The town of Archanes, as well as the area around
did flourished during the Byzantine and the Venetian periods, as show
the numerous churches maintained up to now. The most important of them
are Aghia Triada (the Holy Trinity),a byzantine church going back to
the 14th century, the church of Aghia Paraskevi, also byzantine and possibly
of the same period as Aghia Triada; a few more recent churches are also
worth seeing: the church of Panaghia, with a beautiful campanile, and
the church dedicated to Aghios Nikolaos, the protector of the town,
which according to the date inscribed on the lintel of the entrance it
was built in 1857.
Don't miss to see the wall paintings in the church of Aghios Assomatos,
within the homonymous settlement; they are a characteristic sample of
the byzantine iconography of the Cretan School.
It is also worth visiting the church dedicated to Jesus Christ's Transfiguration,
on the top of mountain Youchtas; apart from the church you will enjoy
a magnificent environment and view.
The most recent period of the town is represented by an excellent sample
of the architectural style of the early 19th century, the "Didaktirion"
(school). It is a two storey building designed by the greek architect
Saliveros in 1901 and funded by the Greek - americans coming from Archanes.
A rather small but important Arcaeological Museum houses the finds from
the area, along with a good collection of photos from the sites.
A series of cultural activities are organised in summer by the Municipality
and the various cultural centres of the town. The program consists of
concerts of traditional and modern music, dance performances and theatrical
plays, visual arts' exhibitions, as well as traditional feasts.
One of the most interesting traditional feasts is "the feast of the
Archanes' grape", taking place in mid-August. All the vine products of
the area, along with the famous wines, are displayed during the feast.
A local feast ("panighyri") takes place on the 24th of June in honour
of St.John; people set bonfires in the streets, jump over them, eat drink
A few cute hotels, some studios and rooms to let in old restored buildings
are offered for accommodations. Eating and drinking is plenty and delicious
in the traditional taverns and restaurants of the town, as well as in
the local cafes.
Also, don't miss to visit the market of the town to shop a variety of
The town is close enough to Heraklion and access is very easy by public
buses with frequent service and taxi; however the best way of arriving
is by private or rented car and motorbike, as it is the only comfortable
way to visit the area and enjoy both the natural environment and the evidence
of a long human activity.