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Archanes Crete

Arhanes Village, Crete

Archanes Crete Αρχάνες is 14 km from the capital Heraklion and only 7 km from the Palace of Knossos in central northern Crete, part of the Heraklion region.

This lovely village sits in rolling hills surrounded by olive groves and vineyards. The village is made up of Kato Archanes and Epano Archanes, lower and upper villages, of which the upper village is the larger.

About the Village

The area is dominated by the large mountain Giouktas, and gorges, forests and nature abound. The local agriculture produces delicious wine, raisins and grapes.

A very pretty village, central square

Much of the village has been restored, with many neoclassical and traditional buildings and churches lending a charismatic architecture to the scene. Traditional homes have been created into warm gracious guesthouses and pensions.

The local agricultural co-operative is one of the oldest in Greece, and to this day produces some beautiful wines of Crete. The region is dotted with vineyards and wineries, such as Sinadinakis Wines, the Miliarakis winery, and the Boutari winery. See more about the Wines of Crete here.

Sinadinakis Winery

The history of the region includes not only the extraordinary excavation that revealed the Palace of Knossos, but other local archaeological sites that continue to reveal the rich history of Crete.

In the centre - town hall and church

Local sites reveal there has been continuous habitation in this area for 5000 years. The Minoan culture is one of the most fascinating subjects of local sites. The village has Minoan, Byzantine and Folklore museums to explore.

Local hiking and walks include a section of the E4 European Walk Path and hikes in amongst sycamore forests to Fourni forest, Silamiano Gorge or Mount Giouktas.

Map of Fourni forest, Silamiano Gorge and Mount Giouktas

Archanes Crete

Spitiko Taverna Sign - Archanes Crete
Bakaliko Deli & Restaurant - Archanes Crete

There are many tavernas, cafes and restaurants. Lykastos, Trioroukouno, Bakaliko, Tzibaeri are lovely local tavernas serving fresh vegetables, delicious cuisine all punctuated with the local wine and olive oil.

Enjoy traditional Cretan food at Kritamon, To Spitiko or Zelita, the latter is a wine bar where you can enjoy local wines, ouzo or the local tsikoudia, or perhaps something a little softer, to while away the evening.

Archanes Crete

Archanes Crete - we suggest beautiful, charismatic accommodation to enjoy the local culture.

Studio Arhontiko - courtyard
Studio Arhontiko - interior

Arhontiko Studios

This traditional 19th century mansion in the centre of the village of Archanes, dating from 1893, has been lovingly restored and created into the Arhontiko studios for guests. There are two studios sleeping four visitors each. This building is declared a 'Protected Historical Building'.

With every detail of the restoration attended to, from the stone work to the furniture and decoration. The result is comfortable, authentic and cozy. We often recommend this accommodation for those flying into Heraklion airport, it is close without the need to go into busy downtown Heraklion.

Villa Archanes

Villa Archanes is a blend of historic and modern with a beautifully restored village home now offering a pool and terraces.

Experience true country hospitality, wonderful tasty Cretan breakfasts and a spacious, stylish family mansion house originally dating from 1890.

Traditional stonework, lovely chunky wooden beams, handcrafted Cretan furnishings and attention to detail make these rooms a pleasure to stay in.

Choose from a one-bedroom villa which sleeps 2 guests or a two-bedroom villa, with space for 4 guests.

Agrielia Villa Courtyard, Sgourokefali, Crete
Agrielia Villa and pool, Sgourokefali, Crete

Agrielia Villa in Sgourokefali village is 15 km from Archanes village and 19 km from Heraklion. This hamlet with views to the sea is a quiet rural retreat, yet close to everything. Visit the beaches, go into the town of Heraklion to see museums or get your fresh fruit and vegetables at the local markets.

This two-storey village home has been beautifully restored in traditional style to make a modern comfortable holiday home with everything you need for a short or long stay. With three bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and capacity for 8 guests, this home features an open kitchen and dining area and a lovely spacious pool and courtyard. This is a very homey, yet stylish, traditional experience of the Cretan country lifestyle.

The location is handy for visits to Knossos Palace, the beaches and local wineries.

Heraklion Town

The Venetian ruin and old Turkish coffee house in Kournaros Square, Heraklion

With easy access by car or local bus, you may want to stay a while to enjoy the highlights of Heraklion town, as well as Knossos Palace.

In town you will discover a modern, vibrant city with a very fun, upbeat vibe, especially around the Koraii cafe quarter. Most visitors go to the archaeological museum but there is so much more to see. We love to walk the pedestrian streets, enjoy the architecture and the 'agora' or markets.

  • Liondaria Fountain
  • Heraklion Archaeological Museum
  • Old Venetian Harbour and Koules Fortress
  • Agios Titos Church and Square
  • Pedestrian Shopping Streets
  • 1866 Local Market
  • Koraii Cafes and Bars
  • Memorial to Eleftherios Venizelos
  • Kournarou Square

Heraklion Region

Phaistos Ancient Minoan Site

Archanes Crete - in the region of Heraklion, there is just so much to explore, take your car or a local bus to Heraklion then take the bus to Matala to the south to see some of the most important archaeological sites in Crete.

And don't forget the wineries along the way!


The video below shows the journey from busy Heraklion town through beautiful green countryside to Archanes Crete, visiting a historic spring and a gorge with caves along the way.

The video below shows a lovely walk in springtime around the village of Archanes.

On the Map

See the location of the village on the map of Crete below.

Images of Archanes

Archanes Village, Crete in April

Colourful village home in Archanes, Crete

Colourful village street in Archanes, Crete

Church in centre of the village (Image by M Hofner)

Grapevines surround the village

Getting Here

Archanes Crete - The closest airport is Heraklion International Airport (code HER) which is only 15 km

Flights depart Athens (code ATH) many times a day and the flight time is only 1 hour.

Details about air and sea travel below.

To get to this village by hire car, take a short 20 minute drive from the airport, mostly on country roads, which makes a very relaxed start to your holiday in Crete.

Car hire in Crete is a really good idea as it is a large island 60 km by 260 km. There is so much to explore.

When you book with our car rental partners - Rental Centre Crete - you are supporting a local company with excellent service and easy online booking. We are sure you will be well looked after by the team. Choose from hybrid, electric or regular vehicles.

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We trust you have enjoyed these tips from the We Love Crete team. Evíva!

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