Kritsa Κριτσά - this village in the east of the island of Crete in Greece is located 10 km from Agios Nikolaos in Lasithi.
A beautiful small village in the mountain foothills, with narrow winding lanes and plenty of character. Renowned for the skill of the local weavers and embroiderers, many tourists visit just to see the beautiful lacework, table clothes and other cloths on display and for sale in the village.
This picturesque village is built into a hillside and is very steep, adding to its charm and scenery, however it was not built for modern cars.
Nearby is the ruin of the Dorian city of Lato, thought to have dominated in this area in the fifth and fourth centuries BC. Nearby also is the gorge of the same name and the Katharo Plateau leading through the Dikti Mountains to Lasithi Plateau.
The drive from Agios Nikolaos is 10 km - take the Latous Road out of town, cross the national highway taking the Agios Nikolaos-Prinas Road. You will pass through the villages of Kalivos, Roussa Limni and Mardati and by the Forest of Thilakas. Drivers are reminded to park in the carpark at the bottom of the village, just as they arrive from Agios Nikolaos.
KTEL buses leave from Agios Nikolaos to Kritsá very often each day in summer season. The local and regional bus services in Crete are run by regional collectives known as Kino Tamio Eispraxeon Leoforon or KTEL. The travel time from Agios Nikolaos on the bus is 15 minutes and the fare is approx €1.60.
Kritsá is famous for its picture-postcard whitewashed atmosphere and mountain scenery, so much so this village was chosen as the movie set for Italian-French production "He Who Must Die" in 1957, based on the the novel Christ Recrucified by Nikos Kazantzakis, the well known Cretan author.
Occupied since Minoan times, this village has a fascinating history including the freedom fighting female leader Thriliki Kritsotopoula, who died in the Battle of Kritsá in 1823, fighting against occupation by the Turks.
Many pleasant hours can be enjoyed in this lovely village, in the local kafes, craft and art boutiques and taking in the views over the surrounding valleys and olive groves, over to the Thripti mountains.
Walks from the village are steep and scenic, walk to the nearby Kritsa Gorge, (pictured below) or explore onwards to the villages of Tapes. The gorge walk is a total of 4 km, with the narrow rocky gorge sides coming close to 1.5 at some points, requiring scrambling over rocks. Some metal handles are placed in some of the tricky spots.
The Agyro Bed & Breakfast at the entry to the village is a good, clean and welcoming place run with proud Cretan hospitality by Argyro and her family. You will find simple rooms and plenty of delicious local food.See reviews, get rates and availability at Agyro B&B...
Below you will see lovely foothills of Ancient Lato and views to Mirabello Bay and the mountains around the village, footage by the Heraklion Mountaineering Club - Αρχαία Λατό - Κριτσά, Ορειβατικος συλλογος Ηρακλειου.
On the video below see the pathway that connects Kritsa and the nearby village of Tapes. Το παλιό μονοπάτι που ένωνε την Κριτσά με τις Τάπες.
See the location of this village in Crete on the map below.