Municipal Unit of Hersonissos
Avdou Village It is situated in the eastern part of the area, on the 39th km of the artery leading to the plateau of Lassithi. Avdou, wooded like most villages of Lagada, looks like a small earthly paradise. Avdou is also called Kapetanohori, on the ground of the well-known chieftains it bred during the Cretan Revolutions. N. Kagiabis, a flag-bearer of Karaiskakis, and Dafiotis, who saved the small town of Archanes in the revolution of 1897, were two of them. Avdou attracts a large number of visitors who come to see not only its indisputable natural beauty but also its inhabitants who never fail to be cheerful, kind and hospitable.
Agriculture (agricultural products and fruits) is the main activity of the locals. Those who visit this village have a lot to see. Faneromeni Cave lies on the northwest mountainside; an area called Louloudaki, at a height of 770m where the second golden axe has been found. It is worth noting that that there are a large number of Christian monuments inside or at least near the village, like the Paleo-Christianic Basilica (a large building, which houses a collection of mosaics, decorative peacocks and more like that). There are well-painted churches inside the village which are preserved almost unchangeable (St. Antonios, St. Georgios, and St. Konstantinos). They house a collection of frescos painted in the 14th and 15th centuries by great painters of the famous Cretan School of Holy Icons Painting (by Manouil and Ioannis Fokas).
Agriana village Located within a picturesque landscape, their houses are arranged in clusters, forming beautiful neighbourhoods and are virtually choked with vegetation. Agriana and Chatzana are built next to the gorge of Aposelemis, where the fauna and flora are rich and extraordinary. This considerable gorge is about four kilometers in length, heading southwards, up to the country road junction to Kastelli.
The gorge of Aposelemis is a natural result of the outfalls of the river Aposelemis and is offered for nature explorations and hikes.
Within the gorge, two churches were built: a church dedicated to Agios Nikolaos (Saint Nicolas) and a church dedicated to Afentis Christos (Christ, our Lord).
Analipsis is roughly 24 kilometres east of Heraklion, shortly after Gouves and before Anissaras. It is also known as Analipsis Hersonissou, as it is very close to the seaside resort of Hersonissos.
Analipsis is built along a long road, running over a kilometre from the old Heraklion - Agios Nikolaos National Road down to the beach.
Analipsis differs from the neighboring seaside resorts in that tourist development began much later here. This gives you the impression, on entering Analipsis that you are in a verdant Cretan village with houses and pretty gardens alternating with fields and olive groves.
Of course, as you near the centre of the village and the beach, there are more and more car rental bureaus, restaurants and other tourist businesses. You will also see estate agencies, showing that there is considerable interest in buying land and houses in the area, which is still being built up.
On reaching the beach of Analipsis, the first thing you see is the tiny church with the waves almost lapping at its foot. It is a very picturesque church and every tourist who passes through Analipsis stops here for a commemorative photo.
East of the church stretches the main beach of Analipsis, a large sandy beach with umbrellas and loungers
West of the church the coast is rocky. Few people go swimming there, unless they want to enjoy the peace and quiet or a pleasant walk under the tamarisk trees. If you like fishing from the shore, the rocks are the best place for your sport.
Continuing west, you come to a small, sandy cove, ideal for when the wind is blowing and the sea off the other beaches is rough.
At the end of the road is yet another sandy beach, at the mouth of the River Aposelemis, with a few ducks waddling about and attracting the attention of visitors.
The village Anissaras stretches out modern and colourful, showing the highest tourist development in Hersonissos. Previously an old land belonging to the village of Hersonissos, it showed a rapid growth during the last fifteen years due to its favourable location. Anissaras is a coastal tourist resort, where are many hotel clusters of perfect infrastructure. For another year, Anissaras is offering the best of it as far as entertainment, fun, and pleasant accommodation of its visitors’ are concerned.
Hospitality is the main feature of the inhabitants, who will welcome you making you feel at home.
What will certainly amaze you in Anissaras are the perfectly organized, beautiful beaches (awarded the Blue Flag of Europe). There, you have the opportunity to enjoy the golden sun and the majestic blue of the sea.
The Venetians called the peak of Hersonissos ‘Bene Veto’ (‘nice view’), justified by the astounding view of the region from above.
The great historic, picturesque village lies in the south of the coast, spreading on slopes and even plains, with a breathtaking view to the neighbouring coasts, bays, small havens and villages of the northeastern valley. The old community of Hersonissos included the villages Analipsi, Agriana, Anissaras, Agios Ioannis and Chatzana. The region is a nature’s décor with endless olive-groves and flower gardens where splendid flower varieties are cultivated.
Hersonissos is one of the oldest and most picturesque villages on Crete, keeping its unique architectural character unaltered with characteristic elements from the neoclassical architecture and also from the Venetian, architectural forms.
Not only due to its unique aesthetic character, but also due to historic and social reasons, the village was declared ‘traditional’ in 1978.
Nowadays, Old Hersonissos is a well-preserved and admirable village with a great potential to offer to the Rural Tourism, since:
• There are traditional hotel complexes.
• The old oil press of the village can be restored and, if appropriately equipped, it can serve as a Museum- or Exhibition Center for Oil.
Another point of attraction is the central square of the village, which was declared ‘the most beautiful square on Crete’, where a great number of people throngs during the whole tourist season, where the traditional taverns, cafes and all sorts of shops offer their services round the square.
Agricultural goods are produced in Hersonissos, following traditional methods of culture. Those products are sold in various shops of the village. Moreover, a workshop of ceramic art is functioning in Hersonissos. In addition, a guest can find hand-made embroidery and woven items, making an acquaintance with the local culture.
The most brilliant,. Local celebration with the guests’ participation is the Assumption of Virgin Mary, on 14th and 15th of August. Great festivities take place on the central square, with live Cretan music and traditional cuisine.
Hersonissos preserves the character of original Crete with hospitable inhabitants and neat, traditional facilities. Moreover, its climate, its location and the fabulous, surrounding nature make it unforgettable and the visitor’s first choice. During your wandering in the village, it is worth visiting the restored Primary School, and the Museum of Ecclesiastical History (a restored building, part of the Venetian castle). Do not forget the Byzantine monastery of Saint John at the cemetery and the churches Panagia and Agios Dimitrios.
Colours, light, sea, luxury, quality and hospitality. Limin Hersonissos, that famous resort of Crete of unrivalled beauty could be defined by the above words. That cosmopolitan destination a diamond, lying on the coasts of Cretan sea. Limin Hersonissou is an Eden with thousands of secrets waiting for the visitor to discover; a place blessed by the nature, combining the social life in lush hotels, amazing clubs, modern shops and the escape to clean beaches. The visitors, who have the opportunity to be at the crowded port, cannot possibly make their mind before such a great variety of entertainment or excursion programs offered. The inhabitants themselves, who know how to offer special moments and original experiences to their guests, lend a very special color to that place. The region of Hersonissos, as established by the remnants of a Minoan town in the West of Hersonissos, has been inhabited already from the Minoan times. Later, it used to be the port of the ancient town Lyttos. During the Roman and first Byzantine period, the place experienced a tremendous bloom, as an important town. This emerges from the significant finds brought to light by excavations. The roman aqueduct, the roman port and the theatre are amongst them.
By reviewing the past, endless memories awake. However, Hersonissos, which is now a developed, contemporary town – longs for the past.
The modern town is built on the western edge of the bay of Malia. It is the administrative center of the new municipality and of several administrative services. The Court of Justice, the Mortgage Register Office, the Cottage Hospital, the Police Station, the Price Control Office, the Port Authorities, the Medical Centre, the Inland Revenue Office, as well as services of the broader public sector, such as the Public Power Corporation, the Greek Telecomm, the Post Office, the Social Security Institution and the Banks are at the port. Nowadays, the port is considered one of the most impressive, romantic destinations of the Aegean for the foreign visitors. Here, the blue of the sea and the sky is absolutely harmonized with the white of houses and modern hotel complexes, spreading along the two opposing, leeward coves. The view of the town from the neighbouring, elevation fascinates, due to sunbathed landscape with the play of light and shadows during daytime, or due to the night lights. The hustle and bustle in the area is incredible, as if that town never sleeps; it is the meeting point for hundreds of visitors expecting to spend their holidays in this beautiful town and experience real entertainment!! Big and small hotels, as well as other hospitable accommodations spread all over the town, waiting to welcome their guests.
Numerous shops offer quality products, satisfying every wish. The tasteful commercial and luxury tourist shops, will give you a chance to buy quality decorative items, souvenirs or clothes at favorable prices. In the restaurants and taverns, the visitor has the opportunity to try the famous Greek delicacies and all the authentic, local tastes, as well as international cuisine. One could equally enjoy refreshing drinks, coffee, spirits or cocktails in the cafeterias and order Greek coffee in the traditional cafes.
For all those, who wish to feel the intensity and the rhythm of such a lively place away from pestiferous thoughts of the daily routine, night clubs offer that possibility. Hersonissos belongs to people who love action, motion and life. Besides, there is great activity in Hersonissos, related to the organization of cultural events such as exhibitions of popular art and traditional celebrations. During the Easter celebration, some old customs are still preserved until nowadays, including the burning of Judas’s effigy in the night of Holly Saturday and the festivities that take place of Kastri, a northern suburb of the town.
The Museum of Local Tradition, Lychnostatis, is a center of various important events. It is a real repository of historical facts, as it preserves the old traditional way of life on the island.
Limin Hersonissos, a town that always stays young and alive.
The magnificent village of Gonies is situated on the foot of the Lassithiotika Mountains at an altitude of 290 metres, amidst luxuriant vegetation. It is an astonishing oasis for nature lovers, wanderers and explorers of natural beauties, as it starts from one of the most important gorges on Crete, Ampelos. The gorge is 6kilometres long; the verdant environment of acorn woods, holm-oak trees and abundant waters completes the picture of absolute beauty. The gorge ends at the windmills of Seli Ambelou (entrance to the plateau of Lassithi). All those features of Gonies make up a fabulous landscape with a panoramic view, offered for explorations and relaxing wanders. There are also caves, adorned with stalactites and stalagmites.
During the celebration of Our Lord on 5th of August and of The Holy Mother on the 14th and 15th of August, you can actively participate and be one with the inhabitants.
This is spread in the middle of a valley with abundant waters and luxuriant vegetation. Verdant with fructiferous trees, it offers a breathtaking view. The village lies at the entrance of the Lassithi Plateau. Epano Kera Miniti and Kato Kera are situated at an altitude of 680 and 580metres, respectively. Their name comes from the homonymic monastery of Panagia Kera Kardiotissa (Holly Mother). This was built between the two villages and is characterized as a Byzantine monument (961 – 1204 A.D.) Its establishment is related to the thaumaturge icon of Virgin Mary, which is kept in the church of Saint Alfonso Escuelino in Rome, nowadays. The work is attributed to Saint Lazarus dating from the 9th century.
That historic monastery used to be the point of guard for the Lassithi Plateau, during Cretan combats.
The visitor is impressed by the primeval ways of worship while listening to legends of local tradition and observing the wall paintings in the temple. One can relax with the inhabitants’ hospitality, the view and the environment over a glass of the famous raki, relish the palatable, traditional food served in the taverns of the village and buy the famous popular art handcrafts. Moreover, there are the local celebrations of Panagia Kardiotissa on 8th of September and of Agios Ioannis Rigologos on 29th of August, with traditional music and dances.
Despite the changes brought about by modern times, this enchanting place continues to bear the originality of tradition. The village Koutouloufari is situated above Hersonissos port and is built near the foot of the Charakas Mountain.
The characterization of the village as ‘traditional’ concentrates the elements of another kind of tourist development, mainly based on highlighting the exciting local colour of the island. In this amphitheatrically built village, tradition is vividly expressed, not only in the attitudes and characters of the inhabitants, but also reflected by the works of art and in the shaping of places.
The perfect combination of mountain and sea lend the visitor a sensation of serenity and a mood for exploration and entertainment.
A sensation of past times, as well as the traditional colour has made that village into cosmopolitan destination. In parallel to the romantic presence of the picturesque features of the landscape, there are many hotel clusters and apartments, a great number of restaurants, where you can try traditional, Cretan delicacies, with an amazing view to the port.
A tour within the traditional village is certainly worth making a stop. Relax for a cup of coffee or an ice cream in the colourful cafes. You can also buy souvenirs at the shops of traditional products, which are spread within the narrow alleys of the village. As for the entertainment, numerous places will satisfy your music taste, whether you wish to relax or to go on the loose.
One’s most vivid imagination or senses could not possibly rival that favored place. Since Koutouloufari is a muse of photographers, do not forget your cameras. At every step, you will have the opportunity to capture a picture; a traditional house, a picturesque alley and the breathtaking view to the endless blue sea, of course.
The place is also offered for sightseeing there is a beautiful church, dedicated to Aghios Vassilios, which is built on the remains of an old church.
Set yourself free and enjoy the unique combination of the sea, the sun and the mountains, in this simple and sweet microcosm!
This traditional village of Hersonissos is like a dream in the soul and the spirit of visitors. The village Piskopiano is situated between two other, equally beautiful villages: Koutouloufari and Hersonissos. It expands amphitheatrically on the foot of the Charakas Mountain. Its name is related to the establishment of the old diocese of Hersonissos. It is a village, which will astound you with the simplicity of its beauty and with its extraordinary charm and character. The presence of an unclassified architectural style within the region is valuable, since it reflects the views and values of the society that has created it.
It is an example of a microscopic scale, about how the ideal environment for people should be, expressed through the buildings and villages with no artistic or architectural intervention.
The old buildings in the villas will certainly amaze you. Exploring them, the visitor can obtain a lot of knowledge, and get a clear picture about the architecture of that period, as well as of the culture and lifestyle of the older, simple inhabitants of the village.
There are beautiful detached or two-storeyed houses with arched doors and worn doorsills. It is clear than not only artistry, but also nobility have prevailed on the area.
Piskopiano is the meeting-point of the present and the past, as tradition is harmoniously linked to modern times and needs. If you visit that place, feelings of freedom and exhilaration will awake within you. The warm embracement of the openhearted inhabitants will certainly transmit to you beautiful feelings of hospitality and love. Picturesque alleys curved with patience, traditional wells, natural beauties all over the place, as well as the endless view to the Port compose this beautiful village.
It is the original way of living on the island of the past, which gives birth and nurses modern Crete.
In Piskopiano, you have the opportunity to relish your lunch or dinner in restaurants, buy your presents in souvenir shops and enjoy selection of coffees in the cafes of the village. You can equally visit the Agricultural Museum, a monument of the beautiful tradition of the place kept alive, while the time changes, threatening to eliminate it.
A past world, almost forgotten, revives in the Museum. Here you can admire the old oil-press, the shuttle etc. Moreover, the southern wall of an ancient arched domed church is still standing with considerable, yet faded wall paintings, just behind the church of Panagia, dated from the 19th century.
Admire the beauties of Piskopiano and feel free during your holidays.
The village of Potamies lies within an idyllic landscape with luxuriant vegetation, surrounded by vineyards, orange and olive-groves, at an altitude of 170metres. Spreading over the verdant valley of the river Aposelemis, which sources from the Lassithiotika Mountains disemboguing in the northwestern coasts, it is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque villages of Heraklion. The village Sfentili belonged to its older community.
There are two considerable region monuments. The first is the ancient domed, wall-painted monastery of Panagia Gouverniotissa, a symbol of the village, dedicated to the Dormition of the Holy Mother, with its exquisite, well-preserved hagiographies. The second is the old Church of the Transfiguration, which lies within the vineyards.
The visitors can attend the celebration of Virgin Mary’s Assumption on 14th and 15th of August, with live traditional music and dances.