At the beginning of the path from Tzanakiana – Margarites to Eleftherna, in the center of Crete, in the north-western foothills of Psiloritis, Mylopotamos area, stands out the House of Kourites, a stone-built mansion, a historical monument of the 18th century.
Mylopotamos is defined by two sacred mountains, Psiloritis and the Talaia Mountains where the Cretan Zeus lived with the Kourites, Talaios Hermes and Talos, the mythical robot.
The restoration of the house by the owner Anastasia Fryganaki, philologist and playwright, member of the tourism committee of Mylopotamos and its reuse as traditional accommodation aims to introduce guests to the living tradition created by the long history and hospitable soul of the place.
It functions as a living space and as a center for awakening the ecological feeling of the visitors as well as stimulating the interest of the inhabitants of the area for the value and the protection of the natural environment and the cultural heritage.
During the restoration process, it preserved all the architectural features of the 18th-century house that has its roots in the prehistoric Minoan mansion. The House has eight rooms that can accommodate from two to four people. It is the seat of the Eco-Museum “Kouritia Odos Orini Rethymni”, a body of study, research, documentation and shaping cultural proposals for cultural, religious, nature-loving, educational, mountaineering, geophysical, gastronomic, hiking tourism. Also the tours – teachings concern archeological sites such as Ancient Eleftherna and the Minoan palace in Monastiraki, cult caves such as Talaios Hermes in Melidoni, Kranae Hermes in the Forest at the entrance of Patsiotikos gorge, Anos Antonis in Agios Antonis , of Sfendoni in Zoniana with the stalagmites – stalactites, monuments of nature, the Minoan tomb of the Margarites. Participants gain a thorough knowledge of the area, are trained in original environmental behaviors and are taught local history with its cultural background. Specialists, educators, sociologists, geographers, architects, archaeologists, environmentalists, biologists and local residents are collaborating in the proposed actions.
Activities at home:
At “Spiti ton Kouriton” the visitor can:
- Experience the restoration of a traditional house, of everyday life in Crete and its subsequent use.
- Taste of traditional drinks, desserts, jams and flavored oils made by local women.
- Learn from the creator-owner Fryganaki Anastasia about the natural environment, the cultural heritage, the cultural routes in the area of the Kouritia Odos Eco Museum, the Cretan diet, as well as useful information for accredited dining areas using audiovisual material.
- Experience the hospitality – organization of a family celebration.
- Prepare homemade jams, traditional drinks, decoctions.
- Taste the authentic Cretan breakfast is offered based on the primary sector and traditional recipes.
Hiking – cycling on the historical paths, in the gorge “Lagos” of Margarita which have been included in the network of “emblematic sacred mountains of the Mediterranean” with the name “The paths of Kourites”. They meet the E4 paths with horizontal branches of cypresses, walnuts, ancient olives, oranges, endemic plants, aromatic herbs, wildflowers that lead through the Hellenistic bridge to the archeological park of Eleftherna – Necropolis – Akarokos, Traditional Acropolis.
- Visit to the pottery of Margarita, participation in olive harvest, in the vintage, in the rakokazana, in the cheese-making, in the mitata of Psiloritis.
- “The army of Psiloritis – Holy Cross”, ascent to the top of Psiloritis.
- Geopaths at the Psiloritis World Geopark recognized by Unesco.
- Visit to the shepherd’s house in Krana Mylopotamos: Wildlife observation, experience of mountain activities, milking, shearing, cheese-making, tasting, threshing.
- The “rider of Psiloritis”, mountaineering ski lessons in Livadia.
- We support with sustainable practices the sustainable local food production, the promotion of a special cultural and natural heritage.