Archanes is a picturesque small town, built at an altitude of 380 meters in the middle of a basin bounded by Giouchtas range and Kefala. It is run through by Kaeratos stream, that later forms the gorge of Knossos. Archanes is 14 kilometers away from the city of Heraklion and only 7 kilometers from the Palace of Knossos. The wider area of Archanes is most significant for its numerous archaeological sites.
The colorful village has been prized by the European Union as model for residential development. You could visit the museums of the town and discover the region's history through the findings of the Minoan and Byzantine Era and the folk art exhibits. Also many wonderful architectural buildings and Byzantine churches affirm the designation of Archanes as an ideal traditional settlement.
Visit the various restaurants and taverns at the central square to discover the world famous Cretan cuisine or the exquisite Archanes wines. Discover the methods the people of yester Crete used to produce their precious products, wine and olive oil, by visiting the traditional olive and wine presses. It is not surprising that the oldest wine press in the world has been found in Archanes. Why not participate in the summer harvesting of grapes during the celebration of the Archanes Farmer Festival and many more cultural activities.
For those of you that prefer trekking and walks in the nature, there’s a lot to choose from: walk up to the sacred mountain Jiouktas, where according to ancient mythology, Zeus, the father of Gods and Humans has been buried. Walk along E4 European trail from Profitis Ilias to Myrtia, explore the Archanes gorge under the thick shade of plane trees and sycamores and climb on the Fourni hill, where you’ll walk in a scenic pine wood and visit the ancient necropolis of Fourni.
Within the picturesque narrow streets of the market of Epano Archanes, we meet the small square with the small temple of the Holy Cross (Timios Stavros). The church is single-aisled and vaulted, and part of the sanctuary is carved in rock, while its sanctuary is stone-built.
Shortly after Asomatos area south of Archanes we find the location Petsiliana, known for the church of Saints Constantine and Helen. Under the age-old plane trees, oaks and cypresses, water flows from the springs, forming several waterfalls.