Archanes has won awards - 2nd best restored village in Europe and 1st in long term development prospects. Streets have been newly stone-paved, there are more splendid displays of blooming flowers, fruit trees and plants in the yards, terraces and balconies of the houses - a walk around the back streets is a pleasure as a result.
The E4 hiking path goes though Arhanes Village as well.
There are four archaeological sites - one in the village (a fenced excavation) and three close by, at Anemospilia and Fourni (on the edge of the village - a Minoan graveyard). Vathypetro on the way to Houdetsi is worthwhile not only for the finds, but also some of the most magnificent views of Crete which you can see from the site - a unique vantage point. A lot of very significant finds of the Minoan era came from the broader Archanes area.
In the center of Archanes village, at the point called Tourkogeitonia , excavations revealed a group of buildings , probably a summer palace , which dates back to 1900b.C. Within a close distance from Archanes, in Vathypetro , has also been excavated a Minoan villa that was once used as a handicraft producing oil , wine and pottery.
A prehistoric cemetery, which had been used for more than 1000 years, was discovered at the northwest of Archanes , on Fourni hill. Its long use allows the recognition of many types of tombs. At Psyli Korfi , the top of the ravine that separates Fourni hill from Mount Giouhtas, lies one of Crete's most important sanctums, which was used for a long period of time as a worship place.
On the southwestern side of Mount Giouhtas visitors will find two more sights known as "Hosto nero" and "Spilios tou Stravomyti".
On the northern side of the mountain, at the point called "Anemospilia", were discovered remnants of a Minoan temple, unique for the variety and wealth of its findings.
The town of Arhanes is located at the foot of Mountain Giouchtas that is considered to be the most important mountain in the area, not only because of its location and its shape that looks like a human head, but also because of its archeological and ecological value. Giouchtas is 811m. high and according to mythology was the place where Zeus was burried. Besides, the human shape of the mountain is related to Zeus, too. The ecological park of Mountain Giouchtas consists of the mountain itself and three gorges: the knossano gorge, the gorge of Kounavoi and the Astraciano gorge, which is the longest one.
It is worth visiting the exquisite byzantine churches of the area, the Folklore Museum, the Museum of Cretan History and Tradition, the sculpture workshop, the restored olive oil factory "Helen" and the Church of the Holy Mary of Archanes, where icons and ecclesiastic vessels/ implements of great importance are on display.
The Church of Archangelou Michael (Bodiless) was built in the 14th century AD and there are frescos dated between 1315 -1316 with the most characteristic picture is that of Christ in Frankish clothing.
Church of Virgin Mary in Upper Archanes, 14th century, besides being a holy place of worship marked with legends and traditions, it is also an Ecclesiastical and National Museum with icons and ecclesiastical objects of great values.
Church of Christ on the legend mountain of Youchtas is built with stone and covered by arches and is dated in 1443 AD. There is a solemn celebration on August 6th, Day of Transfiguration.
Another important monument is the Morosini aquaduct at the gorge of Agia Eirini. This aquaduct is considered to be a great project of its time. It used to supply the city of Heraklion which suffered from drought with water from the springs of Archanes through a stone built water pipe that was 15 km long. It was used during the Venetian Period, during the years of the Turkish occupation and more recently until 1927.
Just a few kilometers away there is a main reason to visit the village of Mirtia or Varvaroi and this is for the Nick Kazantzakis Museum a worthwhile visit even if you are not a fun of this well-known writer. One of his novels is "Zorba the Greek" the first and most celebrated novel. The museum contains some of his personal belongings (pipes, glasses, pens, etc.) and a rich collection of his manuscripts and letters, first Greek editions of his books, documents from theatrical productions of his works, copies of TV series and movies based on his novels, portraits of Nikos Kazantzakis, copies of press releases and articles on his life and work.
In addition, you can visit Knossos and the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion ( don't miss this one at Arhanes) as they are only a 10-20 minute drive from Archanes.
Visit The Tamiolakis Estate which is located in the nearby village of Houdetsi. It belongs to the viticultural VQPRD zone of Peza, the largest of the three wine producing areas in the Prefecture of Heraklion.
A daily guided trip to Agiofaraggo beach, a secluded splendour. Even if you wish to find spirituality, climb some steep rocks or simply enjoy nature, then you found the right place!
More exciting activities at Heraklion Perfecture.
|Hotel Information||Recommended For|
|Type:||Houses||Architecture & style :|
|Rooms:||3||Village Atmosphere :|
|Pool:||NO||Nice atmosphere :|
|Dining:||Breakfast & Dinner (on request)||Cheap & Chic :|
|Children:||YES||Family hospitality :|