Hiking Eleftherna – The Ancient City
About The Place
Rethymno, a regional unit in Crete, Greece, is a captivating blend of rich history, diverse landscapes, and vibrant culture. This area, situated on the northern coast of the island, boasts a tapestry of natural beauty and human heritage.
Rethymno’s history is steeped in ancient civilizations, with traces of Minoan, Roman, Byzantine, and Venetian influences. The city of Rethymno itself is a living museum, adorned with Venetian architecture, Turkish minarets, and remnants of a robust medieval past. The Fortezza, a massive Venetian fortress, stands as a testament to the region’s strategic importance throughout the ages.
The landscape of Rethymno is a mosaic of rugged mountains, fertile plateaus, and pristine beaches. The imposing White Mountains (Lefka Ori) to the south and the Psiloritis Range to the east shape the region’s topography. Gorges like the famous Samaria Gorge cut through the mountains, offering breathtaking hiking opportunities. The Preveli Beach, with its palm forest and lagoon, exemplifies the diverse coastal beauty of Rethymno.
Rethymno is home to a variety of flora and fauna. The region’s mountains provide habitats for rare plant species, and the diverse landscapes support a range of animal life. Raptors soar in the skies, and the rural areas host traditional farms with domesticated animals. The marine life along the coast is equally diverse, making it a haven for snorkelers and divers.
The cultural tapestry of Rethymno is woven with a strong thread of Cretan traditions. The locals celebrate festivals with music, dance, and gastronomic delights. Traditional Cretan music, with the distinct sounds of the lyre and laouto, echoes through the streets during festivals. The cuisine, rich in olive oil, herbs, and locally sourced ingredients, is a testament to the region’s agrarian heritage.
Quaint villages dot the Rethymno landscape, each with its own charm and history. Anogeia, perched on the slopes of Mount Psiloritis, is known for its resistance during the Cretan revolutions. Argyroupoli, with its ancient springs and lush surroundings, provides a tranquil escape. Exploring these villages offers a glimpse into the daily life and enduring traditions of the Cretan people.
The towering mountains of Rethymno not only provide stunning views but also hold cultural significance. Mount Psiloritis, also known as Mount Ida, is the highest peak in Crete and is steeped in mythology, believed to be the birthplace of the Greek god Zeus.
Rethymno regional unit in Crete is a treasure trove of history, nature, and culture. Whether exploring ancient ruins, hiking through dramatic gorges, or savoring local delicacies, visitors are immersed in an experience that transcends time and connects with the soul of Crete.
- Hiking 5 Hours
- Total Duration 7 Hours
An enriching hiking expedition that will transport you through time as we explore the ancient city of Eleftherna. Established between 970-820 BC by the Dorians, a northern Greek tribe, this illustrious city emerged as one of the most formidable and prosperous settlements in all of Crete. Boasting a strategic location, Eleftherna possessed a thriving port nestled within Fodele Bay, facilitating trade and communication not only with neighboring Cretan cities but also with continental Greece, Cyprus, and even African cities.
Our hiking adventure commences in the quaint village of Eleftherna, where we delve into the remnants of the ancient city. As we traverse the captivating ruins, a treasure trove of historical marvels unfolds before our eyes. Admire the grandeur of the Byzantine tower, standing as a testament to the city’s past glory, while the Roman reservoirs and intricate tunnels beckon with their tales of engineering ingenuity. Ascend the ancient acropolis, basking in its enduring allure, and cross the Hellenistic bridge that bridges the gap between the past and the present.
Venturing further, our hike leads us through breathtaking countryside vistas until we reach the picturesque pottery village of Margarites. Here, we are presented with a choice to visit the renowned ceramic workshops, where the timeless art of pottery has flourished since the Minoan period and continues to thrive to this day. Immerse yourself in the traditional techniques and craftsmanship passed down through generations, witnessing firsthand the artistic legacy that has shaped the region’s cultural heritage.
Hiking Distance: 11 km
- Personal expenses, including coffees and alcoholic drinks
- Tickets to museums and archaeological sites
- Specialized guides for museums and archaeological sites
- Anything not mentioned in the “includes” list
What to Bring
Hat – Sunglasses
Experienced Trekking Guide
Free transport from/to your hotel with our vans. (as long as you are within the predefined pick-up area)
Lunch pack (water,energy bar, fruits, juice box)
Trekking equipment (trekking poles, backpack) uppon request
- Minimum number of participants, 3 persons
- Starting time 08:00
- Ending time 15:00
Cancellation Policy - Flexible
- Whenever you cancel 4 days or earlier than the confirmed activity starting date, your fee will be refunded for the entire activity charge.
- In case of cancellation within 48 and 96 hours before the scheduled activity starting date, you'll get 50% reimbursed.
- Those who cancel 48 hours or beyond are considered last-minute cancellations. There will be no refunds