As “Earino” is located in the heart of Crete, the list of attractions is far too extensive but you couldn’t really explore Crete without visiting some of the most famous archeological sites all around or discovering the countryside where lies the magnificent Cretan land.
In case you don’t want to go too far away, you can visit the local sites of special interest and you‘ll certainly never get bored.
District of “Nisi”
One kilometer (1/2 mile) northeast the village you can find the small districts named Pano Nisi and Kato Nisi, situated in a marvelous valley. These days, Kato Nisi is inhabited and the houses are abandoned. However, 2-3 families live in Pano Nisi. So don’t miss the opportunity of this excursion during your stay in “Earino”.
“Prinos” mountain shelter
The shelter of Prinos, on the east mountainside of Psiloritis, over Asites village, is a popular destination for mountaineers and a perfect navigation point for those seeking of hiking outgoings. The shelter is stone built, fully equipped and hosts almost 40 persons.
Picturesque neighborhood in Kato Asites village
In the village, there are many authentic cottages and old houses built of stone and surrounded by enchanting gardens. Have a walk in the atmospheric alleys, enjoy the sight seeing of the traditional buildings and feel the unique experience of travelling back in time.
Make sure you visit the Folkloric Museum in Ano Asites. It contains folklore exhibits with references to the Cretan tradition and culture.
Churches and Monasteries
Monastery of St Georgios Gorgoleimona (also spelled Gorgolaini)
The monastery of St Georgios Gorgoleimona is considered a masterpiece among the Cretan monasteries. It was built in 1320 and it’s been restored plenty of times ever since.
Within the monastery you can find a significant library with valuable traces of history and the katholikon, the main church of byzantine style, dedicated to the Holy Trinity. There is also the Church of Christ (“Despotis Christos”). Its most prominent characteristic is the wood carved screen painted by an unknown Cretan artist.
On the top of the hill, you may visit the small Church of Profitis Ilias, built in 1994 on the site of a wooden cross which burned down by a thunder and the small Church of Saint Arsenios, as well.
The Church of St Paraskevi
This basilica was built in 1745 with a highly unique masonry frontage. Also notable are the belfry, the doors and the windows. In the interior of the church, you can see a stone sculpture representing the Saint holding a cross and a phoenix branch, symbolisms of Christian orthodoxy.
Saint Paraskevi is considered the patron saint of the place and its church is located in the centre of the village. Celebrations are held annually on July 26 (the feast-day of the Saint) where whole village is in festive mood. During the festivities, multiple folkloric, cultural and music happenings are organized. In any case, don’t miss the fair!
St Georgios Church
This church, in the west side of Nisi, dates from 1864 and is also known as “Chostos” (means “hidden”), so-called because it was hidden by an enormous tree.
St Antonios Church
In the north of St Georgios Gorgolaini Monastery there are the ruins of St Antonios Church, the most ancient of all churches in the region. It is possible that it was founded during the Venetian occupation or even earlier, in order to feature both of the two creeds: Orthodox and Catholic. It is situated near the gorge of Ano Asites and more precisely in the area of “Petali”. Legend says that “Petali” takes its name from the activities of the nuns, as it was featured as nunnery at that time.
Nowadays, you can see the ruins of the monastic cells and traces of a unique architecture in the middle of an awesome landscape.