R[oute] 4Perfect amount of nature and culture
24 km / 35 min from Heraklion
(35°.11′.53.50″ N / 25°.10′.50.80″ E)
25 km / 43 min from Heraklion
(35°.15′.67.76″ N / 25°.15′.54.15″ E)
Gavalas Crete Winery
36 km / 60 min from Heraklion
(35°.05′.59.82″ N / 25°.07′.02.11″ E)
- Knossos Palace
- Minoan wine press in Vathipetro
- Semeli Tavern (Houdetsi)
- Epanosifis Monastery
- Panagia Kardiotisa
HOUDESTI – METAXOCHORI – VORIAS
Perfect amount of nature and culture
Heraklion is a buzzing city but within its outskirts there are also scenic routes and villages: around the Mount Youchtas and the Asterousia mountains, ancient palaces and great wineries are waiting to be explored.
Start your journey from the village of Archanes which is considered as one of the most picturesque villages of the area. Stroll around the small alleys, admire the gardens full of boucamville and jasmine and enjoy your coffee in the main square.
Houdetsi is just a few minutes away and the Rhous winery will welcome you for a wine tasting session in its stone built premises. The young owners continue the Tamiolakis winery tradition, experiment and advance the winemaking process!
Only a 15-minute drive south-west, there is the Monastery of St. George Epanosifi, renowned for its beautiful gardens and view. Stop here for some treats from the monks and a breath of calmness. Near the Metaxohori village you may visit the Michalekis estate: a beautiful vineyard, an erwironmentally-friendly winery and local varieties for high quality wines.
Little villages are spread throughout the whole area and by following the road towards the west one can get to the beautiful area of Agios Thomas. The church of Panagia Kardiotisa is a must-visit. Wander around the ancient trees and peek in the little church of Virgin Mary. Enjoy the serenity of the place and drive to Vorias village. It is worth stopping to the Gavalas domaine which has been running since 1 906 when they were using minoan winepresses found in the area!
Full of energy and tastes, the road back to the big city seems like the perfect ending of this journey. However, you are not far from the forest of Rouvas which would reward you with a gorge, a river and tall, century’-old oaks.