73.70. Ampesali to Mirthios Walk and Cycle in Crete

70. Ampesali to Mirthios Walk and Cycle in Crete

Six kilometres of very quiet surfaced road winding up a pleasantly wooded valley.

Ampesali is a large old village with newer buildings scattered between the Venetian houses. The larger church is an excellent viewpoint. Inside it has a very elaborate screen in concrete.

Leave Ampesali and head north on the tarmac road. Fork right by a little church and graveyard to enter

1 km. Kare which sits on a small hill above the valley. Some of the buildings have huge vaulted storerooms below. The large church has some elaborate carved stones and its courtyard is made attractive by several orange trees. A smaller church to the north has a number of old painted wooden panels.

20 metres to the north of this smaller church take an old path to the right. Among the ruins a water storage cistern can be examined as part of its wall has been cut away. Further east channels cut in the rock direct rainwater to an intact cistern. Numerous small arched doorways set into small domes of stone are visible round the village. Each of these is the entrance to a water cistern.

You can climb the terracing above the open cistern. The topmost terrace has walls that might indicate an old citadel, now growing grapes.

Follow the old tarmac road as it continues east through olive groves in a valley. The village of Oros sits on the hillside to the north with rock shelters in the cliffs below.

2 km. The road then turns south to Goulediana in a narrow valley.

3 km. Pass the turning for Oros to the north. See route 71. There are large oak trees scattered in the olive groves to the south.

4 km. Seli. See route 73.

5 km. The road drops past the little church of Saint Eustacious with its name inscribed on the doorway before entering the village of Mirthios. See route 74.

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