Pottery Village of Margarites - The monastery of Arkadi & The Gorge of Patsos (St Antonios)

Details

DURATION

6 - 8 hours

DIFFICULTY

Medium

GROUP SIZE

2 - 6 persons

SCHEDULE

Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday

TYPE

Small group tour

PICK UP TIME

09:00 (Depending on your hotel)

PICK UP PLACE

Hotels in Rethymno district

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Highlights

  • Discover Margarites village, its extraordinary architecture and lovely narrow streets
  • Watch the demonstration of traditional pottery making
  • Enjoy a traditional coffee at the kafeneio while having a breathtaking view
  • Admire the remarkable scenery of Arkadi monastery and learn about its history 
  • Taste some of the best local Wines and get a tour in Kourkoulos winery
  • Explore the Patsos gorge, its natural beauty and its rich flora and fauna
  • Have a Cretan pic-nic in the best spot of the gorge
  • Feel the religiousness of the unique cavernous church of St. Antony
ITINERARY

Every Stop a Unique Experience

1st Stop

A small beautiful village

We will start our tour by visiting a beautiful well-hidden village, Margarites. The tradition of pottery has been an integral part of this village for many generations; there are lots of locals who still keep the tradition alive, up to this day, by transforming the traditional practice of pottery into modern art. In Margarites, we will meet our friend Yorgos, a local, who will show you how the pots are hand thrown. A demonstration of his art will follow, that will certainly stay “carved” in our memory. The village itself has a unique architecture and some lovely narrow winding streets, making it worth being explored. So, let’s wander through the quiet village of Margarites, enjoy the hundreds of colors that lie before our eyes and then enjoy a traditional coffee at a small “kafeneio”.

1st Stop

A small beautiful village

2 nd Stop

Feel the sanctity of Arkadi

2nd Stop

Feel the sanctity of Arkadi

After a 25' drive, we will continue to the religious and historical part of our tour. The goal is to become familiar with the Cretan culture and its religious customs. The Arkadi monastery is perhaps the best known monastery in Crete, due to its history of the Holocaust in 1866. However, its location and impressive architecture make it all more special. For everyone who visits the Arkadi monastery, the feeling is unique; serene and quiet, but also emotionally powerful. Dedicated to Saint Constantine, the church of the monastery is just exceptional. The monastery in general is full of flowers, so many that it is impossible to list them all, but the rose garden especially is extraordinary. Let’s not skip the museum chambers as well; there, we will find many photographs of historically important people, such as Hadjimichalis Giannaris, who during the revolution helped to ignite the patriotism and the anger of the Cretans. We will escort you to explore this magnificent monument, discuss about the history and less-known stories, but, since our guides are not official state guides, it is forbidden for them to give tours inside historical monuments. If you wish to have an official history guide, we will be happy to book one for you upon communication!

3rd Stop

A family winery

Just before we reach the Gorge of Patsos we will get the chance to visit one of the best wineries of the region. A small family-run winery, surrounded by vineyards and a magnificent view, Kourkoulou winery is a real gem. Local vine varieties cultivated by hte father Kourkoulo, fermented and vinificated by his daughter. Wine runs deep into this family's veins. The winery is really small and modern with a beautiful view of the surrounding area and a comfortable tasting room. After you get a tour of the winery you will get the chance to taste the family wines along with some Cretan delicacies.

3rd Stop

A family winery

4 th Stop

Let’s explore the nature of Crete

4th Stop

Let’s explore the nature of Crete

Next up, is the gorge of Patsos. A small yet magnificent gorge, which begins at Ano Assites, is the necessary part to complete this excursion. The whole area around the gorge is of particular natural beauty. In the gorge, we can see rare species of flora and fauna, which are protected by the European legislation. As we walk onto the beautiful path, we will meet the attraction of the cavernous church of St. Anthony inside the rocky walls, which used to be a former temple of Hermes. If we want, we can stop at this point or even sooner, and head back for our return. If not, continuing from there, we will follow the trail to the ‘Potamon” dam. On the sides of the gorge there is an observation deck for birds in the area as well. During the biggest part of our hike, there is enough shadow and water to keep us cool; also, the feeling of walking under so many trees and next to running waters is unique! Usually, to complete the route, we will hike for about 3 1/2 hours, but depending on the weather and the physical condition of the travelers, we could hike more or less. It’s really up to you to choose how much walking we will do! It is also up to you to pick your favorite place to have a pic-nic with the best Cretan snacks and some wine or raki.When we decide to return, we follow the same path and end up at the starting point of the gorge.

What’s Included

  • Hotel pick up and drop off (Only Rethymno district)
  • English or French speaking guide
  • Local driver / guide​
  • Transport by air-conditioned car​ / mini bus
  • Entrance to the monastery​
  • Learn about the history and religion of Crete
  • Walk in the beautiful gorge of Patsos
  • Winery tour and wine tasting
  • Pic-nic(vegetarian option included)
  • All taxes, fees and handling charges​
  • Lots of raki and laughter :)

ADULTS

125 EURO P/P
CHILDREN (3 - 12)50%
INFANTS (0 - 2)FREE
GROUP 3-4110 EURO P/P
GROUP 5-6105 EURO P/P
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