Crete - Maroulas



Lying between the Aegean and Libyan Sea, Crete is the largest island in Greece and the 5th in the Mediterranean. Famous for its bright sun, clear blue seas, healthy diet and Minoan civilization sites it has been very popular among tourists for decades.

But the real jewel lies inland. Away from the main tourist track, little villages hidden amidst beautiful valleys or perched on the mountainous landscape, enjoy an ideal climate and preserve the authentic Cretan lifestyle.

High mountains, like Idi and the Lefka Ori, have created valleys, green plateaus, impressive gorges and unique coastlines.

  • Samaria Gorge, a World Biosphere Reserve, is 16km long (5-6hr average walking), extending from Omalos Plateau to the Libyan sea.
  • Lasithi Plateau, on Dikti Mt, overlooks Eastern Crete.
  • Vai is the largest Palm Forest in Europe, lying beside a golden beach at the far eastern point of the island.
  • The magnificent Southern Coastline is a major attraction where the mountains descend steeply into the transparent waters.


The Minoans graced Europe with its first civilization, 4000 years ago.

  • Knossos and Faistos Palaces are the main sites of the Minoan Era.
  • The Archaeological Museum in Heraklion houses most of the finds, including the Knossos Frescoes and the Faistos Disc.

The Byzantine, Venetian and Ottoman periods left also significant monuments and hundreds of churches and monasteries.

  • Rethymnon and Chania Venetian Towns and Fortresses.
  • Heraklion Venetian Port and Walls.
  • Rethymnon’s 4 mosques.
  • The Loggia and St. Titus in Heraklion
  • Arkadi, Toplou and Agia Triada Monasteries.

Arkadi monaster is only 12 klm away from the villa.

The Monastery of Arkadi constitutes a landmark of architecture and civilisation considering  the

magnificent façade of the church, the highly developed spiritual tradition as well as the

flourishing development of fine arts. However, the holocaust, which took place in 1866,

gave the monastery an eminent place in history, elevating it to an eternal symbol

of freedom and heroism, which is  acknowledged the world over.


The island is divided into two climatic zones, the Mediterranean and the North African. It is considered one of the healthiest climates in Europe, with temperatures around the high 20s (deg. Celsius) in spring and autumn and, sometimes, up to the high 30s (deg. Celsius) in the summer. Rain (and rarely snow) falls mostly during winter months, while in the summer, usually, there is no rain at all.

The Rethymno Area

Rethymnon (city population 30.000) is located in the centre of Crete, offering easy access to the whole island. It combines endless sandy beaches and crystal clear waters along with amazing landscapes in the mountains.
Among a wide range of historical monuments, the most renowned is Rethymnon’s Old town. Being the best preserved Venetian town in Greece, it is a charming blend of Renaissance and Ottoman architecture with narrow streets, mosques, piazzas and fountains.
The clean environment and the healthy climate are ideal for relaxing, walking, climbing, cycling, or exploring by car. Numerous paths, starting from the nearby villages will guide you to magnificent natural sites (plateaus, caves, mountaintops, gorges, etc).
The coast is in 5min drive accessible, due to the location of the villa.


The area is rich in history, with several sites of the Minoan and Byzantine era.
• Some of the major archaeological sites of Crete are within an hour’s drive from the villa: Arkadi monastery (20min), Festos Minoan Palace and Agia Triada Royal Villa (60min), the Roman capital of Gortys (60min), Eleftherna’s Minoan city of the dead (30min), Preveli monastery (60min), Rethymnon’s old Venetian town, fortress and Paleontological museum (15min).
Itineraries near the villa in the area of Arkadi Monastry :
Click here for more info

Location Nature Highlights

The layout of Rethymno lanscape is exceptional. It is a charming mixture of high mountains, hillsides, small rivers and green fields. The most common trees found are olives, oaks and cypresses and the whole scene is decorated in springtime with countless wild flowers.
Among the points of interest are:
• “Agios Antonios” ravine (50min drive) which begins beside an ancient temple’s ruins and crosses a dense forest, featuring waterfalls, bird watching points and pic-nic facilities.
• “Potamoi” lake (40min drive) is a refuge and immigration station for birds, suitable for walking or cycling.
• “Psiloritis” Mt. dominates the area, being the highest point in Crete and crossed by the international E4 path. Deeply immersed in myths and legends, it is the home of the last surviving bearded vultures and golden eagles. The “Timios Stavros” summit (2456m) is a challenge (3-5hr ascending), but you will need a special local guide for that. On a clear day, the view is unlimited, extending all over Crete to the Aegean and Libyan Sea.
• “Kedros” Mt. (1777m), also crossed by the E4, is wild and rocky near the top, traced by canyons and is a nest for falcons and eagles. But in its lower area it is peaceful, forming little valleys with springs and fruit trees.
• “Kourtaliotiko gorge” (30min drive) takes its name from “kourtala” a hand clap sound created by the wind passing through numerous caves. Go deep down (500 steps) to find the 5 sources of the river and the waterfall.

Events Highlights

During the Easter period, a series of traditional events leads eventually to the impressive “Judas burning”.
In May “Rethymno days” in the old district of the town  with lots of concerts in the old town
Lots of  carnival festivities during 2 weeks  with a   Big parade of carnival floats – teams. www.rethymnocarnival
The Cretan Diet Festival in the municipal garden
The Renaissance Festival held in Rethymnon’s old town during summer time and  offers a lot of music and theatre performances.
Museum of contemporary art of Crete


Internet guides    A guide of Rethymno area    A guide of Crete    A guide of Greece and Crete A guide of Chania area

Municipal Free Internet WiFi Hotspots

The Municipality of Rethymno currently operates the following WiFi Hotspots for Free Internet access available to the public:


– Rethymno Beach area from Ideon Hotel to Kriti Hotel     – Erofili Theater – Fortezza

– Mikrasiaton Square   – Home of Culture

– City Hall Square                – Platia Heroon Square

– 4 Martires Square    – Munipal Garden

Acessibility guide of the municipality of Rethymno


  • In the nearby village Platanias you will find 2 bakeries, 2 local supermarkets with fresh fruits and vegetables, LIDL supermarket, local products ,a boucher with local cretan cheeses, a pharmacy and a gas station


  • The inland of Crete has an unexplored character and we will be happy to provide information to make your stay more exciting. Ask us about car hire and destinations, sights and nature, activities and events, taverns and products, local guides, etc.
  • If you are planning to rent a car (which is recommended) it would be an asset to choose a 4×4 vehicle, in order to explore the roads less travelled in the mountains.


  • Feel the up tempo rhythm of Heraklion, a non-stop melting-pot of old and modern styles.
  • Experience an evening wander through the old town of Rethymnon’s narrow streets, with its countless bars and taverns.
  • Join the throngs of evening strollers in Chania’s Venetian port.


  • Cretaquarium is a modern facility preserving all kinds of Mediterranean Sea life.
  • The Observatory of the University of Crete, on Skinakas summit (1750m, on Idi mountain), opens to the public 5 Sundays each summer, giving the opportunity to get a glimpse of space, through the large telescope.


  • You can reach Rethymnon’s north sandy beaches from 10 min( in Platanes village) to -35 min in the area of Eposkopi,Georgoupoli,Panormo,Bali etc
  • Explore the magnificent southern coastline like Plakias, the lagoon of Preveli Palm Forest, Triopetra, Ligres, Damnoni in 60 min.


  • In the surrounding area (2-5km) you can find a number of small tavernas with genuine Cretan food.
  • In almost every village there is a typical “kafeneion” serving coffee, refreshments, home made “raki”, wine and little local dishes.
  • In Maroulas village’s square (1,5klm), there is a “kafeneion” and a tavern with local specialities

“He who would travel happily must travel light.” – Antoine de St. Exupery