Margarites is a mountain village of the prefecture of Rethymno.
Margarites is undoubtedly the most important pottery centre in western Crete. Visitors can still visit the remains of stone-built workshops and pottery kilns that once produced all of the necessary household utensils, including storage vessels, ritual vases, and even toys. Nowadays, modern ceramic workshops produce a variety of utilitarian and decorative objects.
Continuing your walk-in Margarites, be sure to take the opportunity to admire the churches of the village, the Renaissance church of Archangel Michael, the oldest church of all, Agios Ioannis the Theologian with its stone iconostasis. The monastery of Christ the Savior and Agios Gedeon on the east side of the village is definitely worth visiting.
Arkadi Monastery (Moni Arkadhi in Greek) contains one of the finest Venetian churches on Crete. The tragic events that took place here in 1866 made it a national symbol of Crete’s heroic struggle for independence. The Arkadi Monastery on Crete The Arkadi Monastery is so important in Greek history. In the courtyard outside the refectory is an ancient cypress tree with a shell from the Turkish siege still embedded in its trunk. An arrow marks the spot. The Venetian Church Although the Turks set fire to the Church, its lovely facade of golden stone survived. The ossuary, housed in a former windmill outside the gate near the parking area, contains the skulls and bones of the people who died in the great explosion. The Arkadi Monastery has a unique natural beauty, a prestigious history, numerous legends deeply rooted in the time, heirlooms and thesaurus richness. Possibly because the old is livelier than the new, and the modern is often more mature than the aged. Each pilgrim and visitor feel something which is exclusively his, personal, original in his experiential and spiritual experience.
Rethymno combines rarely united features: the old town's charm and history, with proximity to a long sandy beach. Explore one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Greece, and search for your fairy-tale romance in Rethymno. Venetian fortification works mingle harmonically with orthodox and Catholic churches, mosques, majestic mansions of Venetian architecture, arches and cobbled paths which create a magical atmosphere, reminiscence of the city’s turbulent –yet glorious– past.
The Venetian harbour area is a fine place for a coffee at one of the cafes and perhaps you will chance to eat there, just for the atmosphere. The Fortress dominates the city and makes Rethymno very photogenic, it's pedestrian streets below, strewn with charming old buildings. Venetian influences abound and the minarets and domed mosques remind of the Turkish influence.