Rural & Mystic Crete
Leave the well-trodden path of island behind and discover a more rugged slice of Crete. Come along to the rustic and truly rural Crete!
Heading towards fertile Messaras Valley, we will take a small country road to reach a village of Agios Thomas. With its 38 churches - some of them carved in rocks, legend of Persephone, Indian prince Ioasaph and the Roman tombs, Agios Thomas nowadays is secluded, untamed and rustic yet utterly fascinating place - one of the best kept 'secrets of Crete' that we love to share.
We continue through the winding country roads to the Monastery of St. George Apanosifis or Epanosifis - one of the biggest in Crete yet rarely reached by visitors.
As the Cretan life revolves pretty much around food and drinks which are truly excellent here, tasting some of the local wine varieties is a 'must' and even more so - in a renowned family-owned winery in the heart of Crete's picturesque wine-making region. We continue with a lunch in a family-owned tavern in a small Cretan village - a hidden gem off-the-beaten path and one of our best food finds in this region.
Whilst the claim of Crete to be the birthplace of Zeus has been widely accepted, the myth that the god also died and was buried in the island is unique to Crete. According to the legend, the shape of Mount Yuchtas when viewed from the west, reveals the profile of a bearded head reclining as in sleep or in death and represent the face of Zeus; right here, according to the myth, in the mountain lies his tomb. Following his death, God Zeus, legend states, was reborn annually in a springtime. We will go right to the top of the mountain and have unparalleled view of the North coast of Crete.
Shall the time allow, we will have a glimpse in a traditional village life of Archanes - to walk its narrow pathways where a life takes place hidden from the public eye; village's main square, where the Cretans gather around the glass of raki (local spirit) and play with their komboloi, are the social centres of the island; the traditional cafeneios are ideal to learn the secrets of making the traditional Greek coffee (ingredients, tools) and recharge with a cup of strong, well-brewed Greek coffee.