There are many ways to explore Crete. Navigate through scenic countryside dotted with picturesque villages….
|RETURN TIME||+/- 5 hrs
|WEAR||Casual dressing and comfortable sturdy shoes. Sunscreen, hat and water are also good “travel companions”.|
There are many ways to explore Crete.
Though a cliché, it is indeed true that Crete has something for everyone, possibilities are literally endless and exciting. Key archaeological sites, scenic countryside dotted with picturesque villages, blue seas lapping golden beaches great food, breathtaking gorges and hiking trails and people that are as pleasant as the weather.
Driving towards the Akrotiri peninsula, our first visit is to the monastery of Agia Triada Tzagarolon. Built in the 17th century, with a majestic cruciform church, it is set on a wonderfully overgrown landscape of olive groves, vineyards and cypress trees. We will visit the premises and learn about their great produce of organic olive oil and wine.
Continuing our drive towards the verdant province of Apokoronas, we will stop by the Fortress of Koules, set on an impressive position with views over Souda Gulf.
Our next stop is at the tiny Maheri, one of the most authentic and unspoilt Cretan villages for a stroll around its alleys and refreshments at a typical ‘kafenion’.
The tour will then take us further inland and we will visit the studio of a known local ceramicist. The house, featured many times in Greek and international press, is an excellent example of traditional architecture, renovated in perfect harmony with the surrounding countryside.
Continuing our scenic drive along the foothills of the White Mountains, we will stop for a delicious rustic meal at a family-run tavern, located on a privileged vista point overlooking the valley and the sea beyond. Late afternoon return at your hotel.
Agia Triada Tzagarolon
The Aghia Triada Tzagarolon Monastery is built at the feet of Tzobomylos peak. It was built during the 17th century by two monk brothers, Ieremias and Lavrentios Tzagarolos, descendants of a Venetian family. During the revolution which took place in 1866 the monastery was abandoned and was used again in 1877 to house the revolutionaries’ meetings.
Walking through a long cypress tree rows you will arrive at the central gate, where two columns of Ionic and Corinthian order welcome the pilgrims. A little further towers the magnificent bell tower, built in 1864. The main church is dedicated to the Holy Trinity (Aghia Triada) and the chapels to Zoodochos Pigi (Live-giving font of Virgin Mary) and Aghios Ioannis Theologos. The museum of the monastery exhibits works dating back to the post-Byzantine period and manuscripts dating back to the 19th century or even older.
Fortress of Koules
The village of Maheri is located southwest of Chania (23 km) and near the village of Neo Chorio (2 km). It is accessible via the Megala Chorafia – Stylos – Mehori route or from the other side coming from Neo Chorio. The small village is declared a protected national monument because of the many Venetian buildings that are found here. In and around the village new developments can no longer be built. Many of the old stone houses with the large Venetian arches and an olive-oil mill are beautifully restored. Other houses are painted white or in bright pastel colors. The village is built against a mountain like an amphitheatre. To the west of the village in a crack in the rock there is a small chapel.