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Margarites and Ancient Eleftherna in Crete
About 30 kilometres east of Rethymno lies the nice little village of Margarites. The village has a long tradition of pottery manufacture and it is commonly referred to as the potters' village. There are plenty of workshops in the village, and even more shops selling all sorts of potteries.
A pottery shop in Margarites.
Some things are mass-produced and are regarded as rubbish, but there are also pottery of very high quality made by skilled potters. If you are not interested in pottery, you can as an alternative have lunch in the square from where it is a wonderful view down into the beautiful valley.
Another pottery shop in Margarites.
Just west of Margarites lies Ancient Eleftherna, an excavation area with great archaeological interest. Here are, among other things, the remains of a Roman tower, large water cisterns from Roman times, a Hellenistic city, an ancient bridge and a large necropolis.
The water cisterns of Ancient Eleftherna.
The area is gigantic. When we were here we strolled around for hours without becoming much wiser. Outside the entrances, there are more than one, there are maps of the area, but unfortunately we saw no information signs.
West of Margarites and Ancient Eleftherna lies the Arkadia Monastery, one of Crete's - and Greece's - most important monasteries.