• A traditional village with narrow streets, picturesque squares that has
been excellently preserved
Most visitors to Kritsa start investigating the village by looking at the church (called Panagia). From the outside, the church does not look as if it should deserve its reputation, but once inside you’ll see a series of beautiful frescos, believed to be some of the most important in Europe. The church closes at 3pm.
It’s a 15 minute walk to Kritsa from the church. Along the way you’ll pass dozens of shops selling the town’s woven blankets – some of the shop keepers are a bit pushy. Whether they are indeed made in Crete – or China – is hard to say, but most the shops here are selling plenty of typical tourist souvenir trinkets to take home. I don’t think the blankets are a bargain, and it’s a shame to see how tourism can ruin a nice village.
In the centre of Kritsa, there’s a pleasant plateia (town square) surrounded by some coffee ships, restaurants (not cheap), and a few kafenions. These traditional bars are a dying breed in Crete, but seem to thrive in Kritsa thanks to tourism.
Kritsa is easy to get to by bus, since almost all buses in the east of
Crete seem to pass through it. From
Agios Nikolaos in summer, there’s an hourly
bus (20 mins, €1.30 in 2008).