If you want to explore the real Crete, this is the best excursion for travelers who want to visit traditional villages of Crete with no fancy restaurants and touristic places, but with the help of our local knowledge and the little details we will explore the real Crete. Amazing landscape, the traditional villages of Crete, places to stop for pictures and the beautiful Cave of Sfedoni.
Our first stop in the most traditional village of the island, Anogia. This village is a large mountain village with population of 5,000 and lays on Mount Psiloritis in the central Cretan prefecture of Rethymno. The village has two aspects, our guide will escort you and guiding you until the Old Anogia which is the lower part, reached after you pass the inviting square filled with Kafeneia and traditional houses & stores selling Cretan traditional products. You are more likely to see men wearing the Cretan baggy trousers tucked into their boots, heads decorated with nets, here than just about anywhere else. We will have the opportunity to go in one of the traditional houses in Anogia to see the handmade souvenirs and watch the old way that women were used to fix handmade blankets, clothes etc.
We continue to the famous Sfedoni cave, in Zoniana village. The cave is one of the most important caves in Greece, covering an area of about 3.000 square meters. The cave’s unique and rare beauty mesmerizes everybody, establishing it as one of Crete’s most beautiful caves. Visitors are allowed to explore a route of about 270 m, along which they can admire a variety of impressive formations. Large columns create labyrinthine compartments inside the cave and stalactites and stalagmites of different colors and shapes decorate the cave’s chambers.
After Sfedoni cave it`s lunch time in Anogia village, in the tavern where you have magnificent view of the village and the surrounding area, a perfect place for your photos. The cuisine of Anogeia is typical of the traditional Cretan one. The wealth and the quality of the products of the island over the centuries had as a result a cuisine with unique taste and freshness. The secret of Cretan diet is the rich variety of products of Cretan land and the olive oil, which is used in all the dishes. Cheese, honey, aromatic plants and many other products of Psiloritis are the basis for the miracle called the cuisine of Anogeia. Top tastes are “ofto” and cheese.
On the way back to our hotels, we make a stop in Axos village and visit the Monastery Dioskouri. In Axos village we will visit the museum and the workshop and find out the aesthetic and artistic proposal, traditional elements, folklore elements (for example, the marking of the animals), sociological data (the family structure, the position of man and woman), historical evidences etc. After the museum we make our last stop in Dioskouri Monastery, one of the oldest monasteries in Crete. In the center of the courtyard there is the church of St. George. The old icon of St. George is famous to the Cretan herders who swear on that when they are accused of stealing animals.
Not included – pay on the spot:
Sfedoni Cave entrance fee: 4.00€ per adult, children until 11 years old free
Axos museum entrance fee: 3,00€ per adult, children 5-18 years old 2.00€
Dioskouri Monastery: 1.00€