Cycling Route Rethymno – Arkadi

From Rethymno, taking the Old National Road, the route leads to the tourist village of Platanias and from there to Adele, a quiet village with its central settlement dating back to the Venetian era. The "fortress-like" architecture, according to some scholars, is testified by two "passages" in the square of the church of Agios Panteleimonas, that may have formed its medieval gates. From Adele the road forks off towards Agia Triada or Santa Trinita for the Venetians. In the center of the village is located the Venetian church of Santa Trinita which is also dedicated to Saint Nicolas. The road from here climbs up southwards with direction to Charkia, and passes through an impressive wild and rocky landscape. Charkia is embellished by the church of Agia Anna and the majestic oak tree which has been characterized as a “natural monument”. At its southern exit an elegant monument perpetuates the memory of the heroic ancestors of the village. At a distance of 3,5 klm to the east, is the village Kavousi. In this beautiful and quiet village at an altitude of 560 meters, interesting to visit is the preserved church of Agios Ioannis Theologos dating back to the Venetian era. At the exit of the village a small rare forest of Holm oak has survived to enhance and relieve the wild landscape of the area. Just before Arkadi, the road branches to the right towards Thronos of Amari, another beautiful route, while to the left, it leads to the famous historical Monastery of Arkadi through a forest of large pine trees. It then descends towards Amnatos,. a beautiful village with many Venetian mansions, with the most interesting the mansion of the Sanguinatsu family that preserves a beautiful Venetian doorway with the inscription: “INITIUM SAPIENTE TIMOR DOMINI” (Wisdom is the Fear of the Lord). There is also a Folk Art Museum and the Museun of the History of the Greek primary Education. The view to Rethymno's valley from this village is amazing. Kirianna, is the next village. In this historic village, there are several old temples and modern ones. There are still scarce architectural elements of Renaissance style and the Byzantine church of Panagia, built in the architectural style of a free cross with dome, dominates imposingly. This church adorns the village from the beginning of the 11th century and is one of the most interesting examples of ecclesiastical architecture in Crete. The road continues towards the village of Loutra. Here it is worthwhile to visit the beautiful alleys of the village with the stone houses, a beautiful fountain with a Turkish inscription and stand in the house of Elias Spandidakis, leader of the Workers' Union of Coalminers in Colorado, America, who was murdered during a strike and lived in history with the name Luis Tikas. The road reaches Rethymno having first passed through the villages of Pigi and Adele.