395 meters above sea level. About 100 inhabiters live there all year round.
And an other 100 foreigners that have a house there. They love the village for his simplicity and the Greek way of living. If you come in the village the church is something that you immediately notice. Only 2 of this kind of churches are on the island of Crete. Every Sunday the bells ring at seven. The Papas or the locals them selves, will do the church-service. The inside of the church is just as beautiful as the outside. Big chandeliers and lots of icons in gold and silver. The church is the pride of Agios-Stéfanos. On the square you also find one cafeneon where everybody go’s after church for a coffee. On your right hand-side as soon as you come in the village on the square. The owners are Kosta & Despina. It is very small but it is very nice to sit there. Despina is a very friendly person. There you will get lots of meze’s for free with your alcohol.
Again you see a cafeneon opposite of that cafeneon. Blue and white stripes cafeneon. The owner his name is Stefan. BUT, he is on pension , he sits always in front of his cafeneon.
Lots of people find there way to the square.
The locals like to talk to tourists, about what ever you like, politicks, where you com from, where you have been etc…
As every village the church is set in the hart of the village there where every day life happens. The church is as well a place for religion as also a meeting place where people talk. A lot off detail has being done to the building.
An older woman of the village keeps the key of the church in here pocket ( Katina). But she is always very proud to show you the inside. The steps of the church is the place to relax talk and to make friends.
People come up to sell all different kind of things on the square of the church.
As you walk through the village you will find a lot of narrow streets, some nicely done with new pavement others still waiting to be fixed. Because of the interest of people to have a holiday-home here as also family from the locals them selves who want to come back for the peaceful living. The village has always some where in a corner, some tiles and sand, waiting to be used.
Also if you take a walk true the village you will find lots of small alleys and nice houses that are already been renovated. In the middle of the village you will find again a small square. Where a big tree (platanos) is located where you can sit and relax with a drink. Again there you find 3 cafeneons. But only 2 will serve you drinks. As one owner is again on pension.
The name of the cafeneon on that square is „Platanos" owners are Petroula and Yiorgo. Open from 17h on.
Niko and Irini, two lovely people, they open a cafeneon also in the middle of the village. It is small but very nice.
Your typical Greek place. Irini’s cafe is on the same side as Petroula's. They lived their whole life in the village.
Their home-made red wine is the best of the village. But be careful it is quit strong. Sitting at there cafeneon Niko loves to sing a song. Never be afraid to ask to put a table outside if there are non outside. They will do this for you strait away.
Their son is also running the local wood-shop. He is a very good carpenter and Lots of people in the village use him when they renovate the house. In every café you will get meze with your alcohol. Very different mezes, some give just fruit others give warm freshly made mezes.
Opposite of Irini you find again a cafeneon Eleftiria is here name. But she kind of uses the cafeneon to live in it ever since her husband died. However if you go inside she will serve you also. But she dos not serve beer only raki and wine with some olives.
Despina ( small cafeneon opposite of church )
Plenty of people like to sit together and have a drink together in one of the cafeneons.
Talk about every day live. Every body loves to relax. In one of the cafeneons that the village has.
„Platanos” Yiorgo & Petroula
If you walk higher and higher you will see that the view gets better and better.
Up above the houses you will find the remains of an old fortress. Don’t be disappointed if you are up there, that there is not a lot standing or to see of the fortress. You see the walls better from a distance then at the place it self.
But to take pictures from there is really really good. Stunning views! So if you go for a walk do not forget your camera!
You will find people working on the land with there donkeys. Or you will see them passing true the village with there goats. Features like ovens outside the houses are being kept. But also are still being used. Families from down in Makri Gialos come up to use those ovens. The houses are being done up in the traditional way. Of course lots of flowers make the village even look nicer.
The picture were taken in the afternoon as you see not a lot of people about. Siesta-time is important.
The village is getting better and better. New electricity, new pavement but also ADSL. And there is even fiber-cable in so the internet go’s even quicker.
Also a part of the village is still in ruins. The oldest houses are more then 400 years old. There is still a lot for sale.
Some renovated some waiting to be fixed. Houses are being done up in the old style. Meaning that they use big stones so the walls are like 50 cm thick, good as insolation. If you take a peep inside in one of the old ruins you can still see how the people lived many years ago. Some houses feel like the people will be back any moment. Some pots are still on the stove or in the fireplace. In previous years the village was very much full of life and still you can feel this. Also the older people have still that feeling within them and this feeling they project this on to the newcomers.
After putting a lot of work and love in to the project some houses look really beautiful. The houses are still kept in their own character only a satellite-disc some times gives you a hint that new comers are living there. Every where you go you will find small gardens between the narrow streets.
The people live up so they have a nice view and are also closer to the roof-terrace. Some of the locals still have a donkey.
They take care of that donkey very well because this is for a lot there only way of transport. It is a pity that the young people do not keep any donkeys any more. They like more a modern way of transport.
These streets are waiting to be explored!
But walking trough the village way up high you find an other small chapel as well the cemetery. From there you overlook the village and his inhabitants. A nice place where you can look towards the mountains and the sea.
As you know religion is very important to the Greek people. The locals find that even when you past away you are still a part of there every day life. A lot of widows and widowers have still a candle burning every day for the rest of there lives as honor and respect to their husband or wife. Every week on Sunday there is a service in the big church and on special days like name-days there is a service in the small chapel.
If you walk trough the village higher up you will find also the old washing place that they used in the earlier days. The washing place is also totally renovated. Now off course the spring water comes now in every house by tap. The old washing place
The village is set in beautiful surrounding, so take a walk and enjoy.