Natural springs and verdant landscapes blend harmoniously at the quaint little village of Argyroupolis which is tucked away in the mountains of the south of Rethymnon.
Villages of Rethymnon: Argyroupolis
Built on the site of the ancient city of Lappa, Argyroupolis offers its visitors a wealth of untouched treasures. Throughout the centuries, Lappa held a prominent position in the history of Crete. From excavations dating back to the Late Geometric period, evidence was found in the form of coins depicting god Apollo, Poseidon, Diana and Athena as well as several Roman Emperors.
Lappa was also an important religious centre and one of the oldest Episcopal sees in Crete, founded by Apostle Titus, who served as the secretary and interpreter to Paul the Apostle.
The revolutionary committee assigned the given name Argyroupolis in 1822. The village holds an important position in the union of Crete with Greece which was decided here in 1867 and 1878.
Where is Argyroupolis
Perched 260 meters above sea level, Argyroupolis is located 23 kilometres from Rethymnon’s old town between the rivers Mousselas and Petres. It is also about a 30-minute drive from Lake Kournas (19 kilometres), which makes it an excellent opportunity to combine a visit to both places in a day.
What to See and Do in Argyroupolis
Walking the narrow streets of Argyroupolis, visitors can admire the numerous Venetian mansions which dot this charming little village that opens up to breathtaking mountain views.
Home to about 700 inhabitants who are mainly involved in farming and breeding stock, Argyroupolis boasts unique natural beauty and serene surroundings.
Visit the Springs of Argyroupolis
Mother Nature has been generous on the lands surrounding Argyroupolis. You’ll find majestic natural springs shaded by the ancient plane trees.
Carved inside a rock, you will find the chapel of Agia Dynami or the Holy Force, known for its miraculous water that flows through the chapel. Also, make sure to try out your fishing skills at one of the tavernas where you catch your own trout and have it grilled to order.
The Church of Agia Kyriaki
Nature is not the only thing that makes Argyroupolis so scenic. The architecture and the few particular churches give a unique feeling to the area.
The tiny church of Agia Kyriaki set on the banks of the Mousellas River is one of such examples. Placed next to the Springs of Argyroupolis, this historical church built on the site of what once was a Roman bathhouse is decorated with 11th and 13th-century murals.
The Church of the Holy Five Virgins
Another historical site worth visiting is the church of the Holy Five Virgins, who were martyred here in 250 AD.
Located a short drive from the central square of Argyroupolis, it is considered an important pilgrimage site. Here on the banks of Petres River lies the cemetery of ancient Lappa where traces of the chambered tombs carved in limestone rock are evident till this day.
Drive up to the Panagia Antifonitria in Miriokefala
One of the oldest monasteries on Crete dates back to the 11th century and can be found in the mountainous village of Miriokefala which is a short drive from Argyroupolis. The monastery is an important pilgrimage site where many pilgrims start their walk up a few days before the celebration. Panagia Antifonitria celebrates on the 8th and 12th of September.
Enjoy a local meal the Tavern Archaia Lappa
Argyroupolis is not a place of fine dining restaurants or bars. In fact, the most famous taverna is the Arhai Lappa or Ancient Lappa as the name implies.
The locals, like everywhere on Crete, are incredibly hospitable. Here, in a cosy environment, you can have a great chat with the locals and savour a plethora of traditional dishes. Make sure to try the antichristo dish which you will find on display at the entrance of the taverna. Top off your meal with some locally made raki.
If you do find yourselves on Crete this September, we hope you take a trip towards this impressive village. Have you been to Argyroupolis before?