Rethymno - Agia Irini – Mili - Chromonastiri
A circular route of 13 klm., starting from Rethymno (Theotokopoulou str) to the village and monastery of Agia Irini where there is a monastery with the same name dated back in 1362. In 1995, the monastery was awarded the Europa Nostra European Preservation and Renovation for Architectural Monuments Award.
Today brims with spirituality being a community of ten nuns occupied with hagiography, weaving and embroidery. In the monastery there is an ecclesiastical museum.
Going eastwards at the village Rousospiti a wonderful Venetian Fountain is preserved from the 17th century, as well as the Byzantine Church of Panagia with many interesting murals. Right next to the church is situated the most characteristic of the Venetian houses that are preserved to the village. From the center of the village, the route leads to the traditional village of Kapediana with the magnificent view to the Cretan Sea. At the entrance of this green village with a small passing river that flows from the Mount of Vrissinas, there is an Ottoman fountain with a Turkish inscription. Outside of the village is the church of Sotiras Christos.
Then the route continues to Chromonastiri, where there is the magnificent Villa Clodio, called also “Konaki”, as it served as an official residence during the ottoman domination, and other Venetian Buildings. Today Vila Clodio hosts the Army museum. There is also milos Prinari, an important colection of folk museum. There are also situated the Byzantine churches of Panagia Kera and Agios Eftichios with frescoes from the 11th and 14th century, which are considered as the oldest known murals in Crete.
The route then descends towards Mili, where the verdant gorge running parallel to the road and the abandoned old village of Mili can be admired from above.
From there you can come back to Rethymno through the mili gorge or a little further down, a turning to the left leads back to Rousospiti.