Tour around Crete: from Anogia to Rethymnon
Anogia, Zoniana Cave, Bali, Miloi Gorge, Rethymnon, Argiroupolis, Lappa, Kournas lake, Georgioupolis, Hania.
After a night's rest at Anogia we head to Zoniana and Sentoni Cave. It's located 1 km past the village and it's considered as one of Crete's best.
Next destination is the village of Kato Doxaro. There is a sign there showing
to a dirt road leading to Moni Vossakou. We follow the road, open a gate
and go through it and soon we reach the prettier old monastery of Crete.
It's abandoned and half-ruined but it's really worth-seeing. There is a road
past the monastery but (so far) it leads nowhere.
We return to Doxaro and keep driving to Drosia. Right at the entrance of the village there is a sign to Theodora. This is a small village, half-abandoned, revealing an image of the past.
At Drosia there are a couple of taverns serving grilled meat. It's time for some lunch.
We drive past Drosia to Aloides and go through the village to Sisses. We drive towards Rethymnon and ask for a room at Bali.
Twenty minutes past Bali there is the town of Rethymnon. We take a walk in the narrow streets of the old town and have a cup of coffee at the Venetian harbour.
In the afternoon we take the road to Hromonastiri. Take care for the road signs as they are not very easy to notice. 100 m past the village there is a sign showing the path to Miloi Gorge.
Miloi (water mills) is an abandoned village inside a small, wooded gorge. There is a small river flowing inside and, if you come here at the beginning of summer there is going to be enough water. At April and early May there are many wildflowers too. There is a cafe at the middle of the gorge; I think it is serving food too.
As you walk along the path you will cross a cement bridge. You may go to the right up to an old chapel and then return the same way up to the abandoned village or turn left and go straight to it. I think Miloi is the better way to see the old Cretan architecture. It's amazing how these old houses fit into their surroundings (I wish I could say the same for modern houses too). If you look carefully you will notice the ruins of a couple of watermills. The path continues past the village for 30 more minutes, until you reach a dirt road. In order to get back to your car you have to walk all the way back, 2 hours in total.
If you have the time, Hromonastiri is a worth-seeing village as well.
We drive to Episkopi and take the road to Asigonia. Before reaching there we stop at a chestnut and plane-tree wooded place with many small waterfalls and a few taverns. This rare (in Crete) place is located next to the village of Argiroupolis.
Argiroupolis is built on the ruins of Lappa, a great dorian and Roman city. It is worth wandering around the narrow streets of the village and admiring the ruins. If you are not too tired ask a local to show you the way to "5 virgins ( pente parthenes)" chapel; it's a chapel inside a cave and there are many Roman tombs in the area also.
We take a stop here and then drive to Kournas lake. It's a pretty small lake with a few taverns by its coast. We are really hungry by now and our definite selection is the tavern of Agapinakis in the nearby village of Kournas. His salad, as well as the lamb chops and loukanika ( Cretan sausages) are famous in Crete. If you can still eat something more, then for desert ask galaktompoureko.
A few km past Kournas (you have to drive back to Georgioupolis) we reach the city of Hania; this is the end of our long tour.
NOTE FROM YANNIS SAMATAS, THE CREATOR OF THIS SITE
I have tried to give a detailed picture of the many, different locations in Crete. However there are many places skipped, as well as trekking routes. It's up to you to explore more and find your ideal route.
Many people are excited when they plan their first visit to Crete and they try to fit everything in their schedule. Don't do that! Take it easy and go for a relaxed plan. Exploring is not about seeing everything in a single trip. Take your time, enjoy and study each place you visit.
I really hope that you will have such a nice time in Crete that you will come back again and again or even decide to stay here and become a Cretan too!
I wish you a great vacation in Crete,