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|The village of Archanes on Crete|
The rather large village of Archanes with its approximately 4500 inhabitants, is located about 14 kilometers south of the capital Heraklion and not far from the archaeological site of Knossos (5 kilometers). It is a mainly agricultural area and much of the wine of Crete is produced here. Archanes has a good and regular bus connection with Heraklion (at least one bus every hour during the daytime, except for Sundays). The village consists of two parts: Kato Archanes and the higher located Epano Archanes. The villages are surrounded by olive groves and vineyards. Epano Archanes is the larger of the two.
Archanes has many beautiful neoclassical houses which have been restored on the initiative of the residents or with the help of funds from the European Union. It also won an award as the second best-restored village in Europe.
In the village of Archanes are some interesting churches, like the Byzantine Panagia church with its bell tower and a collection of beautiful icons. It is opened on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 9.00 to 14.00 o'clock. The Agios Georgios church, which is situated on a side street leading of the main road, dates from 1843.
You will find plenty of shops, supermarkets and restaurants, yet Archanes remains predominantly a traditional Cretan village.
The area of Archanes has been inhabited since the Minoan times and in the village there is an Archaeological Museum where finds are exhibited from Archanes and the surroundings. This museum is open from 8.30 to 14.30 and closed on Tuesday. Admission is free. The museum is housed in a neoclassical building that formerly was the first primary school of the village. The exhibition includes Minoan pottery and utensils that were found in the cemeteries of Fourni and Anemospolia and in the palace of Archanes. Some things that are on display are replicas of objects that have disappeared to the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion. Besides the Archaeological Museum there are also a Byzantine and a Folklore Museum.
There are four archaeological sites in or near Archanes. In the village itself is an excavation with a fence around it. It is called Troullos (eastern part of the village). On the outskirts near the villages in Anemospilia and Fourni there are two more. Vathypetro on the route to Houdetsi is the fourth.
Because of the various roads that lead from Archanes into different directions to other areas on the island, this was probably an important place. Sir Arthur Evans, the archaeologist who also excavated the palace of Knossos was the first person that stated, that in all likelihood there also has been a summer palace for the kings of Knossos in Archanes. Later excavations started in 1964 and they proved that he was probably right. The palace is centrally located in Archanes in an area called Tourkoyeitonia and it dates from the Middle Minoan period.
Fourni is situated west of Kato Archanes and here on a hill a Minoan cemetery was uncovered. The site is not accessible. It is considered the most important Minoan cemetery of Crete and it dates from 2800 - 2200 BC. There are 26 buildings exposed (mainly graves) and beautiful things have been excavated here, which are now exhibited at the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion and that of Archanes. Among them is an intact sarcophagus of "the queen" in which 140 jewels were found.
Minoan Vathypetro is located 5 kilometers south of Archanes on the route to Choudetsi. It dates from the Late Minoan period (around 1580 BC). It was a settlement that extended over three hills. In Vathypetro wine was made and pots were baked. There are also many stone jars (pythoi) found here in which olive oil was stored. Much of the site has been lost over the years, but you can still see for example a mansion that contains a wine-press. It is thought that there was originally a temple in Vathypetro, and that in the course of time (after an earthquake and a subsequent destruction), the function of the building was changed. One of the suggestions is that there was a summer palace of the king of Archanes, but that is not certain. The site of Vathypetro is open all year round and admission is free.
Anemospilia lies just northwest of Archanes in the direction of the village Vasilies. Here a templ that overlooks Heraklion was excavated in 1979. This temple was destroyed by the volcanic eruption of Santorini and the subsequent earthquakes. Fire Traces indicate that the temple was burned down. It consists of three rooms and an annex. There are remnants of an altar. In the complex stone jars have been found and on some of them religious images were carved. Also they found the shattered bones of a person that had fallen under a large rock. Elsewhere in the temple some other skeletons were found. One of the finds was a sacred stone that was used in rituals.
|Villa Archanes in Archanes - good reviews|
Offering a year-round outdoor pool and barbecue, Villa Archanes is set in Archanes in the Crete Region, 12 km from Heraklio Town. Hersonissos is 23 km from the property. Free WiFi is offered . The pet-friendly accommodation is air conditioned and features a seating area. There is also a kitchen, equipped with an oven, refrigerator and stovetop. There is a private bathroom with a shower in every unit. Towels are provided. Villa Archanes also includes a fitness centre. Bali is 40 km from Villa Archanes, while Mália is 28 km away. The nearest airport is Nikos Kazantzakis Airport, 12 km from Villa Archanes.
Check availabilities and prices & book Villa Archanes on Crete - click here.
|The Green Villa in Katalagori - cheap 200 m2 villa with private pool, good reviews|
Featuring a private swimming pool and a sun terrace, Green Villa is located in Kalagarion Village, close to the village of Archanes. This stone, self-catering property offers a garden with BBQ facilities and free WiFi in all rooms. Opening to a balcony, terrace and patio with pool, mountain and garden views, the three-bedroom Green Villa includes a fully equipped kitchen and a dining area. The seating area is fitted with a fireplace and a satellite, flat-screen TV with DVD player.
Grocery deliveries can be arranged at Green Villa. Bikes are available free of charge. Laundry and ironing service are also possible. Heraklion International Airport is located 12 km away. Free public parking is available on site.
We stayed here for four days in September 2015. We were very kindly received by the owner Maria who led us through the villa and gave some explanation about, among other things, the devices that were in the villa. While doing this we found out that the DVD player did not work. An hour later she came back with her husband and a new DVD player was installed, which worked perfectly, and the "problem" was solved.
The villa is quite large (about 200m2). The three bedrooms and the bathroom (with bath and shower) are located on the ground floor. Two of the bedrooms open onto a terrace. On this floor the wifi is connected and also the internet is the best received.
Via a marble staircase you come to the large living area with an L-shaped sofa, two large dining tables with chairs and a large kitchen. You can cook with gas or electricity (for the enthusiast, we have only boiled some eggs). There is an oven, a toaster, a hot water cooker, a coffeemaker, a microwave and complete crockery with cutlery. Maria had put some things for us in the fridge and there was fresh bread upon arrival. Also on this floor there is a second toilet. The living room opens onto a large terrace with seats overlooking the green surroundings, the various villages and the mountains in the background.
One floor higher up there is another room that opens onto a large roof terrace with panoramic views. All the way down you will find a garden with seating areas, a barbecue and a table with chairs. This part of the garden turns into a lawn that leads to the pool with sunbeds and umbrella. This just about describes the villa. Everything was spotlessly clean and the owner was very nice.
Check availabilities and prices & book The Green villa in Katalagori on Crete - click here.