Neapoli-Latsida-Cave of Milatos-Vrachasi | Locations

Neapoli-Latsida-Cave of Milatos-Vrachasi

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The cycle trail begins at Neapoli, located in the region of Karion, which was once the residence of Pope Alexander E (the monastery of Aghios Antonis-Fraro), headquarters of the Bishops Petras and Heronnisis and the capital of the Prefecture of Lassithi from 1868-1904.

Before you reach Voulismeni, beneath a bridge on the national highway, the asphalt road takes you to Latsida. In the center of the village you go downhill to the right, and at the end of the village, turn left where you meet with the entrance to a remarkable gorge, which ends at the village of Milatos.

Following along the road, you come to the village of Agori and go through the next village of Kounali. Then follow the downhill incline to the left towards the Cave of Milatos, with a view of the Cretan Sea along your way. The Cave of Milatos is one of the most significant places of modern Greek history (1823), being a place where the local civilian population were sacrificed. After visiting the cave, you make your way downhill to arrive shortly at the olive groves of Milatos and its tourist beach.

The Minoan settlement to the west, the geometric remains to the east and the roads of the village with its traditional buildings are all indications of an earlier human habitation and the cultural heritage of the current inhabitants. Going uphill towards the southwest, you will shortly see the densely cultivated valley of the older village of Sissi enveloped in a sea of green olive groves. The new village of Sissi, framed by the blue of the sea, is stretched out in front and below you. Leaving the beach behind, travel uphill to the south to arrive at the old national highway, turning left at the Gorge of Selinari and the monastery of Aghios Georgios.

The jagged rocks tower above your head, from which pairs of eagles often soar. After visiting the tranquility of the monastery, follow the winding old road that runs to the left of the new national highway and takes you to the hilltop village of Vrachasi. At the top of the village stands the hill of Anavlohos that commands the surrounding area, as once did all of the Minoan hilltop holy places.

One should not miss the opportunity to try out the local Cretan cuisine and “mesedes” under the shade of the planetree in the little square at the center of the village. A stroll around the tiny uphill roadways of the village and a visit to the old church are also worth the effort. One kilometre east of Vrachasi one can enjoy the beautiful panorama of the valley of Mirambelo.

Continuing downhill, you return to Latsida, Voulismeni and Neapoli from where you started. If you happen to be here on the afternoon of the second Sunday in May, come to the Panagia of Vigliotisa, above Voulismeni to celebrate the festival of the Mother of Christ.