South Crete has many beautiful mountainous villages and seaside settlements that keep its character untouched. Kapataniana and many other mountainous villages of south Heraklion managed to escape mass tourism and keep their authentic character. Perched on the southern slopes of the Asterousia Range, at an altitude of 750m, the two neighborhoods of Ano and Kato Kapetaniana stare at the horizon of the Libyan Sea and live in the shadow of the imposing pick of Kofinas Mountain, a place known since the Minoan years. The location gives a nice view of rural life on Crete, combining in harmonious ways the wilderness of the mountain and the serenity of the sea.
The houses of the two neighborhoods, built with the traditional fortress technique, embrace the Byzantine church of our Lady (Panagia), which celebrates on the 15th of August, with the wonderful frescoes of the 10th century. These fortified homes were converted from a monastery into a settlement, having been rebuilt from materials resourced locally and fitted perfectly with the surrounding environment. The origin of the name refers to the "captains" who restored the village and their contribution to the revolution against the Turks (“Kapetanios” means “captain” in Greek).
In Kapetaniana, the time has stood still and the sound of silence reigns. Therefore, it is an excellent destination for lovers of hiking, climbing and mountain biking. Here, the visitor has the opportunity to admire up close the rare species of birds that live in the area. In fact, to the east of the top of Kofinas, there is an organized feeder and observatory of these rare birds. Kapetaniana offers remote and peaceful rock climbing, hiking and bird watching.
The magnificent Agiofarago, situated within a picturesque gorge that runs down to the sea and the beaches of Ai Giannis, Elygia and other smaller but equally beautiful and untouched are located in the wider area. Kapetaniana is only 75Km from the capital city Heraklion and its airport.
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