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Xopatera Tower
Category: Forts
Prefecture: Heraclion
Address: Μονή Οδηγήτριας
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Xopatera Tower




Places near Xopatera Tower


Kommos
Kommos 363 hits

At Kommos, above the famous beach in the south of the prefecture of Heraklion, there is the archaeological site of the Minoan city of Komos. Kommos in Minoan Crete was one of the two ports of the Minoan palace of Phaistos. Matala was the other one.

 

Excavations of the archaeological site began for the first time in 1976 by a group of Canadian archaeologists, but the existence of Kommos and its connection to the palace of Phaistos was known by Sir Arthur Evans. The finds include the harbor settlement, and public buildings such as shipyards, warehouses, prytaneion, temple and an amphitheater building. One of the most important finds are the ancient olive oil presses, which reveal how developed was the cultivation of olive trees in Minoan Crete.

The archaeological site is not accessible but you can admire the building findings outside the fenced area which is accessible from the road leading to Kommos beach.

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Martsaliotiko 361 hits
Martsalo Gorge is located in south - central Crete close to Lithino Cape, and is parallel with Agiogarago gorge, just 1-2 km to east. The Martsalo gorge is 2 km long and easy to cross and ends at Martsalo Beach. This is where Apostle Paul has disembarked on his journey to Rome and has preached Christianism for the first time. 

To get here you should follow the dirt road that starts from Odigitria Monastery and heads to Lithino Cape (follow the dirt road that turn right after the monastery, while the left heads for Agiofarago gorge). After several kilometers you will see a sign to Martsalo. If you follow the poor dirt track, you will find yourself at the beginning of Martsalo Gorge.
You should leave your car near the entrance to the gorge and continue walking southwards for about 2km. 
At the middle of a gorge one can see a church of Saint Mary, nested in a cave, dating from the first Christian years. It is believed that this church was also a catacomb, where Christians were hiding to escape the persecutions of the various occupiers of Crete. Around the church, one can find monk cells carved into the stone and traces of centuries - old buildings..
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Acropol 355 hits

The apartments "Acropol" are located in Pitsidia, one of the most beautiful villages of south Crete.

Pitsidia finds itself a couple of kilometres from Matala and Phaistos archaeological site, and about 75 kilometres from Heraklion town.

 




Kommos
Kommos 353 hits
It is a lengthy stretch - over 2km long and up to 40m wide - of deep golden sand backed by natural dunes and cliffs topped with tamarisk trees, which is also a paradise for naturists and most likely will become an official naturist beach. At the southern end is the Kommos taverna, a short walk away from the famous archaeological site. The lifeguard is to be found here, near the umbrellas and sunbeds, as well as toilets and a shower. Towards the northern end of the beach the sea bed is rock shelf, but at the taverna end it is sandy. The sand quality is good and the beach is very clean; if you enjoy snorkelling there are many fish to be seen.
 
The excavation of a major Bronze Age site has been ongoing at Kommos since 1976. Kommos first attracted the attention of archaeologists in 1924, when the famous excavator of Knossos, Arthur Evans, heard of large storage vessels being found there. Kommos was in fact a major port, with monumental Minoan palatial buildings, massive stone storage complexes, and a Minoan town (ca. 1800-1200 B.C.). Post-Minoan remains include a Greek Sanctuary that was active until the Early Roman period, when the site was abandoned (ca. A.D. 200). The artefacts discovered there come from as far away as Cyprus, Egypt, and Sardinia. 
Kommos is also widely considered to be the best nudist beach on Crete; Captain Barefoot thought it was wonderful and gives it a rating of 96%. The naturist section of this beach starts just north of the archaeological ruins and is more than half a kilometre long. There is some shade under trees at the back of the beach. There is plenty of room for everyone, even at weekends, and for your further enjoyment, “The Cakeman” can bring you delicious homemade cakes and coffee while you sit in the sand and watch the waves.
 


One other point about Komo Beach.
Those visiting the beach should be aware that the beach is not only for them but it is also a nesting beach for the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) and is monitored each year by Archelon, the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece. Any nests should not be disturbed, and hatchling turtles should not be "assisted" to the sea (it is essential to their development that they find their own way), though it would help to provide them with shade as they walk to the sea if they accidentally emerge during the day. In particular, the beach should not be visited at night during the nesting season. And as with all beaches, litter should not be left - considerate tourists leave only footprints in the sand.
 
How to get there
From the main road in Pitsidia turn right at the supermarket with the sign "Rent Rooms 'Nikos'" and then immediately to the left on an asphalt track marked "Komos Beach". Follow this track to the crossroads with the sign "Horse and pony riding Pitsidia". At this point you can either follow the tarmac road to a large car park near the archaeological site. From here it is a short walk north along the beach to the naturist section. Alternatively turn right on a dirt road. After 500 m you come to a place where you can park in shade under trees very close to the centre of the beach; however parking space here may be limited.

An alternative access is when going from Matala (N34 59' 37.1" E24 45' 03.5") to Pitsidia (N35 00' 57.4" E24 46' 46.3"): take the dirt road to the left, opposite the white-washed wall of the Archontissa Taverna, which starts on the corner with a youth camping at N35 00' 33.2" E24 46' 10.0". At the first crossraod, turn right downhill, which brings you to the archaeological site as mentioned above. The (textile) beach near the car park and the archaeological site is at N35 00' 47.2" E24 45' 36.1", whereas the central, clothing optional part is at: N35 00' 51.2" E24 45' 37.0". Toilets and a shower are provided near the car park. 

One of the few official camping sites in Crete is nearby, near Pitsidia on the road to Matala (it's just 10 minute walk from Kommos).
http://www.visitmatala.com/ 
Agiofarago
Agiofarago 352 hits
Agiofarango is located in Heraklion Perfecture, in Crete close to Moni Odigitrias and Kali Limenes.
It takes about 20 minutes walking to reach the beach. At the begining of the walk, we find the church of Agia Kyriaki built in a cave!
In the gorge there is the church of Saint Anthony that he is partly built in a cave.
At Agiofarago we have several archaeological findings that show that there was activity in the Minoan and Venetian times, such as the Minoan, circular, domed tomb near the church of St. Anthony.
Shortly after Saint Anthony church, we find a cave entrance with a low and a large room. There is said to have left the Abbot of the Monastery of St. Anthony, called «goumenospilios». Generally in Agiofarago lived many hermits who had their shelter in caves and ate whatever they could find in the nature! Some historical evidence suggests that Agiofarago inhabited at least since the 11th century.
When you cross the canyon you will end up on a beautiful beach overlooking the Libyan Sea! It’s good to keep water with you, because in the canyon there are no springs.
 
 
Agiofarago in south Crete Matala - Lendas area: Agiofarango (Gorge of Saints) is known for its many rocky complexes and caves, and its reputation as being a place of monasticism. Agiofarango lies between Odigitria monastery and Kali Limenes resort, about 80km from the city of Heraklion. Near the entrance of the gorge inside a cavern lies the church of Agia Kiriaki. In the interior of the gorge we also find the church of Agios Antonios part of which is placed in a cavern.

Agiofarango gorge is one of the most known places of Christian ascetics in the island due to its remote position. According to legends the practicing monks were living in the surrounding caverns eating very little, praying and performing mass in the various rural chapels of this wild area. Close to the church of Agios Antonios another cavern that of goumenospilios (abbot cavern) was probably used an assembly space. Agiofarango Beach Agiofarango Beach Agiofarango Beach Historical evidence shows that Agiofarango was inhabited since the 11th century by monks, a period which is well known for asceticism in the whole area of the Asterousia mountains.Archeological evidence has also brought to light various finds from the Minoan to the early Venetian periods. South of the church of Agios Antonios, a Minoan tholos tomb stands as a reminder of the long history of Agiofarango. The beach of Agiofarango is found at the exit of the homonymous beautiful gorge, at the southern coast of Crete. It is a pebbly beach, well protected from the winds. Agiofarango Agiofarango Beach Agiofarago gorge and Beach 
 
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Chrysostomos 351 hits
Chrisistomos is a small coastal hamlet 2km east of Kali Limenes and 9km west of Lendas beach, at the southern slopes of Asterousia Mountains, Heraklion Prefecture. It is a beautiful beach with some accommodation facilities and tavernas but is not organized. 

On the road from Kali Limenes to Lendas (15km), you can find some nice secluded coves and pebble beaches. To reach the settlement you take the road Heraklion city - Mires - Pobia village - Chrisostomos. The distance from Heraklion city is 71 km.

The fertile valley of Platia Peramata is used for growing early vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, etc., since the temperature here is always high. Characteristic of the warm climate is that the swallows do not leave the area in winter.On the west end of the beach there is a "line" of rocks, that heads towards the small islet of Trafos. This is the old dock of the ancient city Lassea. The rocks were in that place since 1960s, when they were used for the construction of the Oil Tanks of Kali Limenes.

On the island and on the beach, opposite Trafos, you can still see remains of the ancient town of Lasea. The beach continues west of Trafos, creating a separate beach called Segrezo Ryaki that faces west. This beach is very close to the Roman cemetery that has been found here. It is secluded and ideal for nudism, but is also rockier than the main beach. On the west end, there is a spring having water all year round. There is another small pebbly beach 1km east of Chrysostomos, that is called Maha. It is unorganised but there are some rooms and a tavern nearby.
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Pitsidia village 344 hits

The village of Pitsidia is located 65 km southwest of Iraklion at an altitude of 80 m a.s.l, just before the magnificent bay of Messara and 2km far from the famous Kommo beach. The village with aproximately 700 inhabitants is the seat of the Pitsidia-Matala community. Pitsidia is the oldest village of the area and is refered (by S. Spanakis) that it was the place where the s oldiers of Nikiforos Fokas, commander of the Byzantine army, settled. The army, famous for its bravery, came from Pisidia of the south Asia Minor, and this is probably the origin of the name Pitsidia. The road from Iraklion is fairly good and passes through the Messara valley. Regular public transportation is available for visiting Pitsidia-Matala. The climate is temperate and it promotes longevity and well-being, as the inhabitants of the village are famous for their longevity.Pitsidia is a quiet village, with a long tradition of hospitality. The spotlessly clean accommodation units, the taverns with their traditional cuisine, the cafes with their aroma of Greek coffee, as well as the cosmopolitan ambiance of the area during the summer months, warranty a memorable stay to all visitors. Visitors are always welcomed at Pitsidia.For more information about Pitsidia, you are invited to visit , or call, the offices of the Community Enterprise of Pitsidia (tel:+30-2892-45340/45720). Pitsidia Pitsidia: Kommo Beach Pitsidia The surrounding landscape is of exceptional natural beauty with archaeological and historical sites which attract a large number of tourists each year. Within the Pitsidia community, 4 km to the southwest, lies the renowned resort of Matala. At a distance of 1500 m. lies the long sandy beach of Kommos and the antiquities of Kommos. Pitsidia Pitsidia Also, the village of Pitsidia can be the starting point for outing and excursions to the archaeological sites in the broader area. Some of the most interesting sites are the ancient mansion of Pitsidia, the archaeological sites of Laggou, Phaistos, Agia Triada and Gortys, the monastery of Odigitria, the gorge of "Agiofarago".

 


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Listaros Village 343 hits

At the edge of the western point of mount Asterousia lies Listaros settlement, the last passage to the mountain and the south coast. Records reveal that the settlement existed since 1577 and was part of Kainouriou province. The statistics of the Barozzi code refer to it as “Listaro”. Despite its long history, settlement continues to “live” although its inhabitants unfortunately gradually abandon it.

Listaros is approximately 200 metes above sea level in this south western area of the prefecture of Heraklio. At this pleasant altitude, just above the intense heat down at sea level, but low enough to enjoy the benefits of the very mild winters on the south side of Crete. Add to this; views over the lower end of the might Messara Plain, across the bay to Agia Galini and out to the Paximadia Islands. All this with a backdrop of the Psiloritis mountains, and you have a truly beautiful part of Crete.

In an island full of climatological and environmental diversities, the area of the Messara plain has a unique character and a lot of diversities to offer itself. It is the largest plain of Crete that extends to the central and southern region of Heraklion County.

It is surrounded from the north by mount Idi (Psiloritis), from east by mount Dikti (Lassithiotika Ori) and from south by mount Asterousia that meet with the Libyan Sea.

While the land of the Messara plain is one of the most fertile ones found on the island, the landscape changes dramatically as the traveler reaches mount Asterousia. A few small ports are the only ones that disrupt the deserted scenery. Monkhood blossomed here from the 7th till the 15th century, something that can be easily detected by the number of monasteries and sketes found in the near gorges and canyons.

Some of the finest examples are the monasteries of Odigitrias, Koudouma and Apezanon, the sketes of Saint Nikita, Martsalo and Agiofarago gorge.DISTANCE FROM LISTAROS:65 klms from the airport and a few less from the port of Heraklion.12 klms from the town of Moires to Matala and Siva0,5 klm from the Komos beach.4,5 klms from Monastery of Odigitrias and another 5-6 klms for the beaches Kaloi Limenes, Agiofarago, Martsalo, Vathi.