Theriso is a small Cretan village 16 km from Chania town in the region of Chania. This village has a remarkable history, intrinsically interwoven with the freedom and independence of the Cretan people.
Θέρισο village, with its dramatic mountain scenery and gorge, sits at 580 m at the foothills of the massive Lefka Ori or White Mountain range in the west of Crete.
The beautiful Thériso Gorge
with its dramatic scenery can be seen from the road as it runs
along the bed of the gorge for 6 km, accompanying the tree-lined river
and surrounded by the greenery of chestnuts and oaks. Of course the
gorge also makes a wonderful walk in the clean mountain air, and is
popular with rock climbers and hikers.
Climbers take the opportunity to start from the village to climb the high peak Pachnes, and experienced many sheer and breath-taking cliff climbs all around.
Those less active will enjoy a visit to the gorge, the forest and the nearby Sarakina Cave, 2 km north of the village, with historical finds from the Neolithic, Minoan and Geometric ages evidenced from archaeological explorations.
This gorge and village make a wonderful day trip from Chania, visitors can enjoy the many traditional tavernas in the small village serving both the famous Cretan lamb and meat dishes as well as plenty of local fresh vegetables.
The famous politician and statesman, Eleftherios Venizelos (above), born in Mournies in Chaniá prefecture in 1864, started the revolution of 1905 in the village. The inaccessibility of the village, it is enclosed by mountains, made it difficult to capture.
This uprising of 1905 fought to unite the people of the island of Crete after 400 years of domination by the Ottomans, and subsequent outside rule by Prince George of Greece, sent by the Great Powers.
Finally in 1913 Crete became unified with Greece. Eleftherios Venizelos went on to become Prime Minister of Greece from 1910 to 1915.
Venizelos is one of the great heroes of Crete and Greece.
Venizelos no doubt chose this village as he was uniquely tied to the mountain people and this village, it being the village of his mother Stiliani Ploumidakis.
Today the house of his mother still stands in the village and has been preserved as a historical building.
Inside this small village also stands the Eleftherios Venizelos Centre for Independence and the Therisos National Resistance Museum, both of which accept visitors.
The National Research Foundation of Eleftherios Venizelos has its offices in Chania town, and held a 100 year anniversary celebrations of the Theriso uprising in 2005.
Thériso 100 Years was an event that gathered together visitors from all over the island and the world between 3rd and 6th March 2005. Proceedings were opened by Anna Psarouda Benaki, the President of the Hellenic Parliament. A congress was held with the support of the Hellenic Parliament, The Prefecture of Chaniá and the Thériso District Council. Contributions were made by universities, historians and research specialists.
Thériso holds a special place in the hearts of all Cretans.
Beautiful local accommodation in two local homes, named Therisso Homes, with traditional construction, stone and wood and plenty of local character, these very affordable guesthouses ensure a unique Cretan local experience in the hills of the Lefka Ori, amongst the mountain people.
In the village, you will discover the Elia Villas, typical of the architecture of the region, featuring two split level villas with their own fireplace.
Below see the location of the village on the map of Crete...