowadays, Anogia is part of the Network of Martyred Towns and Villages, “Greek Holocausts”.

source: checkincreta

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Krasi village is a traditional mountainous village at an altitude of 600 m, 46 km from Heraklion and is situated northwest of the foot of Mount Selena (1559 m). It is located above Stalida and is just 8km after Mochos, on the road to the Lassithi Plateau. The visitor, while ascending the uphill and the winding road in the direction of Krasi, has the opportunity to admire the panoramic view of the north coastline of the Municipality of Hersonissos.

Map of Krasi 700 05

Northeast of Krasi village, at the foot of Mount Selena, we can find a forest that consists mainly of evergreen oaks and kermes oaks that are found mainly in Crete. The forest is accessible through paths that start from Krasi and Malia. The terrain in the area is characterized as rocky with the exception of a small plateau at the foot of the settlement at its northeast side which has a very fertile ground. Krasi is a rural settlement and the main occupation of its inhabitants is the olive cultivation and the animal husbandry.

From an archaeological point of view, one of the areas’ main attractions is an Early Minoan Tomb, discovered in 1929 by Spyridon Marinatos and is located at Armi, just next to the western edge of the village, about 300 meters away of Agios Georgios church. It is a circular arched tomb, influenced by Cycladic effect and contained scattered bones and shells of Minoan Period. Archaeological researches revealed residential and burial remnants of Minoan times in the wider region. References to the Venetian censuses confirm the history of Krasi as it is proved by contracts of 1280 (Crassi) as well as in 1583 where there were 169 inhabitants (Kastrofylakas, K94). No Turks inhabited in Krasi during the period of Ottoman domination.

krasi villageAs for the village itself, visitors, arriving at the square of Krasi, can see three huge plane trees and Vrises (water fountains) that dominate the landscape. Among them, the largest perennial (2400 years old) plane tree is found next to “Megali Vrisi” (large water fountain) which consists of two fountainheads that flow clear and potable water all year round.

Krasi village is also known that Nikos Kazantzakis spent several summers with his friends during the decade of 1910-1920 in Krasi which is his wife’s, named Galateia Alexiou, birthplace. In Krasi, he was calm and felt inspired which was reflected in his works. For instance, in “Kapetan Michalis” there are many scenes which were set in the shade of the old plane tree in Selena. People of the Spirit chose Krasi in order to get rest and it was a place of inspiration and creation for them. For this reason, “The House of Literature” was created in the village in 2009 in a building of 1882. This building was formed by the technical direction of the Municipality so as to have the ability to accommodate new writers and people of the spirit. There are 13 houses of literature in Europe. The countries participating are: Germany, Belgium, Spain, France, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Holland, Slovakia and Sweden. In 2000, the International Literary Translation Centre was established.

krasi villageA walk in the picturesque narrow streets of Krasi, where stone-built houses of Cretan architecture and well-preserved historic churches are found, is enough for the visitors to experience at first hand the warmth and hospitality of the local residents. There are also several cafes and traditional taverns that are famous for their traditional dishes cooked in wood ovens.

The settlement of Krasi belongs to a protected natural area (NATURA 2000) while the monumental plane tree was proclaimed with the Presidential Decree 29/8/2011 as a preserved monument of Nature.

Source : http://landofexperiences.gr/travels/krasi-village/


Seaside settlement of Agios Pavlos is located 58 km south of Rethymno, west from Agia Galini, on the edge of Akrotiri Melissa. To get here you have to pass the villages of Akoumia or Saktouria.

Ag. Paulos it is a quite tranquil place, hidden in a windy bay, suitable for family holidays or one day relax. In the bay there is a beautiful beach with deep green waters and a wonderful sandy beach. Nearby there are several rooms for rent and taverns, where basic services (umbrellas, beach bikes, etc.) are provided.


the perfect beach attracts most of the visitors, some of them prefer to visit St. Paul village itself, to have short accommodation and food there. The Akumiani Gialia, is located behind the western edge of the bay and is probably the best beach in Rethymnon area.. You can get there from a path that starts from St. Paul village. According to newer researchers, Saint Paul visited this beach and harbour for the start of his trip to Rome.


Monument of the Battle of Crete

Plakias in Rethymno, Crete is located on the south coast of Crete about 30 minutes by car from the city of Rethymnon. Most of the houses in Plakias are located close to the cove of the village with a great view to the bay of Plakias which has the shape of a crescent. The development of the place started in 1970. Until then there were less than 10 residences.

Plakias Coast Line
Plakias Coast Line

Although Plakias is a small littoral village, you can find everything you want. There are many shops, super markets, rental cars offices and travel agencies. However you will not find a bank, so be aware to have enough cash with you or a credit card. There are a few cafeterias but it cannot be characterized as a place with an intense night life. If you choose to spend your holidays here, it will be because of the beautiful beaches and the clean waters of the place.

The Beaches Οf Plakias

Plakias
Plakias

Plakias’ beach starts from the village and extends eastward. It is one of the biggest beaches in Crete and can satisfy all the tastes as its east side is offered for nudism. There are also showers along the beach and enough space for parking. During your stay in Plakias it is possible that you will experience very strong south winds. In this case, you can visit Souda beach in the west side which is sheltered from the wind. There you can find a few taverns to eat.

plakias-beach
Plakias Beach

Other beautiful beaches near Plakias are Damnoni, Ammoudi and Mikro Ammoudi. Mikro Ammoudi is also offered for nudism. Other beaches, a little bit farther, are Lefkogia and Sxinaria suitable for those who love diving. You will find a diving center also in Plakias.

The Church at Kotsifu Gorge
The Church at Kotsifu Gorge

If you visit Plakias in Rethymno you will certainly hear about the palm forest and the lake in Preveli, two of the most popular sights in Crete with natural and unique beauty. Palms grow on the edge of river which stems from Kourtaliotiko gorge (you will drive through this gorge to reach Plakias). You can wander the paths of the palm forest, enjoy the trees’ shade or take some dives in the river.

On the estuary there is a beach with umbrellas and a canteen providing coffee and refreshments. You can reach Preveli by boat from Plakias and Agia Galini or by car. If you get there by car, you can visit the Monastery of Preveli which is located near the beach but you will have to descend several steps in order to reach to the beach.

Monastery of Preveli

The necropolis of Armenoi is situated 8 kilometers south of the town of Rethymno, on the main road which leads to Spili and to the south coast of Crete (Plakias, Agia Galini). The cemetery, which is the greatest Late Minoan III A-B (c. 1400-1200 B.C.) cemetery, was discovered on a low hill called Prinokephalo, which means “the hill of the wild oaks”.

Systematic excavations started in 1969 and 231 tombs, including one tholos tomb, have been uncovered up to the present time. The main characteristic of the Armenoi necropolis is that initially there was an overall plan for the cemetery which included special areas designated for the wealthy tombs and the poor ones. However, this plan was abandoned during the Late Minoan III B period and resulted in a mixture of large and small tombs throughout the cemetery.

All the tombs, with the exception of the unique built tholos tomb, were dug into the rock, and each consists of a corridor and a chamber (rock-cut chamber tomb with road). The corridor is composed either of a staircase or a ramp. The wealthier tombs possessed tombstones of different sizes.

Each tomb would probably represent a family group, containing multiple burials, either placed directly on the floor or inside larnakes. The grave offerings – pottery, weapons, tools and jewellery – provide us with useful information on art, religion and social organization of the period.

According to the osteological analysis the average age at death for the adult males and females was approximately 31 and 28 years, respectively most of the female deaths occurred between the ages of 20 and 25, probably a result of the dangers associated with childbirth. The chemical analysis of bones showed that the people buried at Armenoi had no marine food in their diets, but in general they ate a fair amount of animal protein and plants. They suffered from a range of infectious and nutritional/metabolic diseases, as well as from dental caries.

The main finds in the tombs were clay larnakes, fine decorated pottery bronze arms, utensils and ornaments, as well as seal stones and necklaces from semi- precious stones. Among the most important finds are a boars’ tusk helmet, a basket made of reeds and decorated with small bronze pins, a steatite pendant with a Linear A and a stirrup jar with a Linear B inscription.


The scenic village of Zaros is one of the most important villages in Psiloritis Riza and one of the most historic main villages of Crete with a total population of 2,000 who mostly work in agriculture, tourism, beekeeping and animal husbandry.

It is approximately 45 km from Heraklion and its name derives from the words Za(much) and Rous(flow). The area has always been inhabited during the times of recorder history, due to the abundance of water. Also, there used to be quite a few watermills, whose ruins remain along a water canal, while nowadays there is only one working at Votomos. The natural environment of Zaros is quite rich in ecological and geomorphological terms, and features special landscapes. Its environmental resources are unique and its flora and fauna is of special value. At the same time, it features some significant cultural elements, discovered in traces that date from the Late Minoan period until our days. Its natural and cultural adequacy, as well as the utilization of traditional farming activities have provided a solid ground for sustainable development. Nowadays, in Zaros, there is a regional health clinic, a kindergarten, an Elementary School, a Junior High School, banks and hostels for visitors. The Byzantine monasteries decorated with magnificent murals, the gorges, the crystal-clear beaches of the South and the live concerts of Cretan music are some places that are worth visiting in this naturally beautiful region.


The scenic village of Zaros is one of the most important villages in Psiloritis Riza and one of the most historic main villages of Crete with a total population of 2,000 who mostly work in agriculture, tourism, beekeeping and animal husbandry.

Zaros

It is approximately 45 km from Heraklion and its name derives from the words Za(much) and Rous(flow). The area has always been inhabited during the times of recorder history, due to the abundance of water. Also, there used to be quite a few watermills, whose ruins remain along a water canal, while nowadays there is only one working at Votomos. The natural environment of Zaros is quite rich in ecological and geomorphological terms, and features special landscapes. Its environmental resources are unique and its flora and fauna is of special value. At the same time, it features some significant cultural elements, discovered in traces that date from the Late Minoan period until our days. Its natural and cultural adequacy, as well as the utilization of traditional farming activities have provided a solid ground for sustainable development. Nowadays, in Zaros, there is a regional health clinic, a kindergarten, an Elementary School, a Junior High School, banks and hostels for visitors. The Byzantine monasteries decorated with magnificent murals, the gorges, the crystal-clear beaches of the South and the live concerts of Cretan music are some places that are worth visiting in this naturally beautiful region.