On this tour, we will experience the unique and devout atmosphere of traditional Easter celebrations in a charming village in the mountains of Crete, miles away from the usual tourist trail. We will introduce you to our local culinary traditions by tasting homemade Lenten food prepared by the women of the village and enjoy fresh fish in a lush green atmosphere, full of springs.
Our first stop will be at the church of the Holy Five Virgins located at the site of the ancient Lappa Cemetery. We will feel the eerie charm of the site, which was built inside the chamber of a Roman tomb. Listen to the tale of the five virgins who found refuge here and lived in the carved tombs until they died and were buried here.
Next, we will move to the idyllic mountain village of Argyroupolis, situated on the site of the ancient city of Lappa. We will visit a kafenion, a Greek coffee shop where we will taste Elliniko coffee and local raki. Moreover, we will have the opportunity to sample and savour homemade, traditional Lenten food like the locals do during the 40-day Lent period before Easter.
While you eat, your expert local guide will talk to you about delicious Cretan cuisine, one of the healthiest and tastiest diets in the world, dating back to the Minoan civilisation.
Moving on, after passing an old archway, we will enter the upper old part of the village where we’ll explore Venetian mansions, colourful Roman floor mosaics and old churches. From here, we’ll also admire stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
Next up, we will stop for a light dinner in a recreational area of the village, well-known for its greenery, springs and multiple mini waterfalls, and taste fresh fish from the surrounding area.
After that, we will head to the main square to witness the unique custom of lambades (meaning torches), which takes place only in Argyroupolis on Good Friday and dates back to the period when the village had no electricity. Giant torches up to 6 metres tall are made by the village’s youngsters using reeds from the nearby countryside. Carried by a minimum of three people, each torch is gathered in the square and set alight to lighten the route of the Epitaph procession (which mourns the death and burial of Christ).
Finally, we will follow the Epitaph through the village’s cobbled streets and narrow laneways and soak up the devout atmosphere of the procession.
Our long day of celebration will come to an end around 11:00pm after some more culinary delights.
Inclusions: Local English-speaking guide, transportation, nibbles (local dish with rusks, olives, tomatoes and cheese), seasonal fruit, local sweets, raki (a local spirit).
Exclusions: Additional food and drinks, souvenirs, personal items, tips/gratuities for your guide. Light dinner will be at your own expense.
Dress standard: Please bear in mind that during this tour, we will pay a visit to a Greek Orthodox Church so please dress accordingly.
Please do not wear shorts or flip-flops as they are not considered to be respectful. Ladies, please wear modest clothing; your shoulders should not be shown in church, so please avoid wearing anything low-cut, strapless or with thin straps. Long sleeves are advised as is at least a knee-length skirt or trousers.
Your Trip: For your Urban Adventure you will be in a small group of a maximum of 12 people.
Confirmation of booking: If you have your voucher, your booking is confirmed. We'll see you at the start point. Get in touch if you have any concerns or require more information via the email address or phone number (business hours only) on your voucher.
Child Policy: This is a child-friendly tour. Children between the ages of 6 and 11 inclusively are permitted on this tour at the rate listed above. Please select ‘child’ above when booking. Children under the age of 6 are permitted to join this tour free of charge. Please inform us at the time of booking if you’ll be bringing a child under the age of 6. You can do so in the special request box on the checkout page.