Piskopiano and Koutouloufari traditional villages

Two picturesque traditional villages located side by side are just waiting for you to explore them. They’re conveniently located in the Hersonissos area. Piskopiano lies just 4.5 km from Anna Maria Village at an altitude of 90 m in the northern foothills of Mt. Pyrgia. It is home of the 19th century Panagia Church and the historical 16th century Agios Ioannis Church which has interesting wall paintings. The village is an ideal spot to enjoy panoramic views of the verdant, olive grove-packed landscape and the sea in the distance.

5 minutes from there on foot is Koutouloufari, at an altitude of 100 m. Dating back to 1577, it is a jewel in the crown of the Pediada region. The stone houses, arranged amphitheatre-like on the hillside, with their arches and lintels above the doors and windows, picturesque paved lanes, historical Agios Vasilios Church and the unique view of Hersonissos bay are bound to impress.

Picturesque chapels and historic monasteries

One of the most picturesque images and loveliest walks in Anissaras is the walk to Cape Sarantaris and Agios Georgios Chapel. Offering an unbroken view towards Hersonissos bay and the picturesque smaller bays that adorn the coastline, this idyllic location is the perfect setting for weddings. In fact many couples do choose to celebrate their important day there.

There are many important historical monasteries near the Hersonissos area, such as Panagia Gouverniotissa Monastery, which is one of the oldest on Crete (at Potamies), Panagia Kardiotissa Monastery (at Kera), Agios Georgios Selinaris Monastery (23.4 km away), and Panagia Kroustallenia Monastery (37.9 km away), as well as Kremaston Monastery built in 1593 (34.3 km away) and Vidiani Monastery dating from the mid-19th century (34.5 km away).


History & culture

Crete’s history can be unravelled by exploring historical trails and amazing archaeological sites. Tour the labyrinthine Knossos Palace with its incomparable frescos and amazing treasures, luxurious residences and priceless finds, and go on a journey of exploration into the glorious Minoan civilisation.

Malia is home to the third largest Minoan palace centre on Crete (2000 BC), the palace – residence of Sarpedon, son of Zeus and Europe, and brother of Minos. Heraklion’s Archaeological Museum is home to exhibits from various archaeological sites around Crete: remarkable gold jewellery, real fragments of frescoes from Knossos Palace, the famous Snake Goddess figurines, and of course the Phaistos Disk which has yet to be decoded.

Crete’s folk culture can be explored at the Lychnostatis Open Air Museum at Hersonissos, where visitors can get to know the lifestyle, mores and customs and folk art of the island’s residents.

Lace-like bays and enchanting beaches

Anna Maria Village is ideally situated for easy access to charming beaches. Whether you are looking for on-beach services or isolated beaches there is plenty of choice. Heading towards Heraklion, is the Blue Flag Anissaras Beach and then a series of beaches offering on-beach services all the way to Analipsi.

Heading in the opposite direction, along the length of Malia bay, from Cape Sarantaris to Hersonissos, there are some rocky beaches with jetties you can dive from, and then a series of sheltered sandy beaches and quaint bays with transparent, crystal clear waters as well as Limanakia Beach (a well-hidden nudist beach) and Gefyri Beach, with on-beach services and a host of water sports.


Cretan cuisine

World renowned for its cuisine, Crete is an earthly paradise for food lovers, with local dishes that visitors simply worship. Based on the purest of ingredients, and especially extra virgin olive oil, honey, vegetables, wild greens, herbs, pulses and cereals, the Cretan diet ensures a long life and vitality.

Crete’s delicious recipes use those select ingredients, transforming them into tasty dishes such as “sfougata” (an omelette with potatoes, onions, etc.), snails (cooked with fresh broad beans), various types of pies (such as mini pies with wild greens), pork rinds, fava bean purée, and tens of recipes with pork and lamb, as well as sweets such as “tzoulamas” (a sweet rice and chicken pie).

Staff at Anna Maria Village will be only too pleased to provide information about places where you can sample real Cretan and Greek cuisine or places popular with the locals, or that offer food to the accompaniment of live music.

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