Mountain High and Inland

Amari on map of CreteAmari

AmariMany people describe Amari as a Tuscany-like village. It does have a canvas of red tiled roofs and an impressive Venetian bell-tower on which you can climb up inside stairs and enjoy a splendid view across rooftops, a large variety of trees, with the twin peaks of Mount Psiloritis – it is impressive and worthwhile. It is a small delightful village with a couple of cafes – nearby are the villages of Opsiyias (beautiful), Monastiraki (well sited!) and Thronos with Asomaton Monastery and, rich in ancient history, Thronos – with frescoed church and old houses. The area is a delight for relaxed exploration, history and ruins, charm.


Anogia on map of CreteAnogia

AnogiaThe mountain village built on sheep! Plenty of history. Warm welcome. Great local lamb, superb views, near the Nida Plateau. Mythology has it that Zeus grew up here. Wonderful cafes and a selection of places to stay. Skiing, sometimes, nearby in the winter.


Archanes on map of CreteArchanes

Kafeneio in Archanes Archanes has just 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. Three archaeological sites are in and around Archanes.


Askifou on map of CreteAskifou

AskifouIn the heart of the Lefka Ori (white mountains), before you reach Imbros from where many choose to walk the Imbros Gorge, is another village where the Sfakian pies are good, local fresh foods can be had and the welcome is warm and inviting. Lefkoritis is on the edge of the village and has an excellent view from all it’s parts. The taverna which is packed at weekends is much favoured by locals from Chania. What is unique, the rooms here are part of the cluster of newly built stone clad buildings; they are either studio-like rooms or two bed suites with a fireplace. Furnished in a smart, traditional and uncluttered style, the interiors are a delight.
Even if you do not participate in the hunting, which is available and is the specialty here, to wake up in the mountains in comfort and with (from the suites) a balcony that looks across the Askifou valley to steep rocky peaks – that’s an experience to remember!


Avdou on map of CreteAvdou

AvdouA twenty minute drive into the hills and valleys from Hersonisos is the alternative centre of central Crete. Birkenstocks are not required! You can paraglide, set off on guided hikes, ride at a «horse-whisperish» riding centre, stay in wonderful villas and studios and dine on organically grown vegetarian food. This is also a traditional village with its Kafeneia and tavernas and an ancient church. The surroundings are scenic valley-meets-mountains, fertile lands and serenity. This little gem is well worth your time.


Axos on map of CreteAxos

AxosA steeped-in-history village in the mountains. There are wondrous views of surrounding mountains and from higher viewpoints views of the north coast and sea beyond. Axos boasts numerous historic churches, important archaeological sites and caves in the immediate area. For local and inland exploration, summer and winter, this is a real change for the traditional with a local character and «atmosphere».


Milia on map of CreteMilia

MiliaIn the well-forested mountains between Kissamos in the north and Elafonissi in the south. A recreated «village» of traditional stone houses. Endless walking trails, mountain air and if anything is a «retreat» this is it. Not only are houses traditional, most everything else is: heating by wood-burning boilers, lighting by gas/oil lamps or candles, traditional food and a real alternative feel.


Spili on map of CreteSpili

SpiliIn the middle of Crete, on the road from Rethymno to Agia Gallini, or en route from the villages of Monastiraki and Amari. Spili has the feel of an alpine village. Nestled into a foot-fold of Mount Kedros with dramatic cliff overlooking it, the small town has many rooms of simple & medium range on offer. Several eating places and local cafes and it boasts a bank and post office. Many old stone built houses on cobbled streets which lead of the square with a fountain of lions’ heads. The nearby Agios Antonios church inside a cave is an attraction. Good starting place for local walks; views from above are very attractive.


Vamos on map of CreteVamos

VamosA village on the peninsula of land between Chania and Rethymno, where many of its old – some 200 to 600 years – traditional houses have been restored and renovated to provide very characterful and interesting places to stay and experience a sample of the real Crete. Good location to enjoy nearby beaches and explore Chania, Rethymno and a huge number of interesting villages all within an hour’s drive.


Zaros on map of CreteZaros

ZarosUp in the mountains, with a lake (Votomos lake), a small body of water set in interesting surroundings in a picturesque area. From the lake starts the path to the Rouvas forest – a walk worth taking. Many lovely villages around, like Gergeri and Kamares (with a cave), provide extra sightseeing. The Idi hotel at Zaros, with pleasant rooms, gardens and swimming pool would make a pleasing change from the coast. Fresh trout is available in most tavernas in Zaros!

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