Mochlos is a small picturesque fishing village located In the gulf of Mirabello in Eastern Crete, easily within reach of Agios Nikolaos, Ierapetra and Sitia (all an easy one hour drive), the possibilities for exploration and sightseeing are numerous.
At the end of a narrow road winding past massive open-cast quarries, tranquil Mohlos Village is an off-the-radar gem along Crete’s northern shore.
In this pint-sized small and charm fishing, village time moves as gently as the waves lapping the pebble-and-grey-sand beach.
A great place to relax, soak up the peacefulness of the place and enjoy a leisurely meal in one of the excellent waterfront cafes and tavernas.
At Mohlos Village you won’t find any all-inclusive hotels, night clubs or fast food outlets, and that’s what makes it perfect.
With only a handful of tavernas, a couple of shops, and two taxi men to the town, it’s ideal for a quiet little weekend getaway or maybe longer, no noise, no pollution, and you can eat at maybe some of the best tavernas in Crete whilst looking over to the Minoan site, just a 5-minute boat ride away (You can swim if you’re brave).
There is one small sandy beach, however, if you don’t mind rocks, there’s plenty of opportunities to get into the water around the seafront, great for a little snorkel. Just beside one of the tavernas, there is a natural rock pool which is heated by the sun during the day making it the perfect spot to have a little relaxation and take in the views.
Take the boat to the island which is a sight of an ancient Minoan settlement where tombs, buildings, and houses have been discovered over the past few decades.
The local tavernas offer fresh fish, dried squid dried out during the day before being cooked, local lamb, chicken, cheese pies, fresh taramosalata, greek salad, potatoes, and not forgetting a few good sips of Mythos or Retsina to wash it all down or maybe a local wine.
Mochlos was first excavated by Richard Seager in 1908 at the western end of the island, where a prepalatial cemetery was found. At that time, tombs, pithos burials, and pit graves were uncovered, as well as two large tombs at the western tip of the island. In the 1970s, Jeffrey Soles documented the tombs and cemetery uncovered by Seager. The cemetery was in use from Early Minoan II to Middle Minoan IA.
The main Minoan settlement is at the south end of the island. The earliest buildings are from Early Minoan IB and the ruins visible today on Mochlos date from the Late Minoan IB. Northwest of the modern town of Mochlos, a three-story building was found from the Late Minoan I period. The building included two-pillar crypts, a staircase, and a kitchen. This building is the largest of the Late Minoan I town.
Two buildings were also uncovered behind the modern town of Mochlos. Both are artisans' quarters. One was used for crafting bronze, ivory, and stone. The other was for making pottery. Both buildings contained a shrine. Excavations continued 1989-1994 under the direction of Jeffrey Soles from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Costis Davaras from the University of Athens.
Some excavations continue, but the core work on the project is the study and publication of data.
How to get there
- We recommend that you rent a car, other means of transport are limited and infrequent (you cannot reach Mochlos by public transport).
- By Air: From May through mid-October there are direct charter flights to Chania and, more frequently, to the capital Heraklion. Tickets can be bought in advance for almost all flights via our partner website.
- By Sea: The journey is the thing". A superb way of enjoying the journey to Crete is to fly to Athens and take the ferry from Piraeus (Pireas) - the port serving Athens. A still-romantic way to travel by the overnight ferry from Piraeus to Chania-Souda port or Heraklion Port. Tickets can be bought in advance for all ferries via our partner website.
- By Car: If you want to explore the region while you're here, we recommend that you rent a car, other means of transport are limited and/or infrequent. We suggest our sister website, which offers competitive prices and you can collect your car at either airport.
- By Taxi: Book your taxi transfer online easily and safely from the airport or port to any location via our partner website.
Where to stay
- Fantastic sea views and comfort, warm hospitality ... Mochlos Mare Apartments
- Mohlos Villas, comfortable well-fitted villas with a private pool on a perch sea and island view.
What to see & do
- Visit the archaeological site of Mochlos, the American archeologist R.B. Seager discovered the archaeological site of Mohlos in 1907, after following the instructions of a local fisherman. The following year, the excavations began on the little island, which revealed 20 built tombs and about 12 habitations.
- The Psira islet looks within swimming distance, especially when the weather is calm, but it is easier to arrange a ride with a local fisherman if you want to go over. Pseira ss a small island ίn the northwest of Mochlos and is uninhabited now and barren.The name has alternative spellίngs and must have come about because the shape of the island seemed to resemble that of a louse ( psira : louse). South-west of the island, tucked into the corner of the bay of Merambello, is another tiny island called Konida – «the nit». In Psira a Minoan settlement of 15-20 acres has been found, being one of the most important sites in Crete. The small Minoan town on the island of Psira was first excavated by the American archaeologist Richard Seager in the first decade of the 20th century and more recently by Philip P. Betancourt and Costis Davaras, whose work from 1986 provides much of the information. The town began life as a small settlement as early as the Final Neolithic period and continued to grow throughout the Minoan period, reaching its highpoint during the Late Minoan IB period (1500-1450 BCE) when the Minoan palaces were also at their height. Excavation at the House of the Rhyta disclosed evidence for some Minoan cult practices that adds to our understanding of some Minoan rites, though the core meaning they evoked escapes us. In three different structures cult activity involved the use of rhyta, drinking vessels in several forms, all with a hole at the base, a bull-shaped vessel, triton shells, and chalices, and a large number of cups. “Cult practices involving large numbers of rhyta continued into successive periods in the Late Bronze Age, as is demonstrated by an interesting religious structure at Ugarit (modern Ras Shamra, Syria) with 15 rhyta, including Mycenaean and Minoan examples,” Betancourt observes. Chemical traces in a rhyton suggest barley, beer, and wine. All of these ritual vessels were stored in between their periodic seasonal use when large groups would gather in upper-floor rooms that had lime-washed and painted stucco reliefs on the walls and a floor that was ritually whitewashed (in the building fronting the plateia) or paved with stone slabs (House of the Rhyta). In the House of the Rhyta, there was a kitchen space below, too substantial for the occupants of the building alone; it had a corner hearth, a mortar built into the bedrock in the opposite corner, and grinding rocks. The drinking rites that were observed in the upper room were apparently accompanied by feasting. Numerous very good finds οf the Minoan era were discovered especially pots. The settlement was twice destroyed once due to an earthquake and after that by the volcanic eruption on Santorini.
- During the Summer, the locals organize several social events such as fishing contests (especially during August) and if you're lucky, you might meet and participate in some of the events.
- In front of the small village, you will find the small sandy beach of Mochlos with clear waters. The beach is no organized but there are basic facilities. If you head to the east, you will find the second bay of the village, which is smaller and rockier. If you keep going east, after approximately 350m, you'll find several secluded small bays with round pebbles. The area is also ideal for snorkeling and fishing, as the rocky bottom is home to plenty of fish.
- Keep an eye out for sea urchins while bathing at Mochlos: they flourish in the clear, unpolluted water( the mini-market sells protective plastic shoes). In the mornings, you'll see divers collecting them for restaurants along the coast, which serve up the roe as achinosalata - a much-prized delicacy.
- Visit the nearby village of Tourloti (7.5km) a real paradise with its small kafenia but with fine views. If you want some more gorgeous view, you must go up to the central church of the village, from where you can see all the Mirabello's Bay, Agios Nikolaos, and Elounda. If you are a fan of the rural and country-side life of Greece, then you should visit this cosmopolitic village of Sitia Province, and meet the beauty of the eastern region of Crete.
- Maybe one day on your way to Sitia, just beyond the village of Skopi, you will come to a track signed left for the Faneromeni Monastery. After a partly asphalted around 5 km track you will approach this monastic church overlooks a gorge near to the sea, standing as a metaphor for recent Cretan history, the church has been battered but still stands unbowed. Unfortunately, most of the frescoes have been destroyed.<.p>
- Mochlos Donkeys, yes take time and discover Crete at a donkey's pace. Experience a different adventure walking with Karina's and Sandrine's long-eared friends and discovering the lovely nature of the hills surrounding Mochlos village.
- Have a look at our exciting activities in East Crete.
Where to eat & drink
Mohlos or Mochlos village offers exceptional eating and recreational facilities. Picturesque tavernas "lapped by the waves" offer authentic Cretan cooking, based on the local olive oil, the best in the world, wonderful seafood tidbits and specialties, and other gastronomic delights, while small bars offer low-key modern entertainment
The reviews for the Mochlos Village