Information about the place HERAKLIO (Prefecture) CRETE - GTP - Greek Travel Pages

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Listed 100 (total found 283) sub titles with search on: Information about the place  for wider area of: "HERAKLIO Prefecture CRETE" .

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  Agia Pelagia is 20km west of Iraklion on the Iraklion - Rethimnon highway. Agia Pelagia was the site of an ancient Greek city. It is not clear which one it was, but some assume that it was Apolonia, the city that was destroyed by the Kydonians at 171 B.C. The name Agia Pelagia originates from the monastery of Agia Pelagia, approximately 1km west of the bay. In the wall of the old monastery there are two shields in relief and between them a coat of arms.

This text is cited Jan 2003 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains image.

Agia Triada

AGIA TRIADA (Archaeological site) TYMBAKI
Agia Triada is 64km southwest of Iraklion via the Iraklion - Agia Varvara - Agii Deka - Mires - Festos - Agia Triada road. It is very near Festos. During Minoan times a road ran from Festos to the royal palace of Agia Triada. This palace, or villa, may have been the summer residence of the kings of Festos, although this remains a mystery.

Agia Varvara

  This municipality is located in the centre of the Heraklion prefecture, and according to some, in the centre of Crete. It is surrounded by 8 different municipalities: to the north, Gorgolaini, Tetrachoriou and Temenos; to the east, those of Nikos Kazantzakis and Asteroussia; those of Kofinas and Gortys to the south and finally, to the west, the municipality of Rouva. This municipality includes seven of the former communities: Aghia Varvara, Aghios Thomas, Moulia, Douli, Larani, Megali Vrisi and Prinias. The municipality covers a surface of about 10.000 ha., from Malevizi to Monofatsi and the Kenourio province; it has over 5.000 inhabitants. Geographically, the municipality lies at the foot of the Psiloritis mountain, at 530 m above sea level, and is one of the main thoroughfares leading up the mountain. It forms part of the mountainous landscape of the island.
  The main sources of production are agriculture (olive trees and vineyards) and cattle raising (sheep). Other activities in the region are the following: olive oil production, cheese and dairy production, distillation of "tsikoudia" or "raki", as well as commercial activities and public services.
  Aghia Varvara is the chief town (seat) of the municipality with the same name. It has a population of more than 2.000 inhabitants and is 30 km away from the city of Heraklion, by the road that leads from Heraklion to Aghia Varvara, Moires and Phaistos, one of the main highways crossing the island from north to south.
Municipality Tel.: +3 0894 23741 & 23742
Fax: +3 0894 23743
  Historical Background
  The municipality has a rich archaeological and cultural past. The ancient city of Rizinia was located on a conspicuous height (686 m) near the settlement of Prinias. This height, also known as 'Patela of Prinias', is only accessible from the west.
  The panoramic view extends as far as the island of Dia in the Cretan sea to the north, and to the Paximadi island to the south, in the Lybian sea. It was the Italian School of Archaeology that excavated in 1906-1908 the ruins of ancient Rizinia, a city of importance from Post-Minoan to Hellenistic times (1600 to 67 BC). Its most notable monuments belong to the Classic period of the 7th and 6th centuries BC.
  The location was highly strategic: Rizinia lay half way between Knossos and Gortys, the two largest cities in Crete, one to the north, the other to the south, and from the Patela height, the town commanded a large area. The ruins of an imposing Hellenistic castle have been found (330-70BC), built from stones cut out of more ancient buildings and tombs. Some of the stones bear inscriptions and are incised with different shapes: on one there is a female figure wearing a long chiton, holding a spindle and with a half-filled distaff on the lower part. On another, a warrior, with helmet, shield and lance. These stones come from a burial site belonging to the first Hellenistic period. A great number of sherds, votive clay objects and figurines have been found among the ruins of ancient Rizinia, as well as the remnants of two temples. One of them, to the east of the site, was dedicated to the goddess Rhea and from the charred bones that were excavated, it seems obvious that animal sacrifices were held there. Many sculptures in porous stone were found in and around the temple, and are now in the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion. Close by, the cemetery was excavated, bringing to light interesting objects found in the tombs.
  According to many archaeologists, the ancient town of Panona was located not far off, where the village of Aghios Thomas now stands. Around the village there are many caves, cisterns and a beautiful wine-press, all cut out of the rock.
  The Sights
  A visit to the municipality of Aghia Varvara is indispensable for those who want to get to know Crete, especially the hinterland. There are many sites of interest for the visitor.
  Archaeological Sites
  Ancient Rizinia and the cemetery at Prinias. Tombs carved out of the rock and the wine-press at Aghios Thomas.
  Natural Sites
  The valley of Prinias, the Perdikokorifi at Prinias, the Acropolis at Rizinia, the unique "forest" of oleanders in Crete, and the drive from Moni Kardiotissa to Aghios Antonios in the Aghios Thomas area.
  The height of Taga with the Aeolian park, between Aghia Varvara and Moulia, and the hill at Anemomilos.
  Churches and Chapels
  The churches of Aghios Ioasaf, Spiliotissa, Kardiotissa, Aghios Antonios in Aghios Thomas.
  Byzantine churches of Profitis Ilias, Aghios Giorgos in Aghia Varvara and Aghios Ioannis in Megali Vrisi, and the old monastery of Aghia Pelagia. The church of Zoodochos Pigi in Ano Moulia, those of Armiri and Aghia Anna in Megali Vrisi, and the church of Aghios Nikolaos in Douli. The municipality of Aghia Varvara has a unique richness in flora and fauna, of great interest and beauty.
  The municipality has good paved roads linking all the villages to each other and making access easy to all the sites.
  There is a bus service from Heraklion to all the villages in the municipality, leaving every half hour from the square Machis Kritis at the Chanioporta in Heraklion.

This text is cited September 2004 from the Interkriti URL below, which contains images.

Agia Varvara

  This unimposing town is the crossroads for various excursions. Agia Varvara 30km southwest of Iraklion, is located at important crossroads to the Mesara Plain and south of the Psiloritis Mountains towards Rethimnon. The excursions from Iraklion towards the important archaeological sites of Mesara go through Agia Varvara. The resorts towns of Matala and Agia Galini that can be used as the basis for excursions in Mesara are to the west of Agia Varvara (Agia Varvara - Agii Deka - Mires - Matala or Agia Varvara - Agii Deka - Mires - Timbaki - Agia Galini).

This text is cited Feb 2003 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains image.

Agies Paraskies

  The village of Agies Paraskies is 20km south of Iraklion, on the road Iraklion - Kounavi - Agies Paraskies, and has a good view of the valley of Peza.

Agii Deka

  The town of Agii Deka is 44km south of Iraklion on the Iraklion - Timbaki road. The town and the Byzantine church of the Agii Deka (Ten Martyrs) have been named after the ten martyrs. The Romans beheaded these men about 250 A.D., after they refused to worship the Roman pagan idols. An earlier church has been excavated beside the newer church of Agii Deka.

This text is cited Feb 2003 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains image.

Agios Ioannis, Pirgiotisa

  The village of Agios Ioannis is very near Festos and contains an interesting Byzantine church.

Agios Miron

  The village of Agios Miron is 19km southwest of Iraklion on the road Iraklion - Voutes - Agios Miron. Agios Miron is the site of the ancient city Ravkos which flourished during the Greek era. It was an ally of Gortyn against Knossos and Lycastos. In 166 B.C. Gortyn and Knossos signed a treaty and since then no signs of Ravkos appear. The village is prosperous and presently produces raisins and wine. Agios Miron is an important Byzantine site. It was probably the bishopric of Knossos during the first Byzantine period, as it continued to be in the second Byzantine period. In the village is the church of Agios Miron.

This text is cited Feb 2003 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains image.

Agios Thomas

  Agios Thomas is 30km southwest of Iraklion on the road Iraklion - Venerato - Agios Thomas. Agios Thomas is believed to be the location of the ancient Greek city Pannona. Several remains have been found in the area. In addition, there are several interesting Byzantine churches nearby. This small village is between Psiloritis and the Dikte Mountains of Lassithi. It separates the Mesara Plain from the north. During the Venetian era it was a large town that the Turks destroyed in 1821 and 1866. Archaeologists discovered ancient Roman tombs, cisterns, and early Greek writing in the area. The area of Agios Thomas was reputed to have had 38 churches in the past.

This text is cited Feb 2003 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains image.

Agios Vasilios

  The village of Agios Vasilios is 21km south of Iraklion on the Iraklion - Knossos - Kounavi - Agios Vasilios road and the area includes several Byzantine churches.


  The village of Alagni is 25km from Iraklion on the road Iraklion - Arkalohori. The area has several Byzantine churches.

Ano Asites

  The village of Ano Asites is 27km southwest of Iraklion, on the Iraklion - Agios Miron - Kato Asites - Ano Asites road. Near Ano Asites there is an interesting Byzantine church.

Ano Moulia

  The village of Ano Moulia is 32km south of Iraklion on the Iraklion - Agia Varvara - Ano Moulia - Agii Deka road and has the Byzantine church of Agii Apostoli.

Ano Viannos

  From Pirgos to Ano Viannos it is 35km. The scenery is pleasant, but the drive is long and tiresome. Ano Viannos is 65km southeast of Iraklion on the road Iraklion - Arkalohori - Ano Viannos. In the wider area of Viannos there are Byzantine churches, Minoan remainders and clean beaches. The famous early twentieth century journalist, Yannis Kondilakis, came from this village . During World War II, the Germans killed 400 women and children and razed the villages of the area.

This text is cited Feb 2003 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains image.


This village is located at a height of 320 m above sea-evel, a short distance of Sokaras, to the north of Asimi. It is mentioned in the 1583 Register with 280 inhabitants. Residents of Apoini found an important collection of ancient coins in the ruins of Velouli in 1957, but nobody knows what has become of it.


  The town of Arkalohori is 33km southeast of Iraklion. People from Iraklion and Lassithi go to the well-known Saturday market here. In the village cemetery there is the Byzantine church of Michael Archangelos.


  Arvi is a small fishing village on the coast that is surrounded by hot houses. In the area there are Byzantine churches, a war monument, and a pleasant beach.


At a height of 460 m above sea-level, this village lies 5 km to the north-west of Asimi, the county town of the municipality of Kofina. Built on a hill, it offers the visitor a panoramic view of the Messara plain. A first reference to Atsipades is found in a document of 1248, and from then on it is mentioned in every census, including the Turkish and the Egyptian ones.The church of Aghia Ekaterini inside the village has its feast day on November 25th. Another church worth visiting is that of Aghia Paraskevi, close to a water spring and among lovely trees. Some wall paintings still remain in the chapel, though in a poor state. The feast day is on July 27th. Finally, the chapel of Afenti Christos, hidden among the olive groves, has its feast day on August 6th.

This text is cited Dec 2003 from the Interkriti URL below.


  The village of Avdou is 39km southeast of Iraklion on the road from Hersonisos to Lassithi Plateau. There are six Byzantine churches in this village. Archaic objects have been found in the cave of Agia Fotini and Faneromeni southeast above the village at 1,100 metres above sea level.


  Harakas is 50km south of Iraklion on the Iraklion - Knossos - Kounavi - Houdetsi - Ligortinos - Harakas road. In the area near Harakas there are some Roman and Venetian remains as well as a Byzantine church.


Small island off Iraklion, Crete, just beyond the harbor of ancient Knossos. When Theseus abandoned Ariadne after she saved him from the Labyrinth, some say that he left her on the island of Naxos. But others claim he was so anxious to be rid of her that he left her on Dia, within sight of her father's domain.


On the north flanks of the Asteroussia mountains, at a height of 250 m above sea-level, 7 km away from Asimi,lies the village of Dionysi. It owes its name to the church of Aghios Dionysios, whose feast day (October 3rd) is much celebrated by the local population. Visitors come from neighbouring villages and are invited by the villagers into their houses where they are offered wine and traditional food. The same tradition is repeated on the feast day of the Evangelistria, March 25th. Other churches and chapels are those of Saints Constantine and Helen, that of the Transformation of Our Saviour, the chapel of Aghios Georgios and that of Zoodochos Pigi, in the midst of lush vegetation and celebrating its feast day on the first Friday after Easter Sunday. The village main income is based on olive oil, raisins and garden produce.

This text is cited Dec 2003 from the Interkriti URL below.


  The village of Drapeti is 40km southeast of Iraklion and it has a Byzantine church.


  The village of Embaros is 51km southeast of Iraklion, on the road to Ano Viannos. Embaros was the largest village of Pediada during the Venetian occupation, a fact which can be supported by the many Byzantine churches in the area.

Epano Arhanes

  Epano Arhanes is 16km south of Iraklion on the Iraklion - Knossos - Arhanes road. The area is a major Minoan site, and in addition contains several Byzantine churches. The town is in the middle of the vineyard district and exports wine, raisins and grapes --a grape and wine festival is held in July. Arhanes is also the location of three on-going archaeological excavations on Minoan sites. You may only view these through fences since they are closed to the public.

This text is cited Feb 2003 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains image.

Epano Arhanes

Epano Arhanes is 16km south of Iraklion on the Iraklion - Knossos - Arhanes road. The area is a major Minoan site, and in addition contains several Byzantine churches. The town is in the middle of the vineyard district and exports wine, raisins and grapes --a grape and wine festival is held in July. Arhanes is also the location of three on-going archaeological excavations on Minoan sites. You may only view these through fences since they are closed to the public.


  The village of Episkopi, Pediada is 18km southeast of Iraklion off an exit at 8 km on the south fork of the Iraklion - Agios Nikolaos highway. Many interesting Byzantine churches are located in the area of Episkopi. Within the village are the Byzantine churches of Michael Archangelos, Agia Paraskevi, and Agios Ioannis which contains frescoes. In particular, Agios Ioannis has very striking frescoes, especially the one of Christ ascending into heaven. Giuseppe Gerola considered it to be among the best in Crete.

This text is cited Feb 2003 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains image.


Old village of the municipality of Timbaki with 837 inhabitants. It is built on the right bank of the river "Katsoulidis" in a wonderful green landscape with large groves of citrus trees.
The near by church of "Panagia faneromeni" gave the name to the village.
Various findings from tha ancient times such as a double axe. were discovered in the area.
The churches of "Agios Antonios" and "Panagia" were violated by the Turks in 1866.


FESTOS (Minoan settlement) HERAKLIO


  Fortetsa is a small village 5km south of Iraklion on a west turn in the road 4.2km from Iraklion. In the area of the village there is a remainder of the 15km long Venetian aqueduct that brought water to Iraklion.


This village is situated 11 km to the west of Asimi. It figures in all the Venetian censi of the province of Monofatsio, as well as in the Turkish and Egyptian censi. Chourmoutzis Vyzantios CHECK in 1842 mentions the existence to the east of Fournofarango of a large church dedicated to Aghios Georgios Koulouritis, in the middle of a ruined and abandoned town bearing the same name. Nowadays,the feast of Aghios Georgios at Koulourida, 1 km away, is celebrated with great pomp on April 23rd, in the midst of the lush vegetation of the Asteroussia mountains. The location offers a splendid view over the whole region. A water spring in the middle of the chapel is believed to have healing powers, and indeed it has a wonderful light taste. Many people come from afar to carry it back to their homes.The Cultural Association of the village has been very active and successful in reviving old traditions.

This text is cited Dec 2003 from the Interkriti URL below.


GERGERI (Small town) ROUVA
  The village of Gergeri is 40km southwest of Iraklion on the Iraklion - Agia Varvara - Gergeri road. There are three interesting Byzantine churches in the area. This is the first village, 10km after Agia Varvara to the west. There are natural springs, and from one of the large springs water was channelled to Gortyn through an aqueduct which is still visible near the Acropolis of Gortyn. There is also a lush forest near the village and Byzantine churches.

This text is cited Dec 2002 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains image.

Gortyn (Gortina)

GORTYS (Ancient city) HERAKLIO
  Gortyn is located 45km southwest of Iraklion on the Iraklion - Agia Varvara - Agii Deka - Gortyn road.
Gortyn is one of the most important archaeological sites on Crete. Although continuously inhabited from Neolithic times, it did not develop into a strong power until the Greek era. The city was flourishing by the fifth century B.C. Gortyn defeated and destroyed Festos in 220 B.C. and from then it used the two harbours at Matala and Lehena (Lendas). It was at war continuously with either Knossos or Lyttos. When the Romans invaded the island in 65 B.C., Gortyn did not resist. It became the capital of Roman Crete and flourished during the Roman era. Gortyn also flourished during the early Byzantine years but it was destroyed by the Arabs.
The fame of Gortyn lives on, due, in part, to the famous Gortyn Law Code found here. The twelve stone tablets are inscribed in the Doric Cretan dialect. This script reads from right to left on one line and left to right on the subsequent line. These tablets contain the foundation of an entire legal system including rules of civil procedure and provide great insight into the social system of the time. Many of the provisions of modern criminal law are still based on these ancient texts.
The archaeological site of Gortyn is extensive, straddling the road to the north and south. One of the most important buildings is the basilica of Agios Titos. It dates from around the seventh century and has three aisles. One aisle contains a shrine to Agios Titos which locals adorn with offerings.
The fenced site of Gortyn is just north of the road and east of the river. It includes the church of Agios Titos, the Agora area, the Odion and the very important Law Code of Gortyn.
Almost opposite of the entrance of the fenced site a road starts south to Lendas, making a T with the road from Agii Deka to Festos. On the lower east part of the subdivided space are many more remains of the ancient city of Gortyn, most of them unexcavated.

This text is cited Dec 2002 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains image.


Grigiria is a small mountainous village built at 420m a.s.l. on the southern side of the mountain Psiloritis.
It has 394 inhabitants and is mentioned in all Venetian censuses.
The name of the village comes from the word "grigoros" (=fast).

Prefecture of Heraklio


Messara plain

  The largest plain in Crete is the Mesara Plain, measuring 50km in length and 7km in width. This plain is on the south side of the island, in the prefecture of Iraklion. This southern location, in combination with the fertile soil, allows crops to be grown here that cannot be grown in other places.


INIA (Settlement) KOFINA
At a height of 400 m just 5 km to the north-west of Asimi, this village is already quoted in the Ducal Archives of Chandax in 1379. Most of its inhabitants originally came from Asia Minor. The olive tree and the vineyard are the main sources of activity.

Kali Limenes

  The village of Kali Limenes is 77km southwest of Iraklion on the road Iraklion - Agia Varvara - Festos - Moni Odigitrias - Kali Limenes. The road is narrow and the drive slow. Although this may seem an effort, the end result is worth it. Kali Limenes has a lovely beach with relatively unspoilt scenery and clear water.

This extract is cited Feb 2003 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains image.


  The village of Kamares is 57km southwest of Iraklion on the Iraklion - Agia Varvara - Gergeri - Kamares road. Kamares took its name from the cave used by the Minoans that is above the village. Kamares means arches in Greek.


A little after Grigoria, at 600m a.s.l., is located the historical village of Kamares with 491 inhabitants. This village was destroyed together with the villages Magarikari and Lohria, by the Germans during the world war II (1944) due to the help that the locals used to offer to the partisans.
Above the village, at 1524m a.s.l. lies the famous CAVE OF KAMARES (Spileon Kamaron). This was used as a place of worship during Minoan times and it was here that Minoan pottery made with exceptional skill was found - called "Kamares ware" by archaeologists.
From Kamares is also possible to climb up to the Idaion Andron.

This text is cited Dec 2003 from the Interkriti URL below, which contains images.


  Kamariotis is a medieval town on the borders of Rethimnon and Iraklion on the Iraklion side, 24km from Iraklion city, near Anogia. The village contains Byzantine churches, one with a most extraordinary portal.


  Kamilari is 67km south east of Iraklion on a left (west) turn from the Matala - Agios Ioannis - Festos road. Near the village of the same name is the famous Kamilari Tomb, the best-preserved Minoan vaulted tomb in the area, dating from 2000 B.C.

This text is cited Dec 2002 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains image.


  The village of Kapetaniana is in the Asterousia Mountains south of the Mesara plain, 71km from Iraklion on the Iraklion - Agia Varvara - Agii Deka - Vagionia - Kapetaniana road, where the Byzantine church of the Panagia is located.

This village is situated at an altitude of 750 m above sea-level, 11 km away from Asimi. It is not mentioned in any of the Venetian censi, though its Byzantine church dates back to the 15th century. There is a Minoan peak sanctuary close to the summit of the Kofinas mountain, in a place known as Metzolati. Many finds help to identify this location as a former shrine: several animal and human clay figurines and bronze votive objects were found in nearby caves. Nowadays the church of the Holy Cross has replaced the ancient sanctuary, but the panoramic view remains the same. The church has its feast day on September 14th. On the other hand, the village celebrates the feast of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary on August 15th, when a typical Cretan feast takes place every year. There is a series of beautiful beaches, like that of Aghios Ioannis and others, along the coast down from Kapetaniana towards Koudouma, but they are very difficult to reach and only the very fit should undertake such a walk. The difficulty of access explains why this wonderful coast has retained its original beauty and wilderness.

This text is cited Dec 2003 from the Interkriti URL below.

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