5th International Conference of Ecopsychology

About Crete

Crete is the largest island of Greece and the 5th largest in Mediterranean . The capital and largest city is Heraklion. It forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece while retaining its own local cultural traits (such as its own poetry, and music) Crete is located about 160 km south of the Greek mainland extending in a direction East – West, south of the Aegean Sea, of which it is the natural boundary south and north of the Libyan. It is part of the regional government of Greece and is divided into four regional sections: Heraklion, Chania, Lasithi and Rethymno. The headquarters of the Decentralized Administration of Crete is Heraklion, as well as in Heraklion is the capital of Crete.

In Crete, flourished around 3000 BC-1400 BC, one of the first civilizations of Europe, the Minoan with main centers of Knossos, Cydonia and Phaistos.

Rethymnon is the third largest city of Crete with a population of about 32,000 inhabitants (2001 census). Its economy is based on tourism, because there are many attractions, wide sandy beach and strong tourist infrastructure.

Τhe area of Amari

Amari has  major archaeological sites, historical or religious monuments and traditional villages along with  a green landscape where there are also opportunities for hiking walks.

The area outside of the green nature also has great archaeological value. Someone can visit the archaeological site of Monastiraki, where excavations have revealed a large complex of Minoan times. In the village Thronos there  are ruins of the ancient city of Syvritos, the charming village of Thronos, with the ruins of ancient  Sivritos, a town established in the Late Minoan era which flourished until the First Byzantine period; the archaeological site  at Apodoulou village where three buildings of the Protopalatial period and several tholos tombs were unearthed.

In the area of Amari  you can also visit many Byzantine churches. Besides abandoned Moni Asomaton ( the Intangible Forces Monastery) probably founded in the second Byzantine period, we can see the few surviving frescoes in the small church of Agia Anna, on the outskirts of the village Amari, which dates to the 13th century. Also the church of Agios Georgios Xififoros ( Saint George the Sword bearer )also of the 13th century, located 800 m. from the main road to Apodoulou,. Also, the famous Panagia tou Merona (Virgin Mary of Meronas) , 14th  in which the image of the Panagia Odigitria (Virgin Mary  the Leader) is declared  as the “Mona Lisa of Byzantium.”

Also interesting are the   Prines villages and Eleutherna  where the Ancient Eleftherna ruins lie where archaeological research has revealed important information about the culture of Crete in pre-classical times. The ancient cemetery of Petra has one certain burial which contains data that brings to mind the burial customs mentioned by Homer in the Iliad, in the description of the funeral pyre of Patroclus, is considered very significant. The most important finds are kept in the Archaeological Museum of Rethymnon.

The valley of Amari stretches out between Psiloritis and Mount Kedros (or Kentros). The valley has numerous picturesque villages which have maintained their traditional Cretan architecture, olive groves, fruit bearing trees, Minoan settlements, water springs and age-old churches.

According to mythology, the Cretan-born Zeus used to bathe in the river that runs through the valley. Indeed,Zeus was worshipped here by the epithet Amarios, which means “immortal”.

These and other wonderful sites can capture your interest such as beautiful walks, gorges and villages. Our booking office Green Tour can give you a lot of information of where to go and which places to visit.

Hope you will enjoy your stay!

Transportation The city is served by road to connect with Heraklion and Chania through the National road E 75 and has provincial and relatively good road network, which is connected to all areas of the county.