Secrets of Crete Tours Bygone Crete 3 must-visit ghost villages of the island

Secrets of Crete Tours Bygone Crete 3 must-visit ghost villages of the island

Secrets of Crete Tour Bygone Crete 3 must-visit ghost villages of the island

Having travelled extensively in Crete, we have come across many abandoned villages. Here, I have selected three I would recommend visiting as they are interesting on their own right. Discover the abandoned mansions, stone-build hoses and ineffable vibe of past times!

Ethia village in Asterousia mountains

Asterousia mountains harbour many secrets and surprise adventuous traveller with many discoveries. Ethia village is one of them.

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A quiet wind is gusting through the alleys of bygone past of Ethia village - grand and empty stone buildings, the few villagers left are having nap during midday siesta, beautiful gardens and many stories to be told. As families have left Ethia village for decades now, the houses have started to crumble. The village population, which had once numbered in the hundreds, dwindled to single digits. Ethia is one of Greece’s southernmost settlements and just above it, the hills overlook the Libyan Sea.

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Ardac​htia village in Central Crete

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One of the most interesting ghost villages - Ardachtia lies just 500 m from Agios Thomas village. This village has quite a history as its name features in all the Venetian documents of the 16th. Its unique location under cliffs, looming rocks and the natural caves, however, became a reason why it was abandoned. The earthquakes, falling rocks threatened to land right on the rooftops of the houses; the landslides shaking the structures of the buildings threatened the lives of villagers. It was abandoned as a result and nowadays it is a quiet, lonely place, except for few houses.

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Mixorouma village

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The name Mixorouma was given to this village due to its position at the confluence of two streams. It is worth for visitors to visit old Mixorouma, a wonderful dorp with stone-built houses, submersed in the green landscape. It is referred to with the name Mixorouma in all Venetian censuses. In 1881, it is referred to with the name Mixorouma in the Municipality of Lampis with 126 residents. In 1900, it is mentioned again in the same municipality as Mixorouma with 146 residents. You can walk through the empty streets and see the old houses that are falling apart and that have their doors open.The only building that is in sort of a good state is, off course, the village church.

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Having traveled for over 30 years, since 6 years now, I have found the whole world in one of the most fascinating and unique places on earth – Crete. It is a diverse, rich and inspiring island which even after so many years does not stop surprising me - its rich history and unique traditions, its people, the delicacies of Cretan cuisine, its landspace and its stunning nature. Here I reveal some of its secrets.



I see Crete through turquoise - pink glasses.

Awards & Accolades



Skip the group tours, leave your rental car at your hotel and ask Joseph to accompany you on a private tour to these great spots on Crete. We did "Mystic & Rustic Crete" and "Birth of Europe".  If you are a first-time visitor he will suggest an itinerary and if you have special requests he will include those.  Without Joseph we would not have known about the local culture or the history of the area nor would we have met and chatted with the local people... Read more

"Fantastic" *****

"A great tour and experience"We spent a full day with Joseph visiting Chania, Rethymnon and an olive oil farm and we had a great time. Crete is huge so you have to make choices unless you spend a week there. We arranged this tour with Joseph discussing our options and time. Joseph was very flexible with the itinerary allowing us to customize our tour and experience the highlights of some very nice towns. Joseph was very knowledgeable and answered every question. We would definitely use Joseph again to visit the other parts of Crete that we could not get to in this visit.

Vincent, New York City

"Crete showed by Joseph is unique"The experience with Joseph showing us around Crete was absolutely unique. He is Greek and speak very good Hebrew. I don't think we would had seen and experienced half of what we did with him if we'd be on our own. He told us a lot of interesting stories about the Lassithi plateau and the area. His effortless ability to chat up with locals and involve us into conversation (with some translation, of course) was amazing. Funny enough these encounters led to further invitations (for a coffee and local drink - raki). Later on, he took us to an absolutely authentic tavern in a mountain village...

Jacky, Israel

"The secrets never die" Das erste Mal haben wir Joseph Batis mit einer kleinen Gruppe in Chania in einer Fischtaverne kennengelernt. Er sprach Deutsch, Hebräisch, Englisch, Griechisch und soweit ich es richtig vernommen habe auch Spanisch. Ich habe die Gelegenheit genutzt ihn über unsere Ausflugsziele zu befragen. Seine Hinweise und seine Kenntnis haben uns in die Welt von Kreta innerhalb kurzer Zeit eingewiesen. Wir haben Joseph für einen Tag engagieren können um uns zu begleiten. Joseph hat über 30 Jahre in Deutschland gelebt. Seit Jahren führt er private Reisetouren auf Kreta...

Robert, Germany

יוסי מסיורים בכרתים ויוון, הוא מדריך.... מקצוען, בעל יידע נרחב איש לבבי וסימפטי, טיילנו בשנה שעברה... היה פשוט מדהים כיף... כיף... כיף... ממליץ בחום למי שמגיע לכרתים ויוון להשתמש בשרותיו המעולים. תודה יוסי על הסיורים ,האוכל, הטברנות, היה תענוג גדול ! ! ! מאתנו: אורי אילש, אלי גנט, יגאל גרינשטיין, נטלי גרינשטיין, אור גרינשטיין

כל מי שעתיד לנסוע לכרתים או ליוון, אני חייב להמליץ על חבר יקר, מדריך מעולה, אדם חביב ונעים הליכות שידריך אתכם בכרתים בעברית, אנגלית וגרמנית, מה שתבחרו.... ל- Joseph Batis אתר בו תוכלו להציץ במה שיש לו להציע לכם כולל תכנון הטיול ומלונות וכו' הציון שנתנו לו 10+ שווה מאוד... ביקרנו במקומות שבחיים לא הגענו אליהם בכרתים ! לחצו על השם וכנסו לאתר ! בהצלחה.