The Heraklion Municipality’s territory, from its coastal aspects to the inner Municipality, raises a uniquely wondrous intra-world. Visiting its 24 villages you will discover the uniqueness that characterizes it. Meet the Cretan flair, the traditional and the modern way of rural life, the traditional values and principles of «Xenia Zeus”, the pure products of “Cretan Nature and Soul.»
Picturesque villages and settlements with the special features of the Cretan architecture as these have been transformed and assimilated since the Byzantine, Arab, Venetian and Ottoman eras, are a revelation to the history of the place. Venerato, Skalani, Agios Sillas (Silas), Asites, Agios Miron and every village in general, maintains its own historical memory. Archaeological monuments, remnants of past eras (Roman, Byzantine, Venetian and some of the more recent history) inform the visitor about the long and continuous history of the place.
The visitor will be acquainted with amazing trails of rare beauty for hiking, bike or car, watchtowers and points of lovely vistas, vineyards, olive groves, points for safe climbing, speleological explorations, forest trails, cultural events and activities, conventional, traditional, ‘biological’ culinary delights. These are only some of the many points of reference - composing a physical and social context in which each visitor can move selectively and pleasantly.
The recreational centers, traditional eating spots (brasseries, wine taverns, etc.), snack bars, taverns, “rakadika” and “ouzeri” are places where you will meet the traditional cooking art, in which delicious dishes are prepared from fresh local products that will accustom you to the Cretan hospitality ways.
The many and varied events are organized by the Cultural Associations of the local villages, with the participation or assistance of the Municipal Authority (e.g. the Wine Festival in Dafnes, the International Sculpture Symposium in Venerato, events staged at the Fields Theater in Kiparissi), the local festivals and fairs (e.g. in Skalani, Stavrakia, Ag. Vlasis, Karkadiotissa, etc.), the two-day and multi-day events (e.g. in Ag. Miron, Asites, Profitis Ilias, etc) compose a highly attractive scenery to visit and stay, throughout the year.
As for the modern image of the region of the Municipality of Heraklion, it is necessary to include both industrial development (boasting 16 modern wineries) and artisanal (mills, distilleries, grape crushers, bakeries, poultry farms).
Next to these,units of cooperative and private collecting, processing and marketing of products operate (e.g. for olive products, vine products, for Winemaking, some women’s cooperatives, organic farms, butchers, collectors of herbs and aromatic plants, etc.).
All this activity reveals the strong and productive business initiative of the residents which extends in many other areas (eg, bee products, forage - cheese, olives, grapes, raki, fruit and vegetables, etc.). Within the context of agricultural production and life, traditional occupations are re-introduced (such as of the carpenter, the jeweler,
the soap maker, the potter, the weaver, the painter, the shepherd, the shoemaker, etc.) that confer the specificity of each profession
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