The longest section of this relatively short route of 27 km passes through a protected forest of cultivated oaks, unique throughout Crete.
It begins from Rethymno, passes through the village of Gallou, where the University campus is located, and a little bit further the restored Monastery of Peter and Paul. Written testimonies about the history of the Monastery do not exist, while traditions abound. It is a sacred part of Arkadi Monastery.
Then the road continues south, passing through the small village of Somatas. This village is listed in a 16th-century census. During Ottoman domination, the village was inhabited by many Turkish Aga. At Somatas is the church of Saint George, of Renaissance architecture. The route ends at the Late Minoan Cemetery of Armeni (12th-century BC), which is the largest cemetery of carved tombstones in Crete.
The route from here continues westwards to the village of Kastellos, with a beautiful view of mount Vrissinas, and reaches the Old National Road, which passes through picturesque villages, like Agios Andreas, Gonia, and Prines, all of them ideal for a refreshing stop to their small traditional cafes. The last is a village with many Venetian and Ottoman elements in its architecture. (10th – 11th century).
Last is Atsipopoulo, an attractive large village exhibiting strong Venetian architectural elements, from where the road descends back to Rethymno.
Estimated duration: 2.3hours
Distance: 27 km