A Different face of Crete is here now!
They all offer one bedroom with a double bed ,as well as a separate living room with twin sofa beds. The living room, may be transformed into a dining area. Also, fully equipped kitchenette and a fully furnished balcony or terrace, with superb view of the Elounda bay.They can accommodate from 3 to 4 persons.
Individually controlled air condition unit (cooling and heating)
Plasma satellite T.V. 32" , with a selection of channels
Direct dial telephone
Wake up service
Safety deposit box
Music and radio channels
Fridge, in room
Fully equipped kitchenette
Fully furnished balcony
Wireless Internet Connection
Bathrooms with Hydro-massage in shower cabins
Make -up mirror
100% Cotton towels
Half way between the bustling seaside resorts of Aghios Nikolaos 4,5 Km and Elounda 3 Km where the extremely attractive and friendly, family-run Adrakos apartments, offers fabulous panoramic breathtaking views.
In an idyllic atmosphere ,with excellent panoramic view of the Elounda golf, and decorated and furnished with traditional Cretan style, our Restaurant is the right place to enjoy various authentic Greek and Cretan dishes, a selection of hors d' oeuvres, salads and desserts as well light meals, snacks and various coffees, refreshments and drinks.
The exceptional setting of our Restaurant, the local hospitality, the combination of Greek and Cretan cuisine with various dishes made from natural products and the refreshing modern flavors with deliciousfresh and healthy cuisine, including vegetarian dishes, together with our selection of High quality Cretan wines, creates an exclusive environment to enjoy the unique tastes of our Restaurant.
A large outdoor infinity swimming pool, with a daily cleaning and well maintained, with eco-friendly products, is available for our Guests, in a relaxing and peaceful position.
Free sun beds with luxury mattresses and umbrellas, are also available, around the swimming pool. Just next, our young visitors can securely enjoy themselves, in their own small children's pool.
Jacuzzi and Mini Gym
An outdoor Jacuzzi is available, on request, for our Guests. In the same quiet and relaxing spot of Adrakos, a Mini Gum-well equipped-is also available for a daily workout.
Awake your senses in our massage room..!!! We offer body treatments including reflexology, aromatherapy and other healing and relaxing treatments and therapies. Please see detail description of the treatments.
All apartments have treated water in order to improve quality issues.
Large free parking area
Reception desk, including airline information, currency exchange, selection of organized excursions and sightseeing general information, courier, postal and parcel services.
Laundry and dry cleaning service (with extra charge)
Medical care: 24 hours medical care, on call
Credit cards accepted
Regular local bus connection
Taxi transfer from Heraklion Airport, on request
Rent a car, motorbikes, scooters and bike rental, with special rates for our Guests
Animals/pets, are welcome in Adrakos Resort...!!!!!
At Adrakos Apartments ,we aim to help people reconnect with themselves , by providing a truly relaxing and revitalizing experience through forms of holistic healings ,taking advantage of the light and the breathtaking views of our complexoffering an absolute sense of peace ,tranquility and harmony.
Our treatments and therapies are designed to treat the needs of body ,skin and soul .They offer both ,century old knowledge adapted to the modern techniques ,focuses on health ,beauty and stress effects and stress reduction ,using natural -environmental friendly- products.
Allow yourself to enjoy some moments of true relaxation and the benefits of a revitalizing massage or a Yoga Session and experience a rejuvenation of Body and Mind..!!
Interakcija s gostima
I am in the resort whole day until late night, and you can get a plenty of help from the friends that work here, so it will be my pleasure to provide you information concerning the sightseeings,monuments, churches and my own back-roads routes, also via internet.There are some excellent short routes (15-30 min. by car) such as the ancient town of Lato and Archeotites, variety of historical monasteries and churches, mountains and sea, all of which are of unique natural beauty.
During the summer, many traditional festivals take place in the nearby regions. Our guests have the opportunity to experience traditional Cretan music and dancing.
Interesting villages to go:
SPINALONGA - PLAKA - ELOUNDA
Spinalonga is a small island near Elounda in East Crete. Spinalonga is also known as the Leper Island, as that is where lepers from Crete and the rest of Greece were quarantined until 1957.
Today thousands of tourists visit Spinalonga each summer by boat from Agios Nikolaos, Elounda and Plaka, for a tour of its ruined buildings, which the Archaeological Service is laboriously trying to maintain.According to the data for 2009, Spinalonga has (phone number hidden) visitors daily during the summer months and is the most popular archaeological site in Crete after Knossos.
The strategic position of the rocky islet for the control and defence of Elounda harbour could not but mark Spinalonga with a turbulent history of fierce battles and much human suffering.
The name Spinalonga
Today the name Spinalonga is only applied to the islet, but the Venetians used it to include the large peninsula of Nissi or Kolokytha, which is connected to Elounda by a narrow isthmus.
Apparently Kolokytha used to be joined to Spinalonga (which is why it shared the same name), but in 1526 the Venetians cut a canal between the two, forming this small island.
This information comes from the Venetian cartographer Vincenzo Coronelli, but it may not be true. However, the islet is only 170 metres from Kolokytha and the water is shallow, so perhaps the Venetians did indeed carry out this project to form an impregnable island fortress.
The name Spinalonga appeared around the 13th century, bestowed by the Venetian conquerors, who, unfamiliar with Greek, corrupted the place-name “Stin Olounda” (“at Olounda”), originally to Spinalonde (13th century) and later to Spinalonga. It is no coincidence that the small island of Giudecca near Venice was also known as Spinalonga.
According to another interpretation the name of the island is derived from its shape, like a long thorn (spina longa), but this theory is not widely held.
Much later, in 1957, another name, Kalydon, was proposed for the island, in an unsuccessful attempt to replace the Latinate Spinalonga with a Greek name.
How to get to Spinalonga
To get to Spinalonga you must take the boat from Agios Nikolaos, Elounda or Plaka.
Boats depart from Agios Nikolaos in the morning. Apart from the trip to Spinalonga, they also offer lunch and the opportunity for a swim off the beaches behind the Kolokytha Peninsula, before returning to Agios Nikolaos in the afternoon.
From Elounda harbour, there is a boat to Spinalonga every 30 minutes throughout the summer. It takes about 15-20 minutes to reach the island, while the sea voyage sometimes includes a sail around the Kolokytha Peninsula.
There are also boats from the little village of Plaka just north of Elounda. The trip from here is shorter, taking about 10 minutes, as Plaka is directly opposite Spinalonga.
Elounda is located in east Crete, north of Agios Nikolaos and south of the seaside resort of Plaka.
Elounda was once a picturesque fishing village in the lovely Mirabello Bay. The inhabitants lived from farming, fishing, salt extraction from the Venetian saltpans, and emery mining.
In the hills around Elounda is found a mineral unique to Greece, “akonopetra” or whetstone, a type of fine emery used to make whetstones and emery paper to hone tools used in many different jobs. The emery of Elounda had long been known in Europe by the name of “Turkey stones” or “Naxos stone”.
Once discovered by tourism, Elounda developed into a resort famous for its beautiful scenery and the luxury hotels which are still being built in the area. It is said to be the place with the most five-star hotels in Greece.
The former Prime Minister of Greece Andreas Papandreou was particularly fond of Elounda and came here on holiday at least once a year. He introduced it to French President Mitterand and Libyan leader Gaddafi, while Elounda was also a favourite resort of Kostas Simitis, another more recent Greek Prime Minister.
Apart from politicians, Elounda often welcomes Arab princes with their large families, film and music stars, Russian tycoons and other VIPs from all over the world. This is also part of its magic, as many people dream of spreading their towel on the beaches of Elounda, where some famous person has been swimming.
From Agios Nikolaos to Elounda. There are frequent buses from Agios Nikolaos to Elounda, while it will take you about 15 minutes to drive there in your car. The route from Agios Nikolaos to Elounda is one of the loveliest in Crete, due to the view of the coastline and Mirabello Bay.
Kroustas is a small village close to Agios Nikolaos on the island of Crete, Greece. It is located on a hill 520 m above the sea level. In the year 2001 the village had around 500 inhabitants.
Kroustas is known for its magnificent view of Mirabello Bay. It is also known for its traditional cuisine including myzithropites (special cheese pies), ftazymo bread and aiga vrasti (boiled goat).
In the past people of Kroustas were shepherds and land workers. However, nowadays, following the booming of the tourist industry in east Crete, most of the village people work in the nearby resorts of Agios Nikolaos and Elounda.
Characteristic of Kroustas is the smell of Raki distillery in October, the dry but cool summers, the dry and rocky landscape and the old ladies with the black scarfs and the wrinkled faces. What could you buy from Kroustas? Pure food like honey, almonds, walnuts, myzithra (soft sour cheese) and raki (locally distilled spirit).
KROUSTAS FOREST HISTIRICAL LANDSCAPE PARK
One of the rare forests of eastern Crete was first systematically settled and intensively used by man about four thousand years ago. In the older Minoan Palace period (ca. (PHONE NUMBER HIDDEN) BCE) many agricultural installations (pens, enclosure walls) and house foundations were built with large blocks and are visible on the surface until today. Beginning in the nineteenth century the forest was used again for small scale agriculture and animal husbandry (sheep, goats). The park offers marked paths through the forest along which many of the -unexcavated so far- Bronze Age ruins can be visited. Historical shepherd installations of the Cretan pre-industrial phase can also be seen - together with all the manifold flora and fauna of a Mediterranean mountain forest.
A alive village of Crete just at 9 km. from Agios Nikolaos.
Kritsa, as first tourist target in Greece, comes inhabited since the Minoan times, its habitants are considered direct descendants of the ancient Cretan city Lato.
During the Middle Ages and until the more recent times, Kritsa was the biggest village of Crete, with its 40 churches, extended on the entire south-west coast of Mirabello gulf until the plateau of Dikti.
It was destroyed in the 853 A.D. from the Arabs and rebuilt later (951 A.D.) by the Byzantines under the supervision of imperial colonel Nikiforos Fokas.
At Krousta(4km away village) and Kritsa you can find:
the original Cretan embroideries,
the traditional cheese pie (mizithropita), and
the ancient taste of lasagne with anthotiros (local cheese).
Into its territory are found also two of the most ancient churches in Crete, Aghios Ioannis Theologos and Panagia Kera. Kritsa by the water sources and the fertile land, today constitutes the most important traditional and cultural center of Crete, and a valid productive factor, that thanks to the quality of the native products, it succeeds to obtain every year acknowledgments and awards from the European Union.
8km from Αghios Nikolaos and 1km from Kritsa, is found the tripartite Byzantine church of Panagia Kera.
One of the most ancient churches in Crete, dedicated to Virgin Mary, Saint Anna and Saint Antonios.
The church was built in 14th century A.D. and even if exist valid testimonies for its foundation in February 1090 A.D. prevailed the 14th century A.D.
The more important element and at the same time one of those that makes it different than the remainder Cretan churches, it refers to the murals. Like:
Mistikos Deipnos (Holy Dinner),
the prayer of Saint Anna,
Christ to Hades and
Nero tis Elenxeos (elegy water), that constitutes an unknown subject in Crete.
The central department of temple is dedicating to Virgin Mary so it celebrates on 15 August.
The northern department is dedicated to Saint Antonios and
the southerner to Saint Anna.
Particular interest presents the department of Saint Anna with the unique in Crete depictions of the hell and the punishments that accompany the equivalent faults, but also the relation of these with the local convictions as well as the social organisation of those years. Another element of differentiation from all churches in the Greek territory, constitutes also the depiction of Virgin Mary with the Christ no more infant, but adolescent. An absolutely unfrequented subject in Greece, according to the files of both Ministries, education and culture.
The church celebrates one time of each year. On 15 August
KRITSA - KATHARO PLATEAU
16km from Kritsa and 25km from Aghios Nikolaos, the plateau of Katharo is lies at 1200m of altitude on the foot of Lazaros, a mount of Dikti Mountains (2148m).
Katharo by the fertile territory and shady Holm oaks, become a common target for Greeks and foreigner climbers, lovers of nature and holiday-makers. Mainly for those who desire the authentic contact with Mother earth and the absolute calm.
The street to Katharo, offers an amazing view of Mirabello gulf, during all the way up to it.
On the fertile plain of plateau was existed a lake in prehistoric era.
There are many discoveries of stoned bones that belong to big endemic animals. It is worth mentioning that the plateau is a very important point for research by paleontologists, as since the 19th century fossils of elephants and dwarf-hippos have been found, dated around 540,000 years ago. This strengthens the belief that Katharo was once a lake, around which these animals lived in those times up to the region.
Today in countryside, lives the risked of disappearance, Cretan Wildcat.
The wide area of both Katharo and peak of mount Lazaros , are protected by the European network Natura 2000
The maximum diameter of the trunk is 4,9 m and the circumference is 14,20 m. Based on the method of annual rings, it is estimated that the tree was planted in the period (phone number hidden)BC!
In 2004 the inhabitants of the region of Ierapetra suggested that the first winner of the Women's Marathon at the Olympic Games in Athens would be wreathed by a branch (cotinos) if the wild root stock of Azorias tree. The olive branch was cut at a special ceremony.
Gorge of Kritsa
The gorge of Kritsa begins at the north-eastern exit of the historical village of Kritsa and ends up at a flat area 2,5 kilometres to the north. Continuing in the watercourse from this point, one arrives at the entrance to the second section of the gorge, which is a lot more difficult. After a tiring climb, it leads to the foot of the Tsivi peak, over Katharo plateau.
The first section of the gorge is ideal for trekking. It is 2,5 kilometres long and requires approximately 1½ to 2 hours to pass through and return back to Kritsà. The elevation difference between the entrance and the outlet of the gorge is approximately 200 metres.
The scenery inside the gorge is imposing. The watercourse is thick with plane trees, oak trees, oleanders and many typical kinds of plants that are endemic in Crete. Also, numerous birds find shelter in the holes of the walls of the gorge.
These walls are impressive in height and at certain spots they close in together (1,5 metre). At certain places, one has to climb on slippery rocks in order to pass through the watercourse.
The municipality of Agios Nikolaos has the largest number of awarded beaches in Greece, and for the first time this year (2004), the marina was also awarded the Blue Flag.
CHRISSI ISLAND - Relaxation is a Nature Matter
Chrissi, an island 7km long with a maximum width of 2 km, is located 8 nautical miles south of the most southern town in Europe, Ierapetra.
From the moment a visitor comes to Chrissi, he gets magnetized by the exotic natural landscape dominated by cedar, the golden sand and the light aquamarine water.The Natural images and the rhythms of nature, immediately give the visitor a newfound sense of liberation.
A walk in the woods, swimming in crystal clear water combined with the soft smell of cedar and fresh oxygen, give the visitor a deep relaxation feeling that become unforgettable. This is the reason why chrissi island welcomes more and more visitors from around the world every year.
The island has a small bar on the north side of the island, a small tavern on the south side, an Orthodox church of St. Nicholas, a lighthouse on the northwest side, and a house on the northeast side. There are three recognized permanent residents on the island until now.
The island has a large number of shells, mainly in the north, which is one of the distinguishing features of the island.
For six months a year - from mid-May until late October there are small boats, departing from the ports of Ierapetra and Makrigialos, to the island on a daily basis. After an hour's trip around the vessels approaching the southern side of the island, which is usually calmer. The exit is in the "Vougiou Eye" where there is a small pier, reception, and the tavern.
Chrissi is protected by Natura 2000 Networking Programme, as an "area of intense natural beauty", and also has been designated as a wildlife refuge. The island hosts the largest naturally formed Lebanon cedar forest in Europe. The majority of trees have an average age of 200 years and average height of up to 7 metres, some of the trees are up to 300 years old and 10 metres tall. The density is approximately 28 trees per hectare. The contact with such a natural and unique environment, creates environmental awareness, but also requires respect for its natural functions.
About 700m east of Chrissi is Mikronisi, a rocky islet which covers 11,7 hectares. The waters around the islands are shallow. Up to 1km to the north and 500m to the south the depth does not exceed 10m, while the 5m depth contour encompasses both the islands.
Lassithi Plateau is one of the few areas in the Mediterranean with permanent inhabitants at an altitude over 800 metres.
Lassithi plateau is 11 kilometres on the east-west axis and 6 kilometres on the north-south - an area of 25 square kilometres.
Have your camera loaded as there are many photo opportunities, especially early in the morning and in late afternoon.
Dikteon Andron, the cave where Zeus was born, is located here, but have shoes with a good grip with you, as the stairs leading down to the cave are quite slippery.
There are many small villages on the plateau which maintain their traditional colour and character. Don't hesitate to come out of your car and walk along the little streets. You will be rewarded with nostalgic sights of windmill in Lassithi plateauauthentic farm living.
Reading most tourist guides about the area, you are sure to see it described as a plateau of 10,000 windmills. There are also some old black and white photos showing thousands of windmills scattered throughout the area. Unfortunately, most of these windmills, with crude pumping engines and iron towers of simple technology, no longer exist. Originally, the locally-constructed windmills made their appearance in the valley at the end of the 1800s. During the 1950s there were about 4,000 of the structures offering invaluable assistance to local farmers. Today, with more modern means of irrigation and power supply, that number has been greatly reduced, depriving Lassithi of its unique identity.
windmills in Lassithi plateauHowever, there is much renewed interest in the restoration of the windmills, which would bring back the picture of the Lassithi Plateau as it once was.
Exiting the Lassithi Plateau and heading towards Heraklion, there's an area just before the village of Kera where 24 stone flour mills dating back to the 1800s once stood. They operated until the end of WWII, but today most are in various stages of ruin, with only three restored so far.
Just beyond this area is the Kera Monastery, famous for its beautiful frescoes. Anyway, they're both worth a look-see if you have the time.
The Dikteon Cave (or Dikteon Andron or Dictaean Cave) is one of the most important and famous of the 3,000 caves in Crete and the 8,500 in Greece.
It is in the impressive Dikteon Cave, rich in stalagmites and stalactites, that Zeus was born according to legend. This is why the Dikteon Cave was already famous in antiquity, dedicated to the worship of the greatest of the gods, as the many offerings found there indicate.
In our days the Dikteon Cave continues to receive many visitors, no longer worshippers, of course, but travellers from all over the world.
VOULISMENI - FRARO – LATSIDA
A very nice walk for any visitor is the distance between Neapolis and the settlements of Fraro, Voulismeni and Latsida In the mid way between Voulismeni and Latsida, the settlement of Fraro planted all over with trees and vineyards, was first appreciated in the 13th century by the Franciscan monks who were looking for a suitable place to built their Catholic church. Voulismeni maintained for centuries its nobleness and is considered even today one of the most beautiful and tidy villages. At the west side of the village there is the church of Agia Ekaterini of the Venetian period with exceptional sculpted icons.
Four hundred metres from the village at the foot of the mountain Kavalara is located the Byzantine Church of the "Virgin Mary- the Vigliotissa", an old church destroyed by the Ottomans. Some ruins of the old cells are still saved and under the ruins there is a water spring.
Latsida, a small traditional and picturesque village, is at one kilometre westwards from Voulismeni.
VRAHASSI - SISSI - MILATOS
Seven kilometres from Neapoli is the settlement of Vrahassi spread out on the rocky slopes of Anavlohos.Vrachasi is a village of a few hundred people and typical of many around, but it has some interesting features and the traditional Cretan architecture is well preserved here. The main square of Vrachasi sits close to the road and has an excellent view into the valley below, through which passes the main highway between Agios Nikolaos and Heraklion.
Vrachasi's fiercely independent streak mirrors that of nearby Sissi and Milatos and can be seen by the many hand painted declarations of 'Demos Vrachasiou' around the area.
Sissi is located 10 km from Voulismeni, 40 km from Iraklion and 25 km from Agios Nikolaos.Sissi's main road reveals none of its particular beauty and character. It's a sort of haphazard affair, with a collection of small hotels and rent-rooms, a sprinkling of tourist shops and fast-food snack Sissi Cretebars scattered about and many cars disorderly parked this way and that. But don't get discouraged. The real Sissi, its inner soul, becomes apparent when you reach the end of that road and come face-to-face with the lovely little port in the rich, blue sea. You immediately want to stop and fill yourself with this idyllic vision, and well you should. However, parking at this point is limited, and you may have to continue to the right for several metres to the clearing surrounded by many beach tavernas. You may leave your car there, then double back to Sissi's charming port.
The harbourage, which is literally a work of art by Mother Nature, was created by the sea burrowing deep far into the land, forming a long and narrow bay, protected by a small stone wave-breaker. This bay is so deep that it's easy for someone to think it's an estuary of some mysterious river, which, of course, it isn't.
When you get to know this lovely little port you'll discover it's not "just another pretty face" - it also has a personality and history all its own. During the Cretan revolution, it was strategic spot for unloading guns and munitions for the daring Lassithi rebels. Today, there is a pier on one side of the harbour where the local fishing boats are secured, and a common, picturesque site is one of the fishermen's women cleaning the catch of the day by the shore. Sissi CreteThis fresh fish, and the other edibles of the sea, is what lures many local residents from Heraklion to Sissi's tavernas, which are built high on the port's pier. And, of course, every new visitor should remember the golden rule of dining: "If the locals eat there, you know the food is good!"
f you're a bit more adventurous or inquisitive, check out the interesting Malia archaeological site, or visit nearby Milatos, which has popular seaside tavernas. In the same area, you'll find Milatos Cave, and learn about its tragic history.
Milatos is located a few km east of Sissi and Malia, approximately 30 km west of Agios Nikolaos and 45 km east of Heraklion.
Milatos beachMilatos Beach is a by-the-sea development with many very good fish tavernas, a fishing port and a nice small beach in it. There are other beach areas, but they are very rocky.
In ancient times, Milatos (Militos) was an important city with various colonies, and was one of only seven Cretan cities that sent troops to fight in Troy.
Milatos Village, with its kafeneion-tavernas, is a picturesque community about a kilometer before the coastal Milatos settlement. Many Europeans have bought old village homes here, and refurbished them in the original style.
Armed with a camera, a walk through the narrow village streets will provide you with many wonderful snap-shot memories of your holiday.
Milatos cave lace up your sneakers and grab a flashlight and a bottle of water, and off you go to explore this very interesting site. The entrance to the Milatos cave is about a 200-metre walk over an old footpath from where you park your car, which is quite a site itself with an amazing panoramic view of Milatos Bay.
In the area's intense bas-relief, the gray of the limestone succeeds the red of the ground. Carob trees, rambling prickly and fuzzy bushes, wild olive trees and a score of other lush vegetation provide a green backdrop along the footpath.
In this natural environment are registered more than 30 cave-dwellers species. The last gallery of the central department is used for the hibernation and the reproduction by three species of bats. The fauna of the cave is mainly spiders, scorpions, isopods, orthopterons, coleopterons, generally a lot of invertebrates and endemic Cretan species the most of them colourless and blind. Only three species of spiders and one kind of scorpion are known. This cave throbs with life and is a window to the subterranean world of Mirabello.
Upon entering the cave you will be faced with total darkness, so a flashlight is absolutely necessary. After 10 meters you will come across a little church . In the first main department of the Cave was built in 1935 the small church of Apostle Thomas. It is celebrated locally the Sunday of St Thomas and is a National Feast, together with a memorial with the bones of those slaughtered by the Turks. (Every year a liturgy is performed here for those who perished.) The cave itself is large, measuring 2,100 square meters, with eight small and big entrances. It is 73 meters long, and its widest point is 63 meters. The height varies from a half meter to three meters, and its main entrance leads to the cave's central, and largest, area.
Archaeological findings indicate that human activities in the cave date back to the Neolithic period.
However, the Milatos cave is really known for a drama which unfolded with Turkish invaders in February, 1823.
Early in 1823, the residents of the surrounding area took refuge in the Militos Cave to hide from the Turkish troops of Hasan Pasha, who were plundering and pillaging Lassithi.
The Cretan rebel leaders, with a minimal force of about 150 men, fought the Pasha's large army in and around the cave in a brave defense of the 2,700 local inhabitants.
The fighting went on from February 3 to 15, until the besieged, suffering from extreme hunger and thirst, dared a heroic, but devastating escape. The defending warriors were slaughtered, many of the older ones trampled to death by oncoming Cavalry; the captured children were sold into slavery, and 18 priests were brutally killed or burned to death.
HOUMERIAKO - FOURNI - KARIDI - MONASTERY ARETI
Houmeriako is eastwards from Neapoli in the valley of Mirabello and is spread on 3 small hills. In the old days, it constituted the seat of the Municipality with its depended villages Vrisses, Limnes, Nikithiano, Exo Lakonia and other small settlements. It is one of the oldest villages in the area. On this land many interesting churches are preserved: Agios Panteleimon, Agia Triada, Agios Georgios, Agios Kirikos and Agios Antonios. The "Romana Portella"(Roman Gate) that used to be the residence of some unknown sovereign, is an important monument. Nikithiano is a settlement next to Houmeriako, at 2 km from Neapolis. Small and picturesque, this settlement is known for its windmills; 15 windmills in a straight line.
We reach the next village, Fourni, by going upward the slope. Fourni is constituted of 3 villages, Kastelli, Pano Horio and Kato Horio. The famous "School of Kerapolitissas" functioning in the past was the centre of intellectuals.
Hardly one kilometre from Kato Horio is another settlement, “Doriees” reporting to the Hellenic nation of Dories. In the next settlement of “Karidi” visitors could see the church of “Timios Stavros” (Holy Cross), the ruins of “Kardamoutsa” an old monastery as well as the Byzantine church of “Agii Apostoli” which has been qualified as archaeological because of its impressive murals.
At the end of the way we discover the historical abbey of "Areti”, dedicated to Saint Trinity and situated in the middle of a stony and arid valley planted with some olive trees, cypresses and almond-trees.
The Abbey was built during the Venetian period and has reached a big prosperity. It was the Seat of Bishops during the Ottoman domination. Today is completely restored and constitutes a unique attraction.
Kourounes (carrion crows) is in the middle region of northern Mirabello, in a distance of 4 km from Neapolis. Kourounes has got its name (at one version) from the birds, carrion crows which were living in the area. Another version says that its name is originated from the ancient town “Koroni” which was annexed to Driros.
Going north we reach the settlement of Frathia first and then the settlement of Perambela. Other smaller settlements next to Perambela, in a different and surprising landscape, are Petros, Peronides, Nofalias, Dilakkos, Adravatos, Romanos, Amigdalias, Souvlos and Finokalias.
THE ANCIENT CITY OF DRIROS
The first archaeological findings of this ancient city were discovered at the North-west side of Neapolis. Driros was completely unknown until 1855 when the plough of two farmers revealed the stone signboard with the oath of adolescents of Driros. This important finding, despite its weight, was transported by the Turkish authorities to Heraklion and later to Istanbul. It’s an important archaeological site. To be visited!
At the north side of Neapolis there is a road leading to small villages and settlements reaching down to the Cretan Sea. The visitor could access these villages from Milatos too. The first settlements are Kounali and Tsambi and then the small village of Agios Antonios. A bit further to the north we come upon the settlement of Anogia built on the slope of the mountain and not far from the sea. It’s a place known for its clean atmosphere. At the end of our way we face the splendid and unique view of the Cretan Sea and we can swim in the clear-crystal waters of this completely isolated beach of the area.
The plane tree of Krassi
In the village square of Krasi, near Malia, there are three plane trees, the trademarks of the village. The most important of them is the platan in the center of the square, which is considered to be the oldest and most majestic of the plane trees in Crete.
The perimeter of the trunk is about 24 meters and its age is estimated at 2400 years, as it is said that each meter of the perimeter represents 100 years of growth. It is bulky, has huge branches and dense foliage covering the entire square. Next to the tree there are two springs that have crystal clear water throughout the year.
The plane tree over its long history has witnessed countless events. It was the center of the social and intellectual life of the area. It is known that Nikos Kazantzakis, the most famous Greek writer, spent several summers of the decade (phone number hidden) with his friends in Krasi, the birthplace of his wife Galatia Alexiou.
The olive tree of Azorias
he legendary olive tree in Azorias is located 1km south of the village Kavoussi and very close to the homonymous archaeological site of Azorias. This olive tree is a natural monument; it is the oldest olive tree in the world! Indeed, it is grafted on a rootstock of a wild olive tree, making it the oldest sample of grafting in the world.
The olive tree has been declared by the Association of Cretan Olive Municipalities as a natural monument because of the large size of its trunk and because of its location near three ancient settlements: Vrondas, Kastro and Azorias, where several artifacts related to olive oil have been uncovered.
The tree is located on the site of Azorias, on the road leading to the settlement Avgos. It belonged in 2008 to George Grammatikakis and it is a tree of Olea europea, of the variety Mastoeidis, locally named "mouratoelia".
Zakros (Greek: Ζάκρος) is a site on the eastern coast of the island of Crete, Greece, containing ruins from the Minoan civilization. The site is often known to archaeologists as Zakro or Kato Zakro. It is believed to have been one of the four main administrative centers of the Minoans, and its protected harbor and strategic location made it an important commercial hub for trade to the east.
The town was dominated by the Palace of Zakro, originally built around 1900 BC, rebuilt around 1600 BC, and destroyed around 1450 BC along with the other major centers of Minoan civilization. Extensive ruins of the palace remain, and are a popular tourist destination.
Zakros is sometimes divided into Epano Zakros (Upper Zakros), the portion higher up on the hillside, and Kato Zakros (Lower Zakros), the part near the sea. A ravine known as the "Ravine of the Dead" runs through both the upper and lower parts of the ancient site, named after the numerous burials that have been found in the caves along its walls.
Epano Zakros is 38 km (24 mi) from Sitia. The road passes through Palekastro where it doubles back towards the south. A comparatively large village, Zakros includes in its community the following smaller villages: Kato Zakros, Adravasti, Azokeramos, Kellaria, Klisidi and the small hamlets of Ayios Georgios, Sfaka, Kanava and Skalia. The asphalt road ends at Kato Zakros.
Zakro was first excavated by D.G. Hogarth of the British School of Archaeology at Athens and 12 houses were unearthed before the site was abandoned. In 1961, Nikolaos Platon resumed the excavation and discovered the Palace of Zakro. This site has yielded several clay tablets with Linear A inscriptions.
Koufonisi (Greek: Κουφονήσι, known as Leuce in antiquity) is an uninhabited Greek islet, located 3 nautical miles south of cape Goudero on the coast of Lasithi, eastern Crete, in the Libyan Sea. The island is roughly 6 kilometres (4 miles) long and 5.5 kilometres (3.4 miles) across. It has an entire surface area of 5.25 square kilometres (2.03 sq mi). It forms a close group of islands with Makroulo, Marmaro, Strongyli, and Trachilos.
Ancient ruins cover the island and can be dated from the Minoan civilisation and the post-Byzantine era when some of the caves were used as chapels during Christian persecution by the Ottomans. Due to the wealth of archaeology the island has been described as "a little Dilos".
During the summer, the island is visited by tour boats from the port of Makrigialos approximately 18 km (11 miles) away.
There are Roman ruins on the island including a theatre, that could seat 1,000 people, a temple, a villa with eight rooms, and a number of houses (probably the homes of fishermen). There are also remnants of the statue of a deity at the temple.
Sitia is located in the eastern part of Crete, where myth entangles with culture. The surrounding area of Sitia is a place with unique natural beauty, full of clean beaches. The most popular are Vai (the only natural palm forest in Europe), Erimoupoli, Kouremenos, Kserokampos, Chiona, Karoumes and Zakros.
The surrounding area of Sitia is also, well known for it's archaeological sites. The most popular are the Minoan palace of Zachros, the minoan settlement of Itanos, Palaikastro, Petras, Praisos, Chamezi and Mochlos. You will also find a great interest in the monasteries of Kapsa, Toplou and Faneromeni. In Sitia you can furhtermore visit two museums, the archaeological and the folklore where you can be informed in the history and tradition of the area.
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