Arhanes, 14km south of Iraklio, is an agricultural town with a long history, important archaeological sites, interesting museums and excellent eateries. Considered a model of rural town redevelopment, it comprises a maze of narrow, flower-filled lanes, meticulously restored houses and tree-shaded squares. Wine has been produced in Arhanes since Minoan times.
The modern town sits atop a Minoan palace, of which only a tiny section has been excavated. It’s believed this may have been the Summer Palace of Knossos. During WWII, Arhanes was the hub of the German military command under General Heinrich Kreipe. Coming from Iraklio, at the turn-off to Kato Arhanes, a modern monument by local artist Manolis Tsompanakis commemorates Kreipe’s famed 1944 kidnapping.