The ghosts of Cretan countryside


Crete is dispersed with settlements that were once abandoned because of urbanization or for some other reason, such vendettas, natural disasters, etc. Even today the walls of houses testify that life once existed there. It is interesting to refer to some of them.

Skalia near Zakros

A small castle was located near the village Sitanos of Sitia Region, namely Skalia. Skalia was a small village with a few residents built atop a mountain slope, where the outer walls of the houses formed a wall that surrounded the village, while from the north it was protected by cliffs.


Xerokambos site at Valis

Next to the lively village Valis of Messara Plain (Heraklion prefecture) you will find Xerokambos, a ruined and abandoned village. The last residents left Xerokambos shortly after the Second World War, during which many villages in Crete were devastated. There are houses that still stand, where youcan admire the unique typical architecture of Cretan cottages, all built with stone.


Village Drakos

The settlement of Drakos (i.e. Dragon) is located close to Limnes (Agios Nikolaos). It is one of the several abandoned villages of the area. The last resident left the Drakos in 1979. It is a model of agricultural village with stone houses with tiles, narrow streets, cisterns for collecting rainwater and scattered threshing floors.


Settlement Roukaka

At the west slopes of mount Romanati in Sitia Province, there is located the old settlement of Roukaka village (or Hrysopigi) with amazing views to the valley of today’s village Roukaka. The village was abandoned after the villagers moved to the current village of Roukaka. Only the church of Analispi survives in very good condition, next to a spring with fresh water and a small plane tree wood.


Chandrou Settlement

Shortly after the village Mousouta there is the deserted village Handrou. This is another unknown beautiful Cretan village that once throbbed with life but today looks haunted, with only one resident. The village is situated in a prominent location with beautiful views and is surrounded by two streams.


Kefala hill by Damania

Northwest of the village Damania, on the road that heads to Arkadi village (Monofatsi province) we meet the hill of Kefala. Kefala has unique views to Damania and the beautiful dam-lake, the fertile plain of the village and other villages of Monofatsi. The whole area in the upper part of the hill is full of the remains of the village that was there centuries ago and is now completely deserted.


Settlement Dio Prini

Dyo Prini (Two Oak trees) is one of the beautiful abandoned villages of Crete, where you think that time has frozen. The area is surrounded by oak trees, as its name implies, and is located close to Limnes village, Agios Nikolaos Municipality, on the road heading to Kalos Lakkos. There are several collapsed stone cottages, some of which have been restored lately. There are many water tanks and threshing plateaus.


Settlement Kalathiana

The innerland of Crete is full of deserted villages. One of the most impressive deserted villages of Crete, which was quite large, was Kalathiana, located between the villages of Makres and Moroni. Kalathiana was a victim of the general urbanization the prevailed in Crete after the end of the Second World War and was totally deserted at '70s.


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