A beautiful route that connects some of the most significant sights of the Prefecture, Byzantine churches, monasteries, and archaeological sites.
From Platanias, the provincial road passes through a series of beautiful and interesting villages and climbs up toward the historical Monastery of Arkadi.
It continues towards the villages of Eleutherna, near which segments of the ancient city have been excavated, and is situated the new Museum of Eleutherna with unique exhibits of the archaeological site. The area of the ancient city of Eleutherna constitutes one of the most important archaeological sites in the Prefecture of Rethymno and is located in a privileged area in terms of natural beauty. Eleutherna was one of the most important ancient cities of Crete - according to today's excavation data.
After Eleftherna the road descends towards the picturesque Margarites, a village with a long tradition in pottery. This tradition is dating back to at least the years of Ottoman domination and makes the village of Margarites one of the most important pottery centers of Western Crete. Here, amongst many others, are to visit the Byzantine churches of Agios Georgios (14th century), Agios Ioannis Theologos (1383), and Sotira Christou.
Here the road meets the Old National Road, and a little further the crossroads towards the villages Alpha and Erfi. Its church of Agios Ioannis, is decorated with 14th-century murals of superb quality.
Then the road continues towards Viran Episkopi, from where you take again the Old National Road and return to Rethymno through the village of Stavromenos.
Estimated duration: 4 hours Distance: 53km