Crete Locals logo

Margarites town

Town description

Margarites is situated 27 kilometres away from Rethymno. The village is known for its unique pottery tradition, its picturesque alleys, and its well-preserved architecture. Margarites is a perfect destination for those seeking an authentic Cretan experience and a glimpse into the island’s rich history and culture.

The village is located near the ancient town of Eleftherna and has Venetian roots that date back to the sixteenth century. Margarites was once a thriving town in the nineteenth century, known for its centuries-old ceramic tradition that began during the Ottoman period.

Margarites: The Pottery Capital of Western Crete

Today, Margarites is considered the most significant pottery centre in western Crete, attracting visitors worldwide who come to admire the village’s unique pottery creations. It counts 17 workshops – some of them also operate as exhibitions, giving visitors the chance to watch experienced and skilful artificers making all sorts of ceramic items and imitations of ancient Minoan potteries.

Architectural Splendor and Historical Landmarks of Margarites

The captivating architecture of the Margarites village is an undeniable draw for tourists. Constructed from native materials like stone and wood, the edifices exude a distinctive Cretan charm. Winding lanes, archways, and intimate courtyards coalesce to form an idyllic and serene ambience, harking back to a bygone era. A stroll through Margarites is akin to a temporal journey, granting a glimpse into the traditional Cretan lifestyle of yesteryears.

Margarites, besides being known for its pottery, boasts one of Rethymno’s most significant landmarks, the Late Minoan Vaulted Grave. Dating back to 1350 B.C., this exceptional structure is architecturally remarkable, featuring a lengthy downward passage leading to a circular chamber at the heart of the vault. Researchers uncovered the remains of four adults and two children within the grave, indicating that they were members of the upper echelon of society and religious hierarchy. While in Margarites, a visit to the village’s oldest church, Saint Ioannis “Theologos,” is recommended. In the churchyard, there are graves of some Arkadi heroes. The village is full of invigorating energy and breathtaking scenery, and you can indulge in traditional food and drinks while surrendering to the atmosphere.

The Culinary Landscape and Festive Spirit of Margarites

Margarites invites visitors to delight in its local fare, underscored by fresh produce and age-old culinary traditions. The village’s eateries boast an array of gastronomic delights, featuring well-known Greek classics such as moussaka and souvlaki alongside unique regional delicacies. These include pot-cooked snails and lamb paired with stamnagathi, a variety of wild greens indigenous to the area.

Guests are also encouraged to sample the local raki, a potent spirit distilled from the remnants of the wine production process. Its robust flavor offers a taste of the rich cultural heritage that imbues every aspect of life in Margarites.

Margarites is recognized for its annual celebrations that typically occur in the warmer summer months. The most prominent among these is the feast on August 15th, honoring the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. This event features a sacred procession, vibrant performances of traditional music and dances, and, naturally, a feast of mouthwatering local cuisine and wine.


Get directions to Margarites town 

Most frequent asked questions

Where is Margarites located?

Margarites is located 27 kilometers from Rethymno, near the ancient town of Eleftherna.

What is the history of Margarites?

Margarites has Venetian roots and was mentioned by sixteenth-century travellers. In the nineteenth century, it was a flourishing town with a centuries-old ceramic tradition that began at least as early as the Ottoman period.

What is Margarites known for?

Margarites is known as the most important pottery centre in western Crete.

Is Margarites a popular tourist destination?

While Margarites is not a major tourist destination, it is a charming village with a rich history and cultural significance. Visitors interested in pottery and ceramics may find it particularly interesting.

Which is the nearest airport to Margarites town?

The nearest airport to Margarites town is the Heraklion International Airport, which is approximately 60 km away.

What are the popular attractions in Margarites town?

Margarites town is known for its traditional pottery workshops, where visitors can watch artisans create beautiful pottery pieces. Other popular attractions include the Margarites Archaeological Site, the Monastery of Arkadi, and the Melidoni Cave.

Is Margarites town a good place to visit for families?

Yes, Margarites town is a great place to visit for families. The town is peaceful and has a relaxed atmosphere, making it a perfect place for families to unwind and enjoy the beautiful scenery. There are also plenty of activities for children, such as pottery workshops and visits to the nearby beaches.

User reviews

© All rights reserved. Crete Locals