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Category: Cave
Prefecture: Heraclion
Address: Μάραθος
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It is located on the south west of Marathos community (Old national road Heraklion - Rethymno), 9 km after the crossroad for Tylisos village, in Arkalokefalo location.
The entrance is 2,10m. wide and 1 meter high and the total leength of its halls is 153 metres.
Inside the cave there have been found conches, roman, Byzantine and medieval ones, as well as many stalactites and stalagmites. During the Turkish domination the cave was used as a shelter for the Christians.

Places near Arkalospilios

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Santoriniou 2751 hits

Just 25 kilometers west of Heraklion there is the Santorinios gorge. Its a small gorge which has not been exploited with fairly dense vegetation and several lakes that make its access very difficult.


In the entrance there is a pretty old watermill and in a few meters we face up the lake Azilokampo. After some searching you will find that you can continue, as seems you have reached the end of the gorge and meet a waterfall called Santorinios whose waters fall into a small lake.

It's a magical landscape which hides many natural treasures.

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Spiliara Cave 2718 hits
Directions of approach: Behind the church of Agios Konstantinos, in Astiraki village by Tylisos municipality, Heraklion region, there is a path which goes through the fields and leads to a torrent. This torrent ends up in Spiliara which literally gulps it.

The entrance of the cave is 1,85m. high and 1,20 metres wide. The hall is big (15,50m.x30m. with a height of 7 metres), with impressive stalactites and stalagmites. The one who enters the cave sees right away in the centre, two pillars of stalagmites which leave a little empty space between them so that a human being can hardly pass through as well as other large complexes of stalagmites.  

The cave is inaccessible. In order someone to get inside needs a rope because in the mouth there is an abrupt downshift of 2 metres. It is a gradual chasm with a total tunnel length of 430 metres. There is a lake inside, from what French speleologists say who have explored Spiliara, and it takes special equipment for its exploration. It is the second cave in length in Malevizi Province.

In Spiliara cave the residents of Astiraki were hiding during the 2nd World War, when the Germans were bombing.

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Agios Panteleimon mon. 2664 hits
After Marathos village there is a dirt-road on the right towards Fodele. Around 6 km from the crossroad and 30 kilometers from Heraklion city, on the left of the road there is the Monastery of Agios Panteleimonas at a height of 170 metres. According to the tradition, the monastery was built in the second half of the 17th century (among 1660-1670) by three monks of Agios Antonios in Galinoi, after the destruction of their monastery by pirates. It is located at the boundaries of the Municipality of Tylisos, about a kilometer before Fodele, in an area tight with wild vegetation.

It had the type of a fortress and is surrounded by wall. Next to the gate there is a built-in, marble inscription with the year 1977 (the establishment of the monastery is being located a few years before) and on the lintel there is an inscription with the year 1861 (that was when the great renovation was being made, by Neofytos Pediotis).

Outside the monastery, 100 meters west of the entrance, an arched water tank is being saved (it was built in 1866 as the built-in inscription indicates), with a very old fountain in front of it. The monastery of Agios Panteleimonas always had its gates open to the rebels and that’s why has repeatedly suffered destructions from the Turks.

In 1824, it was plundered and ruined by the Turk-Egyptians of Husein. At the second year of the revolution of 1866, it was burnt down by the men of Resit Efenti. Yet, in the biggest destruction of the monastery the Turks had no interference. In 1972, the abbey and all the cells of the monks were pulled down, except of two. It is said that the reason that prescribed this act was the… expectation that a treasure would be found, which was believed to be buried in the foundation of the monastery. Nowadays in Agios Panteleimonas lives only one monk.Contact Number: +30 28 10 52 13 41
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Astiraki 2664 hits
Astyraki or Astiraki village is in a distance of 15 minutes west of Tylisos Village (13 km) and 24 km far from Heraklion City. It is built in a height of 550 meters, at the foot of Psiloritis Mountain with spectacular view and magnificent caves. The natural life of residents makes them the most long-living of the region. Here, the sacred tree was an Astirakas, a plant used from the ancient years for the production of incense. The ancients Cretans worshipped Apollo as a Stirakit, a tree divinity, the heir of the immemorial god of vegetation. As a matter of fact, there also was the Stirakion Mountain.Nowadays, most of the residents are occupied with agriculture, stock farming and apiculture. There are also considerable cultivations of garden products and of forestal areas. In the sights of the village are also contained: the church of Agios Konstantinos and the impressive Spiliara cave. In the village there are traditional rooms to let.

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Marathos 2629 hits
In a distance of 21 minutes (13 km) away from Tylisos Village and 23 km far from Heraklion City, while crossing a truly wonderful route through the mountains, lies the village of Marathos which is confined by mountains. It is a mountainous village and its residents are occupied with stock-farming, apiculture and cultivation of olive not only for the production of olive-oil, but also for the famous raisin-olive of Marathos. At the foot of the mountain lies the famous cave Arkaliospilio, which remains mostly unexplored and is being said to extend within a big part of the mountain. Inside the village there are 5 tavernas and a traditional cafeteria where the visitor can taste the truly unique tastes of Cretan cuisine with the pure traditional materials and the unique Cretan care.Also famous is the women’s association of Marathos “The xobliasto (with patterns) koulouraki” in which, apart from the homonymous product, all kinds of traditional sweets are being produced such as melomakarona (honey-fingers), kourampiedes (sugared shortbreads), kalitsounia as well as kneaded bread. Sticking to the tradition, the famous “koumparokouloura” (best man’s scones) are being produced, which are given to the best man or godfather in every wedding or christening.We can singularly feel the magic of the unexplored Crete by following the agrarian road towards Fodele (7 kilometers) where we will meet the monastery of Agios Panteleimonas which is located within a beautiful wild forest. During all this green course with the platens and all kinds of trees we are accompanied at a small distance by the Marathian river which lets out in Fodele.Every June, the cultural association of Marathos organizes the celebration of the “resain-olive”, where apart from the product of honour, traditional foods are also offered (snails with groats, magkiri, apaki etc.)Points of Interest1. Places of InterestMonument of those killedExhibition of sculptures of Marathian sculptor Ioanni Klinaki, under construction in the area of the old oil-millChurches: Agios Charalabos (Byzantine) & Monastery of Agios Panteleimonas of 17th century in the road towards Fodele2. Natural Environment Caves: Doxa, ArkalospilioMarathian River – flume from Doxa up to Fodele  3. Useful InformationTel. Number of Municipal Department’s Office 2810-521341Service of citizens on issues of Farmers’ Security Organisation takes place every Tuesday.Cooperative of Women of Marathos “The xobliasto koulouraki”Events of Marathos’s cultural association - celebration of the “resain-olive” in June4. Accomodation – Gastronomy – Recreation AreasThere are 5 taverns and a traditional cafeteria.