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at 0km (N)
Eleftherna (Eleutherna GR: Ελεύθερνα) is located on the foothills of Mount Psiloritis, in the heartland of Crete, 25 km. southeastern of Rethymnon. It was inhabited continuously from the Sub-Neolithic period (4th millennium BC) down to the 12th cent. AD and its rich history is now summarized by five hundred selected artifacts unearthed from houses, shrines, public buildings and tombs.
at 1km (SW)
The " Museum of ancient Eleutherna - Homer in Crete" , was created to accommodate the results of the excavations carried out for thirty years in the ancient city of Eleutherna (Eleftherna GR: Ελεύθερνα). It is a modern building approximately 1,800 sq.m. which together with the surrounding area occupies 3 acres and remotely resembles ark that emerges from the earth, gazing Ida (Psiloritis).
at 1.4km (NE)
Margarites (GR: Μαργαρίτες) with 300 inhabitants, is located 27 kilometers from Rethymnon at 300 m above sea level near the amcient town of Eleftherna. Margarites, is a village with Venetian roots, mentioned by sixteenth-century travellers. In the nineteenth century, Margarites was a flourishing town, whose centuries-old ceramic tradition began at least as early as the Ottoman period. Margarites is undoubtedly the most important pottery centre in western Crete.
at 4.8km (SW)
The Monastery of Arkádi (GR:Αρκάδι) built during the last Venetian period, it consists of a large set of fortress-like buildings. The main building included the cells, the warehouses where the agricultural products were treated and stored, the stables. In a word, it was a well-equipped little fortress where people could find refuge in times of trouble. There is an impressive church, with two naves dedicated to Saint Constantine and Saint Helen, and to Our Lord. Due to the holocaust it suffered in 1866, Arkadi has become the island's most famous monastery.
Sivritos (Ancient) - Thronos village
at 8.7km (S)
Sivritos (GR: Σίβρυτος) was an important and autonomous city of the ancient Crete. The city was built in the location that today is the village of Thronos. It was located on a hill dominating the valley of Amari. The name Sivritos is derived from the words si, that in the ancient eastern languages meant water, and the word vriti, that is of prehistoric origin and meant sweet. Therefore, Sivritos in the Minoan period meant sweet water. The derivation is also verified by the fact that near the hill where the city was located there are numerous sweet water springs.
Rethymnon North coast
at 9.4km (N)
Panormo is a small coastal village with ~400 inhabitants, located 25km east of Rethymnon in a small distance from the national road.
The village has developed to a tourist resort providing quite a few tourist facilities such as hotels, apartments, lovely taverns and bars.
There is also a small fishing harbour that serves mostly the locals.
It is an nice place for swimming as its beaches - with umbrellas , sun beds etc - are with fine sand and clear water.
Early-Christian basilica in Panormo
In 1948 the archaeological axe brought to light the largest early-Christian basilica of Crete southwest of the village of Panormo. The basilica of Aghia Sofia had a wooden roof and dates back to the 5th century.
About 25km from Panormo to the mainland is the archaeological site of Eleftherna.
Adele Village & Beach
at 10.8km (W)
Adele village is at a distance of approximately 8 Km east of Rethymnon town located on the road to the Monastery of Arkadi. It is a beautiful small village built in an altitude of 70m above sea level with a population of 350 people. Strolling around the village, through the narrow paved small streets the visitor will come upon beautiful picturesque house yards, freshly whitewashed houses, historical churches and tasteful traditional coffee shops.
freedom fighter born in Adele
at 10.8km (W)
Kostis Yiamboudakis was the hero who ignited a fire in the gunpowder storage room of the Arkadi Monastery in November 1866 and won glory for himself and the island of Crete. He was a simple villager with a big heart and great love for freedom.
Monastiraki (The archaeological site)
at 11.3km (S)
Monastiraki lies in the valley of Amari, on the natural route leading from northern Crete to the Messara plain. Excavations have brought to light a centre of the Old Palace period (1950-1700 B.C.). which was destroyed by fire following an earthquake. The large number of storerooms and the existence of two archive rooms with many clay sealings indicate a palatial character for the site. Other finds on the top of a neighbouring hill suggest there must have been a religious centre in the area, as well.
at 13.2km (E)
Apladianá (GR: Απλαδιανά) is a small village built at the foot of the two Kouloukona heights. The settlement stretches out along the old national road, where it developed after the opening of the new national road. It comprises cafes, tavernas, and accommodation facilities included in the Countryside Tourism programs.
It is worth your while, however, to visit the old village, climbing there on foot or by car. Picturesque, narrow streets, wonderful old houses with interesting architectural elements, old cisterns and churches will reward your efforts.
The old village built on a height of 260 m above sea-level has 175 inhabitants and the settlement along the old national road, known as "Kampos ton Apladianon", has 78 inhabitants. It is 40 kilometres away from Rethymnon and is located at the foot of the highest peak of the Kouloukona mountain in the Tallaios range.
Already as far back as 1368 we find a mention of the Aplada family, the founders of the present village and in the topographical maps of the Civil Engineering Services of Rethymnon it figures as Pladiana. The settlement is not mentioned in the 16th and 17th cent. documents. In the 1881 census, Apladiana is attributed to the commune of Garazo, with 57 inhabitants and in 1900 it is referred to as the Apladiana Commune which, together with the Cheliana settlement, had 153 inhabitants.
Rethymnon North coast
at 13.3km (NE)
Bali is a small fishing village, about 40 km west of Iraklion and 37km east of Rethymno easily accessed from the international road.
It has a small picturesque harbour and lots of small coves with wonderful clear beaches.
Recent years Bali has been developed to a popular tourist resort but it is still preserves its traditional character.
Ideal place for family holidays, with small hotels and lovely taverns serving fresh fish and local specialties.
The Venetians called the place "Atali", from its ancient name which was "Astali", while its current name was given by the Ottomans.
There is also the Atali Monastery nearby, which retains the medieval name of the place and is dedicated to Saint John. The monastery is built on a small elevated peninsula overlooking the bay and the Cretan sea.
E4 Trail: 13. Trail: Amari Valley to Spili
by Richard Ellis
at 14.4km (SW)
26th August - You get to see Kedros close up and enjoy fabulous views back over the Amari Valley to Psiloritis and forwards over the high, little-visited plain above Spili. Once off dirt roads, the path is generally pretty clear on the ground but as ever the GPS helped me not to stray too far. As you come up out of Yerakari on the Spili road (a tempting ten kms) you take a left just after a fresh water fountain and immediately by a large cistern. There are many distracting side roads along here but you stay with the main dirt track as it winds close under Kedros before turning west.
Mov av 4.6 km/hr
Height overnight: 402m.
Max. height:1,050 m
Start at 680m
E4 walk along the spine of Crete
by Richard Ellis
at 14.7km (SE)
This is my log of the E4 long distance walk along the spine of Crete from East to West - it is intended to be a useful resource for others who are contemplating a similar walk along the E4 in Crete; it is not intended in any way to be a complete route guide.
E4 Trail: 14. Trail: Spili to Arghiroupoli
by Richard Ellis
at 17.8km (SW)
27th August - I set off from Spili at 0740 under a rather cloudy sky and with a cooling breeze to keep me feeling fresh. Today was always going to be a bit of a road slog and the first few kms to Mixourama was on the main road with cars flashing by. The GPS suggested that there was a road link between Koxare and Agouseliana even though there was nothing on the paper map so, after 6 or 7 kms, I cut across to Koxare.
Distance: 32 km
Time: 8 hrs. 25mins.
Mov av 4.8 km/hr
Height overnight: 272m.
at 17.9km (SW)
Spili (GR:Σπήλι) is 30 km away from Rethymnon, along the road that goes from Rethymnon to Armenoi and then Spili. The town has about 800 inhabitants and it lies at a height of 430 m above sea level, at the foothills of Mount Vorizi, which belongs to the Kedros chain.
The landmark of the town is the square at Kefalovrissi with the 25 fountains each one in the shape of a lion's head. The square is named after Thanassis Skordalos (1920-1998), a popular lyra player and composer born in Spili.
Spili is a modern town, with all the facilities and services required by the locals and by the large number of visitors.
Kara Mousha Pasha Mosque
Rethymnon Old Town
at 18.1km (W)
The Mosque took its name from the Turkish commander of the marine operations to conquer Rethymno, in 1646. During the Venetian Period, the Mosque became a monastery dedicated to St. Barbara. West from the central building, there is the deserted minaret of the mosque. The fountain of the Mosque is attached to the roofed entrance of the Mosque's garden, where believers washed before entering the Mosque and provided the area with fresh spring water.
at 18.1km (W)
In winter the town of Rethymno lives in the rhythm of Carnival. Here, the grandest carnival on the island of Crete is organised. Apart from the great parade on Shrove Sunday, a large number of activities complete the framework of the Carnival festivities. The locals devotedly and cheerfully prepare for this season with creativity, they sacrifice their spare time and become young again while rejoicing and celebrating parties almost on a daily basis. More than 4,000 people have worked feverishly for months in order to present their masks and carriages on the great Carnival parade…The following day, on Shrove Monday people from the countryside play a leading part in the festivities. Unique traditions are revived in the villages and everybody is invited to participate in games, street performances and satires as for example “the kidnapping of the bride”, the “Cadi”, the “smudging of people”. These performances in combination with good wine and the music of the lyre are a successful formula for a unique experience.
Rethymnon Old Port
at 18.4km (W)
Rethymnon old port was of great strategic importance during the Venetian period. It was only able to accommodate small ships. From 1300 until today, the Venetian port has undergone numerous constructions. The 1618 wall that surrounds the port from the east is restored today with some recent interventions and additions. The original lighthouse was constructed during the Turkish period and was later replaced by another one. The building on the southeast part of the port was constructed in 1931 and functioned as a customs office. On the same location it is estimated that there was a quarantine house during the Venetian period. The vaulted spaces on the two or three-floor buildings at the port have been transformed to little and picturesque fish taverns, where visitors can enjoy the secrets of the Cretan cuisine.
North West Crete
at 18.5km (W)
Rethymnon (GR: Ρέθυμνον) is the capital of the Prefecture of the same name and it is built between the two other large cities of Crete. The town still maintains its old aristocratic appearance, with its buildings dating from the 16th century, arched doorways, fountains etc. The Fortezza castle, at the top of a low hill named "Palaiokastro" dominates the town. It was built in 1590 to protect the city from the pirates raids and the Turks.
Rethymnon Old Town
at 18.5km (W)
Loggia has been built during the 16th century and was designed by the famous architect Michel Sanmicheli. Loggia was an eminent building of the city centre and has been a meeting point for the nobles to discuss political and economical issues. The building is very well preserved; it is square and has arches on its three sides (besides its west side). The consoles of its eaves are spectacular. During the Turkish occupation the loggia became a mosque and a minaret was constructed, which was later demolished in 1930. The past 40 decades the building of Loggia hosted the archaeological museum of the city, which has now moved to a building next to Fortezza. Today loggia hosts a market of archaeological art copies.
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