Venizelos Graves – Monastery of Agia Triada – Monastery of Gouvernetou – Arts and Grafts Village Verekinthos
This route includes short distanced sights that give the opportunity to the visitor to know better the culture and tradition of Chania. Taking Chania as starting point, we move eastern with direction to Akrotiri, where we see Venizelos Graves (B) on the hill of Profitis Ilias. Here are located the graves of the charismatic Greek politician - and seven times Prime Minister of Greece - Eleftherios Venizelos and his son Sofoklis Venizelos, who was also Prime Minister of Greece from 1943 to 1952.
After enjoying the panoramic view of Chania, we can stop for a coffee or a sweet in one of the cafes of the area that offer an excellent view. When we leave the hill of Profitis Ilias, we follow the road to the airport and we turn left in the last cross-roads before the airport and then we turn left again to arrive at Agia Triada Tsagkarolon Monastery (C). With impressive catholic and facade from carved stone, it was built by Ieremias and Lavrentios Tzagkarolos brothers, a significant Venetian-Cretan family, while today it hosts a museum that includes, among others, a collection of vestments and samples of miniature art (tel.: +30-28210-63310).
At the same time, this monastery of the 17th century is distinguished for its extensive agricultural and productive activity. The monks, combining the tradition of centuries with the modern know-how and being faithful in the modern demand on biological farming, produce the famous monastery wine, as well as the many times awarded olive oil in their own oil factory. They also produce an excellent balsam vinegar and green soap. All of them are available in the monastery shop together with other products of local producers, such as honey and cosmetics.
The Monastery of Gouverrnetou (D), dedicated to Lady of Angels , with impressive columns at the façade, is located very close to it. Walk to the ruinous catholic and Arkoudospilios, a prehistoric temple that today hosts the temple of Panagia Arkoudiotissa. Leaving from Akrotiri with direction to the port of Souda, it worth to stop at Verekinthos Arts and Grafts Village [www.verekinthos.com], a huge, alive art centre between Souda and Tsikalaria.
It includes more than thirty workshops, where we can see craftsmen processing handmade glass and semi-precious stones, creating ceramic, needlework, jewels leather products, textile products and many other decorative objects. It worth visiting it, not only to watch step by step the traditional techniques that they use to work, but also because there is a variety of local art products, modern or traditional, all of them created with the artistic feeling and the uniqueness of handmade art. You can visit Verekinthos Arts and Grafts Village every day, 10:00-14:00 and 19:00-21:00, except for Saturday and Sunday (information, tel.: 28210-80118, 28210-80132, 28210-80374).