Rethymno - Arkadi Monastery – Margarites village – Ancient Eleftherna 1 Day Private Tour

Rethymno - Arkadi Monastery – Margarites village – Ancient Eleftherna 1 Day Private Tour
Rethymno - Arkadi Monastery – Margarites village – Ancient Eleftherna 1 Day Private Tour
Rethymno - Arkadi Monastery – Margarites village – Ancient Eleftherna 1 Day Private Tour

Discover with a one day Private tour, Arkadi Orthodox monastery, Margarites traditional village and Ancient Eleutherna also known as Apollonia an ancient city-state in Crete.

Arkadi Monastery is an Eastern Orthodox monastery, situated on a fertile plateau 23 km to the south of Rethymno on the island of Crete in Greece. This catholicon church dates back to the 16th century and is marked by the influence of the Renaissance, this influence is visible in the architecture which mixes both Roman and baroque elements. In the 16th century the monastery was a place for science and art, also had a school and a rich library. Even though the monastery is situated on a plateau it’s well fortified, being surrounded by a thick and high wall. It has played an active role in the Cretan resistance of Ottoman rule during the Cretan revolt of 1866. There were 943 Greeks which were mostly woman and children sought refuge in the monastery and after three days of the battle and under orders from the hegumen of the monastery, the Cretans blew up barrels of gunpowder choosing to sacrifice themselves rather than surrender. In honor of the Cretan resistance the monastery became a national sanctuary for them and the 8th of November is the day of commemorative parties in Arkadi and Rethymno. The explosion didn’t end the Cretan insurrection but it attracted the attention of the rest of the world.

Margarites is a small village located in Rethymno Perfecture and its known/famous for its pottery which constitutes a local tradition and widespread occupation since the Minoan times. Now the settlement constitutes one of the most important centers of pottery and ceramic art in Crete, it counts 17 workshops some which are operated as exhibitions that give visitors the chance to watch experienced and skillful artificers making all sorts of ceramic items and imitations of ancient Minoan Potteries. Apart from pottery Margarites is the home of one of the most important monuments of Rethymno and the late Minoan Vaulteed Grave which is dated back to 1350 B.C. it’s a very special building in terms of architecture: long downhill corridor leading to a circle chamber of the central vault which is the main section on a grave, researchers have discovered the bones of four adults and two children in that grave. According to the finders they belonged to individuals of upper society and religion hierarchy.

Eleutherna also known as Apollonia which was an ancient city-state in Crete, Greece, it lies 25 km southeast of Rethymno in Rethymno regional unit. Archaeologists excavated the site, located on a narrow northern spur of Mount Ida which is the highest mountain in Crete. This sight is about 1 km south of modern town of Eleftherna and about 8 km north east of Moni Arkadiou in the current municipality of Rethymno. It has flourished from the dark ages of Greece’s early history until Byzantine time.

Ancient Eleftherna is located 25 km southwest of Rethymno and relatively close to the Monastery of Arkadi, the town is the most important archaeological site in the prefecture of Rethymno which is not fully been excavated and it is expected to give archaeologists many more discoveries. The first excursions there started in 1985 by the University of Crete.

Museum of Ancient Eleutherna is an on-site museum of Greece in the archaeological park of Eleutherna, Rethymno and houses artifacts found in the nearby archaeological site of Eleutherna and the necropolis of Orthi Petra as seen in the virtual tour of museum and the archaeological sites.


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