Tired of the beach? Want to show your kids something a little different? A day trip to the town of Argiroupoli, just southwest of Rethymno and high up in the Cretan mountains offers a look into Cretan village life with plenty of activities see to do!
Argiroupoli is a popular summer destination for locals—it’s cool mountain air is refreshing, and the lower village’s numerous waterfalls offer an attractive setting for a lazy lunch followed by a walk.
Just five minutes’ drive outside of Argiroupolis is a small chapel with a pleasant walk to a Roman necropolis (graveyard) further down the road. The area is shaded and lush, even in the summer, with a huge olive tree that dominates the area. Locals insist that this tree is one of the oldest—and definitely the largest in Crete.
You may see the word “Lappa” a lot. It’s the name of the ancient Minoan city that once stood here—but there is little evidence left of it these days, though the name lives on through the local people’s pride.
Hidden Gem: the village of Nisi
As far as hidden gems go, the abandoned village of Nisi (ΝΗΣΙ in Greek) has to be one of the best kept secrets around. The village, abandoned in the 1960s, has long since crumbled into a state of elegant disrepair—the only residents now are herds of goats and the occasional shepherd.
If you make it to Nisi, you’ll be rewarded with a beautifully desolate village that’s eerily empty, with plenty of crumbling architecture to admire—but be careful of your step!
Families should know
- Like many Cretan villages, Argiroupoli isn’t always stroller friendly with its many steps and uneven roads
- In the winter, rain often blocks access to Nisi and a 4×4 is recommended for driving through the terrain to get here
- While beautiful, watch your kids when at Nisi—they may be tempted to clamber over the old ruins, which could cause accidents
- Check out the avocado store in Argiroupolis for an amazing plethora of avocado-based products—ideal for gifts!
- In summer, there are sometimes donkey rides available
Argiroupoli, Rethymno, Crete
Kids will love
- Searching for the abandoned village of Nisi
- The waterfalls and tanks of fish that dominate lower Argiroupoli
Parents will love
The historical Drive in Rethymno’s countryside
Best season to visit