- The Minoan Peak Sanctuary of Giouhtas (The mountain was very important for the Minoans since it was the first mountain they saw while their ships approached the shores of Crete. Here they built two Minoan shrines, the one at the highest point of the mountain (Psili Korfi) and the second at the position Anemospilia.)
- The historic church of Lord Christ with the peculiar architecture, unique in Crete.
- Stunning views to the eastern plains of Heraklion and the mountain range of Dikti.
- The colourful village of Archanes.
- Summer harvesting of grapes during the celebration of the Archanes Farmer Festival and many more cultural activities. (contact us for more info)
Length (km): 10| Duration : 4- 5 Altitude (m): 600 Difficulty Level 2
With 200 heritage-listed buildings, Archanes is a treasure trove of elegant neoclassical architecture. With historic routes to the ancient Minoan years, this village was a stability pole during the Ottoman and the years of the occupation. The rich and brutal past of this land is routed deep. Walk through its narrow paths and discover the secrets that the trails around it hold.
At first you will visit the Archaeological Museum of Archanes which operates since 1993 in a beautiful neoclassical building that housed the first primary school of Archanes, at the district Tzami. The collections include Minoan pottery and stone vessels found during excavations at Fourni necropolis, Anemospilia and Arhanes Minoan palace. There are also some replicas of significant findings exposed in the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion. Discover the methods the people of yester Crete used to produce their precious products, wine and olive oil, by visiting the traditional olive and wine presses. It is not surprising that the oldest wine press in the world has been found in Arhanes. After the visit to the archaeological Museum we start hiking to Giouhtas mountain, above village Archanes. Since antiquity it was a sacred place for the entire island of Crete. The human-head-like shape of it as we look from Heraklion, according to mythology is the head of god Zeus who is buried there. This sacred mountain hosted three caves- sanctuaries and a very important peak sanctuary. With the advent of Christianity the place hosted monasteries and churches. Giouhtas has amazing and unobstructed views towards all directions, although it is quite low (its highest peak reaches 811m altitude). The trail that crosses the mountain starts right next to very famous archaeological site of Spilia and ascends to the south having panoramic views across the north side of the city of Heraklion, the Cretan Sea and west to the fertile valleys Heraklion and mount Ida. In several spots, information signs are placed next to many typical shrubs and plants of Crete with information about them. Indeed, Giouchtas is a botanical paradise, especially after the prohibition of animal grazing
Note: All our tours are private and can be modified according to your interests.
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