Anopolis





Anopolis is a village high up in the mountains Lefka Ori in the southwest of the island of Crete. Anopolis is the starting point of several hikes through gorges to the sea or in the mountains. The place is the centre of the Sfakiotes, the proud inhabitants of the region Sfakia with great history. Due to its long seclusion, traditional values and customs have been preserved more than in other regions of Greece.

Meanwhile there is a good road with endless serpentines from the coast at Hora Sfakia high to Anopolis. 600 meters height must be overcome by the sea. The road continues to the villages Aradena and Agios Ioannis and ends there as a dead end.

Anopolis is an extremely long village. The place name simply means "Upper City". Often you hear or see the village name also without s at the end, thus Anopoli. Most of the houses are on the main road. Nevertheless there is a village centre around a small roundabout. In the middle of this roundabout stands the monument of the most famous person from Anopolis.

It is the resistance fighter Daskologiannis (1725 to 1771, translates teacher Jannis), who is still revered by people in the region and throughout Crete. He was the leader of the region's resistance against the Turks.

Thanks to the brave inhabitants of Sfakia, nobody really managed to take over the area, not even the Germans in World War II. Anopolis and its surroundings are known throughout Greece as a place of resistance against foreign occupiers. Daskologiannis was cruelly executed by the Ottomans in Heraklion in 1771. His skin was drawn to him alive.

From many places in Anopolis one has a wonderful view of the high mountains in the surrounding area. On the high peaks of Lefka Ori (translated White Mountains, the highest mountains have a height of almost 2,500 meters) lies snow in most years until June. The photo above was taken on May 2 in 2017.

Our favourite tavern and pension in Anopolis has the simple name "Anopoli Taverna and Rooms". You can find it about 50 meters after the big monument (see above) on the through road on the right side. There are typical Cretan dishes, the lentil soup tasted excellent. Also the big breakfast in the tavern Anopoli is a good idea before a long hike in the mountains. The rooms were clean and inexpensive during our visit. The price for my single room in May 2017 was only 25 Euro.

In addition, the host of the tavern has good information about the walks in the surroundings of Anopolis and is happy to help with planning. The tavern owner has compiled the most important hikes in a folder with a detailed description in English. A jeep taxi with all-wheel drive from Phoenix near Loutro back to Anolpoli can also be booked cheaply through the innkeeper. The road over Livaniana is partly not tarred and not passable with a normal rental car.

Such a taxi ride makes sense if one makes the most popular hike in the area. It is the way through the Aradena Gorge down to the sea and further into the village of Loutro. The taxi is needed if you travel by car to Anopoli and after the long walk through the Aradena Gorge you want to go back to the car up to Anopolis. Loutro is beside the nearby Agia Roumeli the only village on Crete known to us, which is not connected to the road network of Crete.

Surroundings of Anopolis

If you drive through Anopolis, you will cross a bridge after a few kilometres at the abandoned village of Aradena. It is the most spectacular bridge in Crete, perhaps even in Greece.


The roadway of the bridge near Anopolis consists of wooden planks (beams). Driving over the bridge makes a very loud noise, which can be heard for miles. The unusual noise when driving over the Aradena bridge is caused by the fact that the beams are not fastened to the roadway, but only lie loosely on it. Beneath the bridge is the Aradena Gorge, hundreds of metres deep. Many people who are afraid of heights get dizzy when walking over the Aradena bridge. Between the beams you can see hundreds of meters into the depth. Before driving over the single-lane bridge, one should pay attention to oncoming traffic in order to avoid reversing.

In the tourist season, bungee jumping is offered from the bridge into the gorge. Anopolis is now one of the hottest bungee jumping locations in Europe. According to some sources on the Internet, the highest bungee jumping jump in Europe is possible here. According to a local, the jumps are up to 140 meters deep.

At the Aradena Bridge is the beginning of the hike through the Aradena Gorge. You should also visit the abandoned village of Aradena next to the bridge. Next to the bridge there is a kiosk where you can buy snacks and water before or after a hike. To our knowledge the kiosk is open every day for many hours during the season.

The road ends a few kilometres further on in the tiny village of Agios Ioannis (Saint John), one of the most remote villages on the whole island of Crete. A short walk through Agios Ioannis is worthwhile if you are up here by rental car. There is a simple restaurant. The highlights of the area are the Aradena Gorge and the bridge.

Buses to Anopolis are unfortunately no longer available to our knowledge. If you don't have your own vehicle and don't want to walk, you have to take a taxi. From the port of Chora Sfakia down by the sea a taxi to Anopolis costs about 25 Euro, to Aradena a few Euro more (May 2017).

Viena Guide

 

 

 

 

+
Kreta  (German Version)
Crete Guide
 
INFORMATION
Animals and Plants
Snakes Crete
Dangerous Animals
Animals Crete
Plants Crete
Other Topics
Where to go on Crete?
Transportation
Airports Crete
  Airport Iraklio
  Airport Chania
Car Trips Crete
Accommodation
Climate Crete
Figures Crete
Money and Prices
Food on Crete
Menu Crete
Drinks on Cret
Sport Crete
Beaches Crete
Gorges Crete
Southern Crete
Cretan Diet
General Advice Crete
Caves on Crete
Islands around Crete
Other Greek Islands
Hotels in Crete 2019
PLACES
Eastern Crete
Ierapetra
Keratokambos
Mirtos
Sitia
Vai
Agios Nikolaos
 Voulismeni Lake
 Agios Nikolaos Beach
 Agios Nikolaos Tours
Gournia Crete
Kritsa
Elounda
Spinalonga
Amazonas Park
Neapoli
Xerokambos
Zakros
Central Crete
Iraklio
  Historical Museum
Knossos
Hersonissos
  Zoo Hersonissos
  Museum Hersonissos
Koutouloufari
Piskopiano
Gouves
  Aquarium Crete
  Dinosauria Park
Malia
Stalida
Karteros
Milatos
Sissi
Rethymno
 Rethymno Fortezza
 Rethymno Museum
 Rethymno Beach
Platanes
Panormo
Melidoni Cave
Bali
Agia Pelagia
Fodele
Moni Arkadi
Georgioupolis
Armeni Tombs
Plakias
Mirthios
Sellia
Lefkogia
Damnoni
Preveli
Argiroupoli
Spili
St Antonios Gorge
Agia Galini
Matala
Kalamaki
Pitsidia
Phaistos
Gortys Crete
Zaros
Lendas
Western Crete
Chania
 Football Museum
 Maritme Museum
 Chania Lighthouse
Platanias
Agia Marina
Kolymbari
Kissamos
Agia Triada Crete
Stavros
Kalives
Falassarna
Elafonisi
Paleochora
Sougia
Agia Irini Gorge
Samaria Gorge
White Mountains
Aradena Gorge
Botanic Garden Crete
Lakki
Omalos
Imbros Gorge
Frangokastello
Anopolis Crete
Chora Sfakia