History and environment
The House of Kourites is located in the agricultural area of Tzanakiana, 50 meters away from Margarites, the historical village of ceramists. The village dates back to the Minoan times including in its diachrony 13 Byzantine churches, ruins of Venetian lodges and 30 old and new pottery workshops. It is nestled on the slopes of a ravine. At its edge a pathway leads to a forest of true wild cypress trees with horizontal branches (cypresses semervirens), pine trees, locusts and numerous endemic herbs.
to monasteries, to Byzantine churches and maintainous road to Priorities
make the visitor to get to know not only the beauties but also the area's
house" is the base of Ecomuseum, a cultural organization and has
striven for the protection of the environment and the cultural haritage.
You can walk
down the small graphic streets in the village looking at the stone-made
houses- of Cretan architecture historical Byzantine churches, monastery,
traditional taverns with Cretan delicious food and hospital people.
Nearby the house are two paramount sites of historical Crete: Ancient Eleftherna and the Arkadi Monastery
Anicient Eleftherna has been inhabited since prehistoric times (±6000 b.c.).Adoration caves, Minoan ceramics, ancient cemeteries, Roman edifices and coins with representations of Apollo and Artemis are some of the precious finds in the archaeological site of Eleftherna.
The Arkadi Monastery, built in the 14th century, has become the symbol of Cretan resistance during the Turkish occupation of the island. In November of 1866 the monastery was surrounded by Turkish forces. Preferring death to slavery, the abbot, Gabriel Marinakis from Margarites, set fire to the Monastery munition causing a holocaust. The facade of the Monastery is considered as an architectural masterpiece of early renaissance.
- to weavers’ home workshops of Axos and Anogia on the slopes of Psyloritis-
the weaving tradition has been carried on since Minoan times
- to the caves used as shelters and places for adoration
- to Monastiraki; there have been found cooking vessels and remnants of seeds, providing precious information about the dietary habits of the Minoans
- to the Monasteries, dating back to early Christianity, architectural jewels with remarkable hagiographies and breathtaking vistas- examples of such monuments are the Metohi of Soteras Christos, Arcadi, Diskouri, Vosako.
Traditional/local cooking and making spoon sweets and preserves
Field Work/Agro tourist Activities- Entertainment
-Participation in grape harvest, olive picking, honey harvest, ceremonious raki making, milking sheep, traditional shearing, cheese making, herb collecting and using in preparing aromatic olive oil and vinegar
-Participation in traditional festivities