Analipsi village - hantra

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Analipsi village

Analipsis, history

The area of Analipsis was first developed during the Turkish occupation, when a small group of Turkish families built several stone houses here, and called their little village "Svourou Metochi."
After the occupation, the Turks left the area and the abodes were taken over by shepherds from the Lassithi Plateau, who needed a warmer place to pasture their animals in the winter, when the Plateau was covered in snow. The area began to grow as more villagers from the upper regions moved down, purchased land and built houses. With them they brought their culture, and a small church was built. Above the church door, carved in stone, was the word "Analipsis", meaning "the Ascension".
Analipsis is first mentioned as a small settlement of 68 inhabitants in 1920. The name “Svourou Metochi” remained in use until the early 70s, when the area started experiencing Crete's new industry – tourism. As with many villages, the new name was taken from the church, and Analipsis was born.

What to do in Analipsis

Stroll through the narrow streets around the main square. There are still several old houses, whose elderly inhabitants bring their chairs out in front in the afternoon to gather together and chat about the village news.
If you have your own or a rented car, go for a drive along the roads winding through the olive groves above (south of) the old National Road. Take pictures and add them to your galery.
Search for the loveliest beach from Kokkini Hani and Gouves to Anissaras and Hersonissos. At Anissaras, don’t forget to visit the little church of Agios Georgios on the peninsula next to the Royal Mare Hotel.
You can even walk there along the coast. It is 3.5 kilometres away, so it will take you an hour to get there and an hour back. Set off early in the morning or late in the afternoon and take some water with you. If you get hot, stop and have a swim off one of the many beaches along the way.
A vacation in Analipsis should include a visit to the Lassithi Plateau, which is a beautiful 30-minute drive along a good, climbing highway, which will offer you a multitude of wonderful vistas. Not only will you see the birthplace of many Analipsis locals, but you'll encounter the famous site of restored windmills – 24 at the last count. Also located on the Lassithi Plateau is the Dictaean Cave, where Zeus was born according to legend.
A water park and an 18-hole PGA golf course are also within easy commuting distance.
If bird-watching is your hobby, go to the mouth of the River Aposelemis at the end of the coastal road west of Analipsis. The wetlands formed at the rivermouth are full of reeds and tamarisks, with 19 species of nesting bird. Another 12 species are also said to feed here, though they nest elsewhere.
Sandy beaches

From Analipsi, a flat, paved road follows the line of the coast for almost 2 kilometres. It offers access to the area’s long sand-and-pebble beaches and satin-blue waters. You don’t have to go far, though, for soft sands. Right in front of the village, a tiny blue-and-white-painted church marks the beginning of Lyttos Beach, which rolls out eastwards from here. To the west, meanwhile, the coast is rockier and better suited to quiet strolls beneath the shade of tamarisk trees.

Traditional setting

Circled by fields and fruit groves, Analipsi is a cutesy village on Crete’s eastern shoulder. It’s sandwiched between 2 of the island’s pulse points – cosmopolitan Hersonisos and big-hitter Heraklion – but it’s managed to stay under the radar and remains deliciously true to tradition. 
Back from the seafront, meanwhile, spidery lanes beat a track to a restaurant-lined central square.

Close to ancient landmarks

One of the beauties of the village is its closeness to some of Crete’s best-known sights. It’s around a 20-minute drive to the island capital, Heraklion, where historic leftovers include a 15th-century Venetian fortress. The painted colonnades and mosaic floors of the Palace of Knossos, 5 kilometres further south, also bear witness to the island’s flamboyant past. And while you’re here, pencil in some time to explore the Lassithi Plateau, 30 minutes’ drive inland. It’s a region of orange groves, vineyards, monasteries, and lost-in-time towns pressed against the mountainside.
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