The Houses at Kalimera Archanes Village
The village of four beautifully restored 19th century stone houses in a delightful walled garden creates a peaceful and relaxing ambiance at Kalimera Archanes Village.
The furnishings are simple, rustic antiques. Depending on your age it is a bit like visiting your grandmother’s house when you were young. The old rotary style phone works (and if you have children I am sure they will think this amazing!)
Featuring two-story self-contained accommodation, you have your choice of 1 or 3 bedrooms. We stayed in Villa Drosostalida, a one-bedroom villa with a living room, fireplace and well-equipped kitchen, including an oven and dishwasher. You can easily cook in the kitchen and if you want to try cooking with the local ingredients, Kalimera Archanes Village makes the perfect place.
The second-floor terrace of our house overlooks the garden, providing a nice, quiet place to relax with a glass of local wine in the late afternoon.
Dining at Kalimera Archanes Village
A very generous, traditional Crete breakfast, all homemade, is served in your room. With the menu changing daily, you have plenty of opportunity to try fresh, local products. One of the highlights was the raki pancakes. Yes, raki for breakfast! These small pancakes, served with honey, contain a small dash of raki, a strong local spirit. (Trust me you will definitely have plenty of opportunities to try raki in Crete!)
With a full kitchen, which is very well equipped you can cook at home. Shopping is a short walk away and there are plenty of options including butchers, grocery stores and more!
Dining in the village of Archanes is excellent, see below for our recommendations.
About the Village of Archanes
Archanes is known as one of the best villages in Crete. Substantial investment has been made in local infrastructure, including water services, and agriculture is plentiful in the area. With a long history of wine production, plenty of local wineries offer the opportunity to learn about and taste the wines of Crete.
An archeological museum is right around the corner from Kalimera Archanes Village and you can learn more about the ancient history of this area here or at the archeological site in town (also very close by your accommodation).
The Archanes town square has a delightful mix of restaurants, some of them very well regarded.
Located in the beautiful village square of Archanes, we had a wonderful wine tasting and light lunch at Bakaliko. Firstly, Bakaliko has indoor and outdoor seating. On a lovely day, sitting outside under the magnificent trees in the square and drinking wine, is a delightful experience. Top points for ambience and to enjoy the glorious, Cretan weather, under the shade of the trees.
And with that in mind, if you want to enjoy a wine tasting from multiple, local producers without the hassle of driving between them, you might want to consider wine flights from Bakaliko. Cretans have been making vilana (white) wines in this area for 3,500 years! And there are some great up and coming varieties such as vidiano. So, with such a heritage, give them a try.
Bakaliko offer several moderately-priced wine tastings, all of which they serve with a platter of artisanal, local cheeses. And, as an added bonus, the wine pours were very generous, so great value. We shared two different wine tastings, each with a cheese platter. It was enough for a light lunch and guaranteed a good, afternoon nap! Kudos also to the waitress for the excellent explanations on the wines and cheeses.
Bakaliko is also a shop selling local, artisanal products, picnic hampers, wine tastings, and light meals. They also run cooking classes and have special, producer tastings. Very entrepreneurial and great to see.
Located just off the village square is Kritamon. We visited on an October evening, so it was indoors for us. Kritamon specializes in serving traditional, Cretan cuisine favorites. Prices are moderate, but the quality of the food was high. Excellent value if you want to try some great, Cretan recipes. Before arriving in Crete, we had a list of Cretan recipes we were keen to try and I’m glad to say, that we crossed off quite a few of them here.
We started with horta, a dish of cooked, wild greens, simply served with lemon and olive oil. The sea bass carpacchio was served with sprouts, the ubiquitous Cretan rusks and salad. It was gorgeous. The platter of mixed, organic, gluten-free sausages was to die for and quite filling. You must try the wedding rice, simple rice cooked in a lamb stock. I’m not sure how anything so simple tastes so good. And the smoked pork (aprika) was sticky, almost Asian-style. We finished with a complimentary slice of cheesecake, very popular and very common in Crete. Together with a half liter of village wine and the complementary raki (Cretan brandy similar to grappa) we had a wonderful evening. And all this for about $40 USD for 2 people!
If you want to try, traditional, Cretan cuisine, Kritamon is a great choice.
The Location of Kalimera Archanes Village
Conveniently located to Heraklion, nearby beaches, archeological sites and several wineries, the Kalimera Archanes Village offers a great place to base yourself to explore Crete.
Knossos, the site of an ancient Minoan palace, inhabited from the Neolithic period (7000-3000 BC) until 5th century AD, is just a short drive away from Archanes. Myths and legends of the Minoan civilization include the Minataur and the Labyrinth. High quality art, pottery, vessels, figurines and wall paintings found at Knossos are in the Heraklion Archeological Museum.
Hiking and Cycling near Archanes
Knosano Gorge extends south of Archanes (Agios Mamas). The gorge area, which is called ‘Paradeisos’ (Paradise), has been listed as a ‘Landscape of Exceptional Natural Beauty’ and is included in the Natura 2000 Network.
There is an extensive network of hiking and cycling trails running through and near the village of Archanes. Our room at Kalimera Archanes Village had great books and publications with more details of the local area. If you would like to do some research in advance, the Archanes municipality site has information about hiking and cycling trails.
Hiking and cycling in Spring and Autumn provides pleasant weather. Crete is quite hot in the summer months and some trails are exposed. Always plan accordingly before you venture out.
Wineries Near Archanes
Staying at Kalimera Archanes Village
Your hosts, Lefteris and Anna, provide a warm welcome. We did not have the pleasure of meeting Anna, during our stay, but Lefteris is a fantastic host. Very friendly and nothing is too much trouble. He can help you with suggestions of what to do (and reservations if required) as well as directions.
Crete is really one big village, and as we continued our travels, when asked about where else we had stayed, whenever we mentioned we had been to Kalimera Archanes Village, everyone knew Anna and Lefteris. Both are very well regarded around the island.
Kalimera Archanes Village, provides unique accommodation, and is a member of the Historic Hotels of Europe, a collection of unique, boutique hotels across Europe. (Kapsaliana Village Hotel, where we also stayed on Crete, is also a member.)
For a week-long stay, Kalimera Archanes Village, is a perfect choice. There is plenty to do in the local area, you have a kitchen for a break from eating out or just a chance to try some of the local products at home. Rates are reasonable, and the hotel provides good value. There is no pool or other facilities on site, but there are plenty of beaches and other outdoor activities nearby. A car is recommended for easy access, but you could get by using the local bus.
For car rental in Crete (and all of Europe) we recommend using Holiday Autos. You can check rates and availability for local and overseas car rental providers, prices quoted disclose all fees and charges so you won’t have any unexpected surprises on your rental car bill.
Check here for current prices and availability for Kalimera Archanes Village.
Kalimera Archanes Village at a Glance
|Kalimera Archanes Village
|Archanes (8.6 miles or 14 kilometers inland from Heraklion)
|Rustic Comfort Self Contained
|Private Garden in a Local Village
|Small Historic Hotel
|# of Rooms
|3 Villas + One Suite
|Friendly and helpful
|Generous traditional Cretan breakfast included (served in your room)
|Full Kitchen, self-contained accommodation
|Can arrange local excursions
|What we Liked
|Relaxed setting, very quiet! Good dining options in Archanes Village, and lots to see and do in the local area.
|Good to Know
|Car recommended to explore the local area. Lots of hiking and cycling (including mountain biking) nearby. Well known wine region in Crete with plenty of nearby wineries.
Recommended as an option for a week (or longer). The kitchen has everything you need for cooking in the villa (even a dishwasher and oven).
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We were guests of Kalimera Archanes Village, as always our opinions are our own.