Walk around Kritsa backstreets
The circular walk in Kritsa will take circa one hour excluding any time you take to view churches, shop or use a taverna on the return leg.
The walk includes some steep and/or stepped stretches but is all-downhill at the end!
- Park in the main village car park shortly after Argiro Rent Rooms
- Leave the car park using the exit that goes uphill
- Turn right and continue uphill with the post office (photo –>) on your left
- At the bend leave the main street and go straight ahead between houses
- After the left bend, you can see the remains of the first mechanical oil press owned by the local cooperative
- Part of it has recently been re-roofed and there are plans to turn it into a cultural heritage central dependent on gaining necessary funding and agreements
- At the main road, cross over and head for the small church (photo –>) you can see ahead of you
- As you pass this Square look in the building on the right and you may see women working at a loom.
Look to your left to see a bust of Rhodanthe, known as Kritsotopoula heroine of the resistance against the Turks in 1823. Read more about the history of Kritsa
- When you reach the small church take a walk around it and if the door is not open take a peak inside; at the front you can see the Moslem modifications from when the use was changed to become a mosque (at least one other church in the village was treated similarly)
- When you leave from the front of the church turn right up a small residential street following it up 9 steps (photo –>); as you walk along you may get a whiff of an earthy smell, a donkey lives on the right behind a blue door.
- At the top of the steps, turn left and continue up to a road
- At the road turn left; take care here it is busy with all sorts of vehicles including the bus
- Take the first right turn that goes up towards the church dedicated to St Panteleimon; to the right of this church is a handy tap (photo –>) if you need refreshment.
- After the tap, take the left turn
- Take the second left turn, immediately before a taverna, and walk up the street
- Continue to follow the street up and eventually it becomes a wide set of steep steps upwards
- At the top of the steps, cross the road to the taverna called “To Plai” and take the road that runs along to the right
- This flat concrete road gives you a chance to get your breath back and admire far reaching views across the village, over olive groves and up to the Thripti Mountains; look up to see the Kastello rocks and the road to the Katharo Plateau
- Pass a small church up on your left and as you pass between houses on both sides of the street you will see steps ahead of you (photo above)
- Go up the steps and then pass in front of the house covered in bougainvillea
- Now the path narrows to go down uneven steps, bends left and continues down more steps
- At the T junction turn left and then right following the steps down
- Turn left into Kritsotopoula Street (another handy tap if you need more water)
- The last house in the street on the left is Kritsotopoula’s house, it is locked but you can peak in a barred window
- Next is a children’s playground that is not for tender skinned youngsters!
- With the playground to your left, turn right down some steps
- At a T junction of steps turn right and continue down the street pass a house with many flower pots outside and you will soon see the substantial church dedicated to St George (photo –>)
- To the left of the church is the old village stone olive press which has been refurbished into a B&B; this has a handy water tap
- Walk around the church for a 360 degree view of Kritsa and the surrounding countryside; at the back look down and you will see an ancient cobbled path that once went all the way to the town of Agios Nikolaos
- Return to the front of the church and take the path directly in front of you; it has a useful hand rail on the right hand side
- Follow the path that goes to the left and look down on the very old church dedicated to St John the Baptist, above the door you can see the inscription 1835; this is the church used if a “public wedding”, is organised during August
- Continue along this path until you reach some steps going down to the left with the main high street in front of you; at this junction you can choose:
Go down the steps to a cobbled path that runs downhill and at the bottom turn right and walk back to the car park.
Walk along to the main street and follow it downhill as it passes shops and tavernas; at the bottom by the Square you can get a bus to Agios Nikolaos or turn left at the taverna called Lato and walk down to the car park.
*Article by Yvonne Payne
Read more: Kritsa, the traditional village of Kritsa in East Crete
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