Archanes Village

Archanes Village is one of Crete’s most historical villages. Its history dates back to the Minoan era. It is located in the Heraklion regional unit of Crete. Archanes has a beautiful view of the local countryside. The village has a rich history dating from the Byzantine era. In 1961, Nikiforos Fokas defeated the Arabs, who had power over Crete. Then, the Venetians ruled the island in 1205. There are churches built during those times. Later, the village of Archanes was known to be the key location in the revolt of 1897 against the Ottomans.  Archanes village was also a significant area of resistance during World War II. At present, Archanes Village is a perfect location for exploring archaeological sites. There are beautiful old churches of the Byzantine and Venetian periods in the village. Furthermore, it is famous for the excellence of its neoclassical architecture, which is prominent in Crete. Archanes is an award-winning village that preserves its natural beauty and historical sites. It is a top location for enjoying some of the most beautiful beaches in Crete. Travelling to Archanes village is very easy. If one is arriving at the Nikos Kazantzakis International Airport, car rental companies are plentiful in the airport. If one prefers to take the public bus, there are several KTEL bus stations departing daily from Heraklion.

The best way to understand the true beauty of a place is by knowing its history. Archanes village is one example of a majestic island with a rich history, well-preserved culture, and archaeological sites. The Archanes Village has a lot to offer, and it is the best holiday destination for people who love history and wine.  One will never run out of things to do in Archanes Village. Going around different places is easier because there are several car rental companies that offer the best services. Booking online is the fastest way of availing one’s service. Make sure to provide all the requirements needed when renting a car. These include a valid driving licence, the age must be 21 years old, a credit or debit card with the driver’s name on it, insurance, and the type of vehicle. Car rental Crete has the best offers when it comes to renting a car in Crete. Simply book a reservation on their website and follow the procedure.

Buildings in Archanes

What is the archaeology of Archanes Village?

The Archanes Village is located in Heraklion in Crete. It is 15 kilometres from the city of Heraklion. In 1912, Xanthoudides cited the importance of Archanes, but it was Sir Arthur Evans who first identified the site as palatial. It was believed that the place was likely a Summer Palace for the Knossos Kings, but no strong evidence supported Evan’s theory. Yannis Sakellarakis dug trial trenches at the site and discovered the principal evidence of a palace site. In the Minoan period, aqueducts provided water to Kephala Hill from spring water at Archanes. A variety of vases, stone lamps, pillars, wooden columns, and many everyday domestic tools have been dug up at the site. A cemetery was discovered in the northwest part of the town. On the west side, a vast temple with possible signs of human sacrifice was uncovered.

Archanes Traditional Village

How is the economy of Archanes Village?

The economy of Archanes village revolves around olive and grape processing. Some 96% of its total agricultural products account for both products. The Agricultural Cooperative of Archanes, is one of the oldest in Greece. A portion of the wine production in Archanes village is exported to France, Netherlands, and Germany. The rest of the wine production is marketed locally. Archanes village’s economy’s backbone consists mostly of the agricultural production of grapes and olives.

Archanes Town Hall

How is the Archanes Village preserved?

Archanes Village is awarded as the 2nd best-restored village in Europe. It was a well-deserved award for a village’s remarkable initiative to rebuild old infrastructure and revitalise the village by setting up arts, crafts and cultural events. This effort has been funded by European subsidies together with private capital. Archanes village also attracts human capital by providing incentives to young and educated people to transfer to the village. They encourage people to engage in distinctly abundant traditional forms of agriculture. After all, the village is famous for its olive oil and wine production. The Seismic Disaster Preparedness Policy in Risk Management Planning in Greece is one way of preserving its rich historical and archaeological sites. The policy presents up-to-date measures and actions taken in Greece regarding earthquake preparedness.

How does the Archanes Village map look?

Below is an image of the Archanes Village.

Archanes village map

What are the tourist attractions in Archanes Village?

Listed below are the tourist attractions in Archanes Village.

  • Mount Giouchtas. Mount Giouchtas is located in north-central Crete. It is believed to be the burial ground of Zeus. It is the site of one of the most important peak sanctuaries in the Minoan world. Mount Juktas is a religious site for the Minoan civilization.
  • Sinadinakis Winery. A family-owned winery located in the centre of Archanes Village. It is a small-scale vinification combined with traditional methods and modern technology. All the wines produced in the Sinadinakis Winery are with biological methods certified by “BIO Hellas”.
  • Museum of Cretan History and Tradition. Located outside Kato Archanes, on the road to Heraklion, is the Museum of Cretan History and Tradition. The exhibits represent objects of Cretan history and tradition from the 9th century.

Narrow Street in Archanes

What are the hiking routes for Archanes Village?

Giouchtas Loop is one of the best trails in Archanes Village. It is generally considered a moderately challenging route and takes an average of 3 hours to complete. The route ascends the northern slope of Mount Giouchtas, to the south of Heraklion, and next to the Archanes Village. The starting point is located just below the area of the Anemospilia Cave. The trail continues along the ridge of the mountain. In the middle of the route, one will see the ruins of the Minoan Peak Sanctuary. The route continues to Giouchtas summit, where the chapel of the Lord Christ is. From there, hikers will go down steeply to the west and follow a northern route to the starting point. Archanes is part of the E4 hiking path or European long-distance path. The villagers use the central square as a starting point, and going west, a path will be seen, which leads to the summit of the Mountain Giouchtas. The course is impressive, especially during springtime. One famous hiking route, especially for pilgrims, is the Feast of the Transfiguration of The Saviour, every 6th of August. There are many pilgrims who climb the mountain every year. People will walk from Archanes to the chapel on top of Giouchtas, to honour Christ. There is also a folk tale explaining the reason why the church has four aisles. There was once a builder who slipped from the top aisle while building. While falling, the builder prayed to Christ to save him. He promises to build three more aisles as a way of honouring Christ. The builder survived and kept his promise. These four aisles represent the Transfiguration of the Saviour, The Holy Belt, The Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and The Holy Anargyros. Another highlight of this route is the gorgeous sunset that everyone must witness.

Hillside Archanes Crete

When is the best time to visit Archanes Village?

The best time to visit the Archanes village is all year round. The village is known to have a mild climate and low altitudes. Outdoor activities like hiking and cycling are perfect during the spring and autumn months. The temperatures get very high during hot summer days.

What is the importance of Archanes Village to the history of Crete?

Based on archaeological findings, the history of Archanes began 5000 years ago. It was very significant in the Minoan era and later. The first reference to the Archanes village was in a 1271 contract. Since then, several other references to the settlement exist. Archanes village was an aim of the Turks, because it was a Christian camp. Archanes village played an organisational role in the Cretan Revolt. The Centre of Governing the Greeks Forces moved to Archanes during World War II. The first spy team on the island of Crete was also established in the village.

Entering the Village in Archanes main street

What are the factors to consider before renting a car in Crete?

Listed below are the factors to consider before renting a car in Crete.

  • Insurance. Car rental insurance protects a passenger against the cost of damage when renting a car. Crete car rental includes insurance for Collision Damage waiver, and a driver’s credit card is required as a guarantee.
  • Driver’s age. The legal age requirement to drive in Crete is 18 years old. One must have a valid driving licence.
  • Driver’s gender. Both women and men can drive in Crete. As long as the driver is of the legal age of 18, driving is allowed in Crete, regardless of gender.
  • Car type. When travelling in Crete, the vehicle type needed depends on the number of passengers. Travelling with groups or with members of the family requires a much bigger car. Car rental companies in Crete offer a variety of cars to choose from. Choosing a smaller car is best when driving in Crete. The reason for that is that some Greek roads are narrow.
  • Documents needed for renting a car. One important document needed for renting a car is a valid driving licence. However, a credit or debit card with the driver’s name is also one of the requirements in Crete car rental.

How much does a car rental in Crete cost?

Crete is a gorgeous island with several tourist spots that can be travelled using a rented vehicle. Crete car rental costs vary depending on the number of passengers, itinerary, car type, location, and duration. The average cost of renting a vehicle in Crete is around €30 to €40 per day. A car rented for a whole week will cost an average of €250. Renting a vehicle for the weekend will cost around  €78. Car rentals in Crete vary depending on the car type. Car rental companies offer a variety of cars depending on customers’ preferences.

Various Street Shots

Harry Anapliotis
Travel Writer and Developer
Harry Anapliotis is a travel writer and developer at Rental Center Crete - Car hire.
Rental Center Crete - Car Hire
Car rental Company
Rental Center Crete - Car Hire is a car rental Company offering services in Crete Island, since 1975.