Vatos Village, Rethimnon, Greece
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Information on Traditional Villages

Vatos Village

Vatos is located 38 km. from Rethymno, at the root of Kefalos hill, which is a branch of Kentas Mountain with an altitude of 640 m. and can be found between Aktounta and Ardakto villages. It belongs to Ardaktos municipal district of Ag. Vassiliou municipality, with 32 inhabitants (according to the 2011 census), while the entire district counts 153 inhabitants (including Ardaktos, Aktounta).It owes its name to a huge bramble (vatos) which is located at the northern entrance of the village. Its size was half an acre and any animal that entered into it, entangled itself and was impossible to escape.The village seems to be inhabited for the first time in 10th-11th century, but was first mentioned in 1577 and 1583 as a village of 74 inhabitants.Its people are famous for their bravery and took part in all the country’s wars and battles, from the revolution of 1770, until 1944.In 1821, together with the Melchizedek Tsoudero, people of Vatos fought at Sfakia, where Giannis Perogiannakis was killed, while from 1866 to 1869 Giorgis Fragedakis and Michalis Analampidakis was killed.

In 1867 Resit Pasas burned down the village, but later suffered heavy losses from the people of Agios Vasileios at the church of Agias Lefteras or Zoodochou Pigis.

In 1897 the people of Vatos took part in several battles, as well as the Therisso revolution in 1905. They also fought in the Balkan Wars and in 1917 Lefteris Mich. Papadakis and Giorgis Grigorakis were killed in the Battle of Doiranis, as well as two others from hardships: K. Fragkedakis and the student Grigoris Makridakis.

During the Albanian war the first Cretan that was killed, was the journalist from Vatos, Kostis Papadakis.

The village has a small Byzantine parish church under Agios Nikolaos, with several important hagiographies on its walls. In its courtyard, there are ancient cypress trees and a huge plane tree, which was planted in 1908 by the students of the local school (which has been operating since 1880). In fact, there was also a huge holm oak, which in 1905 fell on the church due to strong wind and miraculously was not destroyed. According to tradition, in 1886 the bell tower was constructed, while previously it was placed on wooden poles (it was not allowed by the Turks) and the bell was hidden for 200 years.


These are today the Vatos Village residents (random ordering)

Kleio Fragedaki (born 1934), Emmanouil Fragedakis (born 1932), Socratis Kalonomos (born 1921), Katina Melambianaki (born 1936), Anna Makrydaki, Eftalia Grigoraki (born 1916), Katina Galonomou, Pelagia Melambianaki, Zaharoula Galonomou, Konstantinos Analambidakis, Evaggelia Analambidaki, Myros Papadakis, Sofia Papadaki, Eleftheria Pelekanaki, Nikos Pelekanakis, Popi Pelekanaki, Evangelos Pelekanakis, Thodoris Makrydakis, Katina Makrydaki, Spyros Makrydakis, Marika Kapidaglou

Some Vatos Village photos


Vatos Village in the winter

Lampini Village

Lambini is a local community of Agios Vasileios and the general region of Rethimnon. It is located 25 km from Rethymnon and approx. 1 kilometer from the Provincial Road of Rethymnon - Agia Galini. It is built at an altitude of 460 meters, it has a wonderful climate and according to the 2011 census it counts a population of 128 inhabitants, who are mainly engaged in agriculture and animal stock raising. North of the village there is a shooting ground, while at the entrance there is a 5x5 football sports facility.

Regarding the name of the village, the most likely scenario is that it emanates from the local church of “Panagia Lambini”. This is a cruciform Byzantine church with a dome, in the apse of which a fresco of the Virgin Mary was revealed in the 1950s, bearing the inscription: "Lambini".

Lambini was, during the Turkish Occupation period, the head of the Lambis Episcopacy, which included the Provinces of Agios Vasileios and Amari, to which the Sfakia Province was later added.

The main attraction of Lambini is the settlement itself and its architecture. Its narrow streets, its neighborhoods and the village square, in combination with the archaeological site of the Byzantine church and the various hiking trails on the outskirts of the village, create a stunning landscape, particularly attractive to visitors.

Spili Village

Spili is a small town situated south of Rethimnon on the route Rethymnon - Spili - Agia Galini. It is situated at al altitude of 450 meters above sea level, so it normally cools down a bit more in the evenings, which can be a blessing during the hot summer months. The name Spili comes from the Greek word for cave (spilia) and the village is set between two cliff faces at the foot of Mount Kedros. Spili is a pleasant and lively small town and a perfect place to make a stop when you are heading down south.

If besides monasteries and beaches you'd also like to see a pretty and cosy village than Spili (on the road from Agia Galini in the south to Rethymnon, which is 28km in distance) should be on your list. In Spili there is an abundance of water, so Spili is very green. There is a Venetian 'Kefalovrissi' fountain with 19 lion heads and 6 other fountains, that brings crystal clear, drinking water from the Psiloritis mountain. There are many shops with local products here (herbs, tea, nature products), as well as cafes and restaurants. In the streets you find many flowers and old churches. Spili has around 800 inhabitants, so it's fairly big for a Cretan village.

Zaros Village


The mountainous village of Zaros, 45 km off Heraklion, is known for its water springs amongst others. The drive from Aghia (Santa) Barbara  to the foot of Psiloritis mount is the midst of rich vegetation and quite enjoyable. A fair number of Byzantine monasteries there and a starting point for trekking in the Rouvas gorge. Here you will find Votomos Lake, one of the artificial lakes in Crete. Fine tavernas around, local trout is highly recommended, accommodation available if you wish to stay over. 

The Lake is where the Zaros Gorge starts, which in turn goes through the Rouvas woods. The name "Rouvas" comes from an old monastery of the 14th century but still operational by Calendarist monks. Excavations in the area showed that the Minoans and the Romans were enchanted by the abundance of the fresh water of the springs. The altitude is 340m, ideal for a few days relaxation for nature lovers.

Nivritos Village


Nivritos , is a small village before Zaros (4km) in the south of Heraklion Crete. The mountain village of Nivritos belongs to the multiplicity of Rouvas. It has an altitude of 493 meters and has around 250 inhabitants. It is located between the two bigger villages of Zaros and Gergeri. There is no doubt that water played a crucial role in this area. It was the base for wealth and livelihood. The irrigation system goes way back. This area provided Ancient Gortyn in the ROman years with water! The water was used for agricultural purposes, as well as for the watermills giving the possibility to the people to grind their cereals.

Gergeri Village


The village of Gergeri is 40km southwest of Irakleion. There are three interesting Byzantine churches in the area. This is the first village, 10km after Agia Varvara to the west. There are natural springs, and from one of the large springs water was channelled to Gortyn through an aqueduct which is still visible near the Acropolis of Gortyn. There is also a lush forest near the village and Byzantine churches. Gergeri's location is at a region called "Pano Riza" of Psiloreiti's, and in that region there are also the villages Panasos, Nivritos, Zaros, Vorizia and Kamares. Nowadays, everyone in Gergeri and in Pano Riza is proud for the surplus of companies in Gergeri.

We look forward to meeting you and welcoming you at our home.
+30 6940 271732
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