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Monastery of Arkadi

Monastery of Arkadi: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Rethymno: Arkadi, Melidoni, and Margarites Tour

1. From Rethymno: Arkadi, Melidoni, and Margarites Tour

Benefit from pick-up at your hotel in the Rethymno area, and then explore the traditional lifestyle and historical legacy of Crete. Learn the Neolithic history of the Melidoni Cave and discover the pottery traditions of the village of Margarites. Discover the oldest monastery in Crete at the 16th-century Arkadi Monastery, and then go to the village of Apostoli to visit an old olive oil factory. Enjoy lunch in a traditional tavern and listen to the beautiful sound of live folk music before making your way to St. Antonios Gorge. Stop at the Fragma Potamon dam before making your way back to Rethymno.

Crete: Arkadi Monastery e-Bike Tour with Lunch

2. Crete: Arkadi Monastery e-Bike Tour with Lunch

Discover the beauty surrounding Rethymno as you cycle along the coastline. Just before you start the journey uphill, you will make your first stop at the Arsani Monastery. From there you will continue uphill through the olive groves, passing small picturesque villages before making your next stop to the village of Amnatos. There you can admire the mansion of Sanguinazzo, where you will discover above its main door the inscription which states "Initium sapientiae timor Domini". Your next stop is the Arkadi Monastery, which boasts a rich and prestigious history. You can learn about the resistance of the local people and the heroic acts of the monks, which will help you understand the significant role they played during the Greek revolution against the Ottomans. Following the monastery, you will be spoiled with a selection of traditional dishes in a traditional taverna. Due to the elevated location, you will also have breathtaking panoramic views over Rethymno and the Mediterranean Coast whilst you dine. Following lunch, you'll ride towards Pigi Village and make a final stop at Adele, before slowly making your way back to your starting point.

Crete: Cretan Culture Tour and Pottery Workshop

3. Crete: Cretan Culture Tour and Pottery Workshop

See Crete on a guided tour that combines history and craft for a hands-on experience. Visit the most historical spots on the island, learn their history, and enjoy a pottery lesson and olive oil tasting. Visit the Museum of Ancient Eleftherna, Melidoni Cave, and more. Start by getting picked up from your accommodation in Rethymno, then arrive at the most important monastery of Crete: the Monastery of Arkadi. Explore the museum where many icons, monastic relics, and weapons reveal the monastery’s history. Enjoy an hour of free time. Next, visit the Museum of Ancient Eleftherna with its historical findings from Homer’s era. This is the first archaeological site museum in Crete. The museum hosts the whole history of Eleftherna from 3000 B.C. to 1300 A.D. Afterward, enjoy a tour of the pottery workshop “TSIKALARIO” in the village of Margarites to learn about the art of pottery and create your own ceramic. The tradition of pottery goes back many generations in this villa. Later, visit Margarites village where you will have free time for lunch or a walk. Next, head to an olive oil manufactory. Learn how Cretan people made olive oil in the past and see the evolution up to today. Take part in an olive oil tasting before heading to the next stop, Melidoni Cave. Lastly, arrive at Melidoni, also called “Gerodospilios,” a historic cave filled with stalactites and stalagmites. This 220-meter altitude cave was used for religious ceremonies and as a place of worship. Learn the cave's archaeological and historical significance before heading back to Rethymno.

From Rethymno: Arkadi- Margarites - Melidoni Cave - Axos

4. From Rethymno: Arkadi- Margarites - Melidoni Cave - Axos

After you will be picked off in the morning from your hotel in Rethymnon, this unique village tour begins from Arkadi. There you will visit the historic Arkadi Monastery, renowned for its pivotal role in the resistance against the Turks. You will learn a lot about local history from the icons and the weapons there. After this enriching visit, you will enjoy a majestic route towards Eleutherna where you will stop to glaze the landscape and enjoy the view. The next station will be the village of Margarites, in which you can learn about the art of pottery and create your own ceramic in their local pottery workshop. The tradition of pottery goes back many generations in this village and the ladies there will be more than happy to initiate you to the Cretan pottery art. Afterwards, you will be heading to Melidoni cave, also called “Gerodospilios,” which is a historic cave filled with stalactites and stalagmites. This 220-meter altitude cave was a place of worship for Talos the bronze giant guardian of Crete who protected the island of Crete from enemies. You will have an hour to explore the cave. Before heading back to Rethymnon, you will stop at Axos Village, where you will have the chance to experience firsthand the production process of fresh cheese. Along with the local people you can take part in the milking process, witness the production of local cheese pies and cheese and of course taste the fresh traditional handmade snacks. After the relaxed time for snacks and resting you are ready to depart and get dropped off at your hotel in Rethymnon, with a full experience of Crete's history, art and flavors.

Potamon Dam, Arcadi Monastery, 3 Gorges & Preveli Palm Beach

5. Potamon Dam, Arcadi Monastery, 3 Gorges & Preveli Palm Beach

Set off on an enthralling expedition across the splendid landscapes and ancient marvels of Crete, beginning in the lively city of Rethymno. This full-day escapade merges the island's profound historical roots with its breathtaking scenic vistas. Arkadi Monastery: A Testament to Independence The journey commences at Arkadi Monastery, a pivotal symbol of the island's fight for freedom. We explore the moving history of 1866, with its vivid imagery and symbols that recount the sacrifices made for independence. The monastery's design and relics epitomize the spirit of perseverance and the struggle for liberty. Enchanting Path to Fragma Potamon We proceed along an off-the-beaten-path to the captivating Fragma Potamon dam. Here, the sweeping vistas promise awe-inspiring tranquility, presenting an ideal chance for creating lasting memories with fellow travelers. Saint Antonios Gorge: A Secluded Haven A brief journey leads us to the tranquil Saint Antonios Gorge, a haven for rare natural ecosystems. Explore the trail to a hallowed temple set against a backdrop of remarkable geological formations. We pause to take in the lush visuals and hues, indulging in authentic local treats and coffee in this magical locale. Spili: A Village Carved in Harmony Our adventure navigates through charming hamlets to reach Spili, famed for its natural springs. Wander through its idyllic alleyways, under the shadow of ancient plane trees, and past the celebrated lion head fountains, where the cool spring waters flow incessantly. Gastronomy in a Traditional Setting The journey pauses for a gastronomic delight in a classic tavern, where an assortment of Cretan appetizers, entrees (with vegetarian alternatives), and local wines are served to tantalize your taste buds. Kourtaliotis Gorge: A Spectacular Natural Wonder We then explore the majestic Kourtaliotis Gorge, renowned for its dramatic cliffs and a river nourished by five springs, allegedly formed by the touch of St. Nikolaos. Descending to the river's edge, we immerse in the gorge's invigorating atmosphere, observing its flora and fauna, and possibly sighting the elusive vultures. Preveli: Echoes of an African Vista Our route takes us to the Preveli palm forest, offering landscapes akin to those of Africa. Marvel at the ancient stone bridge and follow a short trek to experience the dominance of palm trees among incredible rock structures, a river blending into the Libyan Sea, and expansive views of the coastline. The trail concludes at a pristine beach, perfect for swimming and unwinding. Kotsifos Gorge and Quaint Villages On our return, we traverse the imposing Kotsifos Gorge and pass through a series of traditional villages, each contributing to Crete's rich historical narrative. This exploration into the heart of Crete transcends a mere journey; it's an immersive voyage that intimately connects you with the essence of the island, leaving behind a collection of cherished memories and a refreshed sense of awe.

Heraklion:Cretan Villages with Patsos Gorge

6. Heraklion:Cretan Villages with Patsos Gorge

Meet with your guide at the terminal of Cretan Spiti Travel at Eleftherias Square in front of Astoria Capsis Hotel at 08.30 and start driving to our first stop Zaros, an attractive, refreshingly unspoiled village famous for its spring water, which is now bottled and sold all over Greece, and an ideal base for walkers to explore the beautiful nature. Zaros also has some fine Byzantine monasteries, and delicious farm-raised trout served up in tavernas around town and on emerald-green Lake Votomos which will be visited. Then we continue our drive to the traditional Cretan village of Vatos, a small village hidden in the green where we find all the elements of its tradition. Walking down the alleys we visit the old school and its fountain as well as the museum with the farming tools and utensils of earlier times. We finish at a cauldron of the village where you make Raki (the famous alcoholic beverage of Crete). Spili is our next stop known for its Venetian snake with a long line of 25 stone lion heads that run cool water from their mouths. Optional lunch at Spili. Then we visit Lampini, the church and the museum of Panagia. The church is inscribed with a cupola, and depicts frescoes of the 12th and 14th century. It was an Episcopal church, since the village of Lampini once accommodated the seat of the famous Episcopate of Lampis, which had existed since 431. Drive to Gorge of St. Antonios, walk through a very nice hiking trail in the gorge with super green and lush surroundings up to the cave of St. Antonios. Late in the afternoon at 18:30, we return to Heraklion at the terminal in front of Astoria Capsis Hotel.

Rethymnon:Private Trip Arkadi -Eleftherna-Margarite-Melidoni

7. Rethymnon:Private Trip Arkadi -Eleftherna-Margarite-Melidoni

Take a private day trip with a Mercedes Vito van from Rethymno to Arkadi Monastery - Museum Of Ancient Eleftherna - Margarites Village and Melidoni cave Arkadi Monastery The most important and historic Venetian church in Crete history. The heroic revolution of the Cretans until the complete liberation has its own reference point, and it is none other than the Arkadi Monastery. Museum Of Ancient Eleutherna The first Archaeological Site Museum in Crete, the Museum of Ancient Eleftherna, covers an area of 1700 sq.m. while the total area of the archaeological site is 13 acres. The construction of the Museum, which began in 2012, includes three rooms hosting the entire history of the city from 3000 BC. to 1300 AD, with objects of everyday life and works of art from prehistoric, geometric, archaic, classical, Hellenistic, Roman, early Byzantine and Byzantine periods. Margarites Village The tradition of pottery goes back many generations in this village and you will be able to find an elder to show you how the pots are hand thrown. The village, which has some extraordinary architecture and lovely narrow winding streets, is well worth exploring. Duration 6 hours If selected Melidoni cave Melidoniou Cave, the well-known Gerontospelios in the prefecture of Rethymnon, is one of the most important historical caves of Crete. An admirable creation of nature at an altitude of 220 meters, to the south of Kouloukona mountain, near the village of the same name. Duration 8 hours

Rethymo: Landrover Safari Sunset Tour with Lunch and Drink

8. Rethymo: Landrover Safari Sunset Tour with Lunch and Drink

Welcome to our Rethymno Sunset Tour, an opportunity for a magical and memorable trip! Discover the most beautiful panoramic views along paths running through hills and valleys. Cross picturesque villages and experience the natural wonders that Crete has to offer. After we pick you up from your hotel, our first stop will be at the Venetian village of Pikris , where you will see the Cretan way of life and our hospitality.The village was built next to the river with its mythical nymphs. You will have the chance to see the amazing central gate of the villa Claudio. What makes it even more intriguing is the Latin inscription in letters: “Pateat bonis,” which translates to “the good man passes through.” This phrase hints at a place that values virtues and welcomes those of moral character. Our next stop will be the Arkadi Monastery wich is one of the most important monasteries in Crete and holds great cultural and historical value.It is renowned for its stunning architecture, with a mix of Venetian, Byzantine, and Ottoman influences, making it a unique and captivating structure.(to enter the Monastery is optional and the entrance fee is 3 euro) We continue through the changing scenery of wild flowers, herbs and local groves to reach the mountains at an altitude of around 1000m.Here you will have an amazing view point of the dam of Potamon. We stop to relax with a glass of wine whilst admiring the vivid colors of the sun sinking into the ocean! Our last stop will be at Limnokastro where we will have a Cretan style evening meal at a local tavern by the river, where giant trees and a 1000 year old church will fascinate you! Here you will have the opportunity to try a selection of traditional local starters and main courses (vegetarian option available) and enjoy unlimited Cretan wine. Don’t miss this unique experience and an unforgettable, epic Rethymno sunset tour!

From Rethimno: Margarites, Arkadi Monastery, & Thronos Tour

9. From Rethimno: Margarites, Arkadi Monastery, & Thronos Tour

Morning Pick up: We will pick you up from your hotel. Depending on the place of your hotel/apartment the bus drive will differ. 1st stop: Margarites Visit Margarites village which is known on Crete for its pottery, with ceramics shops and workshops lining the streets of this charming small village. The tradition of pottery goes back many generations in this village. You will visit the pottery workshop Keramion where you will enjoy a professional workshop to see how traditional ceramics are made and why not try to create your own (optional)! Moreover, you will find a special and unique product, the famous cup of justice. It was an ingenious wine cup which had a line that determined the limit of fulfillment and an axial or curved siphon. When one filled it excessively, the level of liquid covered the siphon and emptied automatically. It is considered an invention of Pythagoras who wanted to teach his students the necessity of complying with moderation in our lives. 2nd stop: Arkadi Monastery Explore the Monastery which has an architecture and history that will captivate you. It is one of the most impressive monasteries of Crete, which is played an active role in the Cretan resistance of Ottoman rule during the Cretan revolt of 1866. Places of special interest in Monastery -The Church which is a basilica with two naves; dedicated to the Transfiguration of Christ and to Saint Constantine and Saint Helen. It was built in 1587 in the place of the smaller church of the 13th century. -The bullet tree which witnessed the 1866 great battle, stands wounded by the Tourkish bullets, the superannuated cypress in the space of the cross showing towards the church. -Monk cells which were the personal area of the monks, a place of pray and inner though. -Museum where many icons and monastic relics as well as weapons are exhibited. 3rd stop: Thronos Village Afterwards, you will visit the traditional cauldron of the village where you will be able to watch all the stages of distillation, but also taste fresh raki, along with all those Cretan delicacies that accompany the company of raki, and also have fun! At the end of the day we transfer you back to your hotel, happy and smiling after a unique experience.

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Overall rating

(14 reviews)

The highlight of our holiday in Crete. Kostas and Anastasia were a fantastic team. Kostas drove with skill and surprised us with his knowledge of the local people and his beautiful lyre playing at the taverna. Anastasia's knowledge of the historical events was conveyed with passion, understanding and philosophical insight. We felt we had made new friends for life!

very beautiful excursion culturally and humanly. Small churches, old school, tastings, church nestled in the rock and the impressive Arkadi monastery. Our guide was very dynamic, enthusiastic and available. Thank you very much for the beautiful memories.

It was nice to see different pkaces of Creta and meet very warm persons: Lasarus and Kostas. Wonderfull lunch in taverna with live music and dances. Reccomend.

The day trip was wonderful. We thoroughly enjoyed it. Costas and Anastasia made the day special, thank you for that.

An all-round successful trip. With a very friendly tour guide and bus driver, who is also musical 😉