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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 local character. Renowned for the skill of the local weavers and embroiderers, many tourists visit just to see the beautiful lacework, table cloths 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 5th and 4th centuries BC. Also nearby 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.
Perhaps stop at the beautiful Panagia Kera church on the way. This Byzantine church dates from 13th to 14th Centuries and is located just 1 km outside the village.
Drivers are reminded to park in the car park 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.
Visit the Kritsotopoula Museum to learn about her story at 168 Kritsotopoula St in Kritsa.
Many pleasant hours can be enjoyed in this lovely village, in the local cafes, craft and art boutiques and taking in the views over the surrounding valleys and olive groves, over to the Thripti mountains.
Experience the vast local knowledge of plants, animals, fossils and local culture from Giorgos Afordakis at the Rodanthi Museum.
78 Ioannou Klontza St, Kritsa
Walks from the village are steep and scenic, walk to the nearby Kritsa Gorge,
(pictured below) or explore onward 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 metres 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.
Alonaki House is a characteristic local home with plenty of room and a cosy feel, including a beautiful garden and wonderful views. This property offers 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a full kitchen welcoming 6 guests in comfort.
Located in the village, enjoy friendly local hospitality and also privacy in the garden. There are lots of spots to sit and relax outdoors and on your own terrace.
Be aware of the steep and narrow streets in this village, parking is a little way away.
This tiny home is a charmingly restored 18th Century dwelling dripping with style and authentic local vernacular.
This Xobli Micro House is great for 2 visitors, offering a unique Cretan experience just on the outskirts of the village. Be warmly welcomed and treated with local honey, fruits, pastries, raki and fruit juice.
Watch the sunrise and sunset from the terrace.
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.
Enjoy the smells, textures and glimpses of everyday life in the village in the beautiful collage. Enjoy the mountain views, the olive groves, the churches and quiet streets. Relax in the drossia on a hot summer day. See the cats lying in the shade, explore the arts and crafts shops and sit at the kafenion. Order your kafe, sit back, relax, have a chat.
See the location of this village in Crete on the map below.
Or take a 9.5 hour overnight ferry from Pireaus port of Athens to Heraklion port.
More on flights and ferries below.
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 an easy online booking procedure. We are sure you will be well looked after by the team. Choose from hybrid or non-hybrid vehicles.
"We trust you have enjoyed these tips from the team at We Love Crete. Evíva!"
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