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Margarites Village

Crete, Greece

Margarites Village Crete

The village of Margarites Μαργαρίτες, 30 km south-east from Rethymnon town in the centre of the island of Crete in Greece, is reknowned for its ceramics.

About Margarites

Margarites Village Laneway
Ceramics on display (image by Suzanne Creates)

Located in picturesque green rolling hills of the Rethymnon region, the village is well known for its pottery, and attracts large tour buses in the busy season. After the rushed tourists have left, it is then possible to stroll around this very charming village and enjoy the many pottery studios.

The tradition of pottery goes back many generations in this village and you will be able to find an elder to show you how the pots are hand thrown. 

The village, which has some extraordinary architecture and lovely narrow winding streets, is well worth exploring.

The church of Agios Ioannis Theologos has frescoes from 1383.

There are Venetian doorways, Byzantine churches and plenty of cafés to relax in, perhaps to try a Greek coffee.

Taverna Mantalos - with great views of the local countryside and traditional Cretan food.

On the mouth-watering menu are skordalia, courgette balls, broad beans, black eyed beans, stuffed vine leaves and fried snails, and those are just the mezedakia!

Thank you to Giannis Markarkis for the beautiful image below.

Quiet streets (image by Guettier)
Church bell tower (image by Suzanne Creates)
Margarites Church 2 by Yiannis Makrakis

Kerameion Margarites

Visit Kerameion - a local ceramic studio with potters Giorgis Dalambelas and Mariniki Mania who are partnered with the Psiloritis UNESCO Global Geopark, safely sourcing local materials.

Margarites Crete Greece

Where to Stay

Casa Cantico Margarites Crete
Casa Cantico Margarites Crete

Casa Cantico - in the village - is a beautifully restored village home. Live like a local. This 1 bedroom home offers a double bed and 2 sofa beds, welcoming 4 guests in total. Stroll to cafes, tavernas and ceramic workshops.

"A beautiful authentic house in the centre of Margarites Village. If you are looking for real Cretan experience, that’s definitely the place to choose. Magical feeling of living in a stone house with old charming details and magnificent view. It was perfectly clean, the kitchen had everything you need and more. Welcome raki and virgin olive oil, just really nice welcoming details. Totally recommend."

Mithonies Villa Crete
Mithonies Villa Crete

Mithonies Villa, sitting outside of the village in a peaceful natural setting, with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, full kitchen, terraces and a pool, it is a tranquil retreat for the whole family.

Less than 1 km from Margarites village, and 25 km from Rethymnon town.

"The villa is close to shops and restaurants on foot (barely 5 minutes), while being out of the way to feel like being alone in the middle of the mountain. Magnificent view. Hostess available if needed, as well as Thinkvilla's team that makes sure you have everything you can to further improve your stay. Very large villa and large bedrooms. Games were made available by our hostess for our 2 1/2 year old daughter. The pool is very nice."

Kouriton House Crete
Beautiful Kouriton House, a traditional pension in Margarites Village in central Crete

The neighbouring or convergent village of Tzanakiana is also very pleasant to visit, perhaps to stay a while at the beautiful Kouriton House, a traditional pension, with immaculate restoration, fresh local cuisine and is the ecotourism centre of the area, dedicated to sharing local culture.

"Kouriton House was a delightful place to stay. Hostess Anastasia is a wellspring of knowledge about the area and its history, and greater Crete in general. She made us hand-drawn maps of driving routes and suggested off the beaten track places to visit. Her passion for, and support of, the local community shines through - from the caring restoration of this historic property to the locally sourced ingredients on the breakfast table. I would wholeheartedly recommend a visit."

Around and About Margarites

The nearby Melidoni Cave has a rich history. Artifacts from the cave are displayed in the Archaeological Museum of Rethymnon. The myths surrounding the cave include the extraordinary story of Talos, a bronze giant. This creature circled Crete twice every day throwing rocks at invaders and pirates. The myth says that Medea, an enchantress, removed his special thorn and he bled to death.

Other myths tell of his encounters with Jason and the Argonauts.

Melidoni Cave also has a tomb and a plaque marking the death of 340 Cretan men, women and children killed by the Turks in 1824. The people had hidden in the cave and refused to surrender. The Turks lit a fire and all were asphyxiated.

Elefherna Tower

Eleftherna Tower, (above) a Dorian and later Roman settlement, is 5 km from the village. This historic site is spectacular and surrounded by hills and gorges. There are remains of a fortified tower from Hellenic and Byzantine eras.

Visit the Museum and Archaeological Site of Ancient Eleftherna less than 7 km from the village. Opened in June 2016, this wonderful modern exhibitions shows historic artifacts from 3000 BC to 1300 AD. The archaeological site and the museum are 2.8 km from each other. Leave time to visit the Kafenio Filio in between.

Ancient Eleftherna, Crete

Ancient Eleftherna

Arkadi Monastery
 (below) is 16 km from here, through rolling hills and gorge country. This active monastery is well worth a visit for the architecture alone, yet it tells one of the most compelling stories of Crete's rebellious history.

16 km from Arkadi Monastery

The Metaxakis Winery (below) is located just 1 km from Margarites, offering reds, whites and rosés, with tours and tastings during the open season, upon request.

Metaxakis Winery Crete

The Kourkoulou Winery (below) is to be found on country roads 33 km from Margarites, at the foothills of Psiloritis, next to the gorge of Agios Antonios at Patsos. Here at the estate you can taste and purchase wine from May to October between 11am and 5pm.Try their reds, whites and rosés.

Kourkoulou Winery Crete

The village of Spili (below) is a hub in the centre of the Rethymnon region, with a pretty water fountain with lion's heads, which can be visited on a day trip from Rethymnon including Margarites, Arkadi Monastery and the Amari Valley.

Spili water fountain

Rethymnon Old Town

Rethymnon Habour and Lighthouse

Enjoy the highlights of the Old Town of Rethymnon:

Experience Margarites

Eleftherna Experience

Day Tour of Ancient Eleftherna, Margarites and Rethymnon Region - this full-day tour offers a journey through the ages and some of the prettiest countryside of Rethymno. With a knowledgeable guide, explore Ancient Eleftherna, Arkadi Monastery, Margarites Village and enjoy a local Cretan lunch at a traditional taverna in Asteri Village. 10 hours.

4.9 / 5 | 118 Reviews

Ceramics Workshop Experience

Cretan Culture Tour and Pottery Workshop - departing from Rethymnon town and surrounds, visit ancient Eleftherna, the Arkadi Monastery, Margarites village and see a pottery workshop with experienced local craftspeople. Relax for lunch in Margarites before visiting an olive farm and the Melidoni Cave. Full day tour.

4.4 / 5 | 10 Reviews

On the Map

See the location of Margarites on the map of Crete.

Map of Rural Accommodation

Below you will see rural guesthouses, cottages, pensions and eco houses in Crete.

Getting Here

Take a 1 hour flight from Athens to Heraklion with Aegean Airlines or Olympic Air, with many flights available per day.

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 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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