Minutes away from luxurious villas, hotels, and resorts, the ruins of Achlada stand in desolate beauty. The natural landscape surrounding the village fascinates with its rural charm, and the sea views have the stuff of exotic dreams. No one can argue it: Crete is an island of contrasts.
Achlada is a fascinating place if you love to adventure off the beaten path. Leave your car at the entrance of the village on the main road: the rest of the narrow alleys of this Cretan destination are not suitable for vehicles. In fact, the Achladians used mainly donkeys in the past to transport goods around the village. But now, you’ll rarely see people in Achlada. The principal inhabitants appear to be the goats and sheep belonging to farmers from nearby communities like Fodele and Agia Pelagia.
The massive tourist development of Agia Pelagia and Lygaria is the main reason why Achlada is deserted today. The locals left their home in the mountains to become business owners by the sea. But, the impressive old village fountain still stands outside the village and makes for an incredible photo op.
Former village taverns, homes, and Venetian structures are equally appealing. You can enter them for an imaginary journey back in time, and if you have your camera ready, it doesn’t take much to capture an Instagram-worthy moment.
And it’s still worth it to visit Achlada’s imposing two-aisled Church of St. John and St. Tryphon with its wood-carved iconostasis if you happen to drive by. Although it is still a desolate site, Achlada will not remain deserted for long. Authorities have plans to restore the village, and local entrepreneurs are already renovating some of the houses or building new structures.
Featured image via Wikipedia.