This excursion is a trip back in time, exploring the tradition & the art of the Minaon Pottery, visit the richest monastery in Crete, Agarathos Monastery, and the birth place of N. Kazantzakis the village Myrtia and finally we will enjoy a tour in Boutari`s cellar, in the production area and the rest area of the estate.
Our first stop in Agarathos Monastery, the richest monastery in Crete. It is considered the first in the hierarchy of the monasteries of the island. In front of the church you will see a pomegranate tree with a candle near its trunk. The pomegranate is said to be the initial plant of agarathia, which was turned miraculously to a tree. Visitors of the monastery can be hosted in the guesthouse and the dining room of the monastery and admire the library with the old manuscripts. Outside the monastery, there is the old church of St. Raphael.
Second stop, is in the village Thrapsano. Thrapsano is referred as “The village of potters” in official papers of 16th century underlying its long-lasting tradition in hand-made pottery. Nowadays, the production of pots and ceramics is still continued in this workshop “Minoan Pottery” in Thrapsano, following the traditional patterns and techniques. The same movements of the hands, the same tools, and the same relationship between the chief potters and their apprentices. Even if they use modern tools, they only serve the pace of the line of production without affecting the quality of our pots.
At the lunch time, we arrive in Myrtia village. A small traditional Cretan village that displays characteristic samples of Cretan architecture. Myrtia is also the birth place of Nikos Kazantzakis and has a Museum dedicated to the famous Cretan writer. It exhibits personal objects and memorabilia that refer to the life and work of Kazantzakis as well as copies of his books. Local taverns are available for your lunch under the big ancient trees in the village`s square and as you walk in the narrow streets of the village you will meet local Cretan men drinking their coffee in the traditional café “kafenia” where only men are allowed.
Our last stop is in Skalani village in order to visit one of the best-equipped, state of the art wineries in Europe. Visitors can enjoy a tour of the cellar and they can enjoy the impressive multimedia show which has gained major awards at international competitions.
Not included – pay on the spot:
Myrtia museum entrance fee: 3.00€
Winery factory entrance fee: 6.00€
Poterry factory entrance: free