Anatoli, the village of the rising sun, is an old, historic, traditional village at 600m above sea level, some 14kms from Ierapetra. It is surrounded by wild countryside with huge rock formations and beautiful views down to the Lybian sea. Anatoli is the seat of the municipality, which consists, besides Anatoli itself, of the villages of Kalogeri (which, according to tradition, was built by a Turkish Aga) , Nea Anatoli, Stomio and Amoudares.
The history of the villages goes back to Venetian times. In 1583, along with Kalogeri, Anatoli had a population of 666. The ruins of the Tower of the Venetian feudal lord lie in the north of the village. Worth a visit are the churches in Anatoli: Our Lady of the Lower side ‘Kato Panagia’ (arch-covered Byzantine church with beautiful murals) and the twin-naved church of All-Saints with two icons from Karkasa.
The village is half deserted nowadays, but is quickly being transformed in to a resort village. Holiday houses and apartments are made from the old village houses, so the character of the village remains. Many of these little old houses have (upside down) clay pots on the roofs as chimneys. The village has cobblestone paths leading from the main road, that go between the old houses and make for a nice walk. Around every corner there’s another authentic village-view. Anatoli still has the feeling of an old, traditional village because of that. The area around the village is full of pine- and almond trees which blossom in March.
How to get there:
You can drive up there from Ierapetra, passing Kalogeri, and passing a viewpoint from where you can look down towards Ierapetra. The other way to get there is from Males, one of my favorite roads to drive. The views down to the coast are beautiful, with wild rocky landscape next to the road. The third road to Anatoli comes from through Kalamafka, a very beautiful road to drive.
Other sights in the same area:
- Panagia Exakousti monastery
- Monasteries of Karkasa