Thronos, one (1) km after Klisithi, is built under the hill “Kefalas” which used to be the residential center of ancient Sivritos, one of the most significant autonomous towns of Western Crete, which flourished during the Roman and the 1st Byzantine period.
Its modern name comes from the bishop’s throne, the registered offices of the bishop of Sivritos during the 1st Byzantine period. The remaining Byzantine church of Virgin Mary, full of murals, at the center of the village is built on the ruins of the tessellated floor of the older church. The murals of the church, of unique value, have been preserved and are in good condition.
The view to the fertile valley of Amari and the Lybean Sea is unique. Right after Thronos (1 km) we reach the headquarters of the Municipality, Agia Fotini.
The Byzantine church, which is dedicated to the Virgin Mary was built on the ruins of a previous church of the 6th century. In this church, the bishop’s throne was located and that’s why the village took the name Thronos. It is full of rare and well-preserved frescos of the 16th century. It is only used in special occasions like the celebration of the Virgin Mary to protect it from erosion.
About half a kilometer from the junction after Klisithi the village Kalogerou is built in a strictly amphitheatrical arrangement. We are impressed by its traditional colour and its architecture. After exiting the village, the road is connected to the “road of Amari”, from where we can move towards either Agia Fotini or Sholi Asomaton.
The ancient Sivritos archeological site is located at the top of the Kefala hill, which is close to the villageThronos. Sivritos was one of the four most important ancient towns of Crete. Its name was derived from the word si, which means water and criticism, which means sweet. So we can understand that during the Minoan period there where sweet water springs. It was being inhabited from the early copper period until the pre-Byzantine period. The archaeological site is accessible through a marked mountain track for free!
Apart from the remarkable number of places to stop and enjoy oneself and attract their interest, important stops for every visitor are the following:
Around every village, a thick network of rural earthen roads has been opened up, most of which go through places of great beauty, cool and pleasant spots and are ideal paths for hiking. They also join the villages and going from one village to the other and doesn’t take more than 30 minutes.
1 hour route (red path). Visit Ancient Sivritos at the top of the hill Kefala. Enjoy the stunning view of the Amari valley and collect herds such as oregano, bay and chamomile.This path is marked with red stones.
1 hour route (green path). Follow the white stones from the old school of Thronos and turn left in 100 meters. Continue straight until you find an old threshing floor on your right and an old spring 100 meters away. Enjoy cool water! Turn back and follow either the same path or follow the directions given in our map to see Thronos from above!
2 hours route (yellow path). Visit the villages Kalogerou and Klisidi which are near Thronos. Follow the yellow stones from the old spring of Thronos through rural path to reach Kalogerou and then go back from the central road to Klisidi which is 10 minutes walk from Thronos. You will have the chance to observe animals, visit a Byzantine church and collect herbs.
3 hours route (blue path). Visit the villages Kalogerou, Sholi Asomaton, Gena and Agia Fotini. Follow the blue stones from the old spring of Thronos through a rural path to reach Kalogerou and continue in the central road.You will have the chance to observe animals, visit Byzantine churches and see a monumental olive tree of 2.300 years old.
Above the village Voleones towers a table- shaped mountainous hill full of greenery. On its upland, a natural fortress, we come across scattered ruins of an ancient settlement which date back from the late Minoan years, as well as ruins of the Byzantine church of Saviour Christ. A little lower, to the north side of the mountain the Monastery of St Antonios is located, with derelict cells nowadays and a temple whose roof is made of rock. Going up the Monastery is relatively easy from the village Voleones and lasts about 1 hour.
To the east of “Soros”, at about the same height and with the same geomorphological elements, in a relatively short distance, the mountain “Katsonisi” is located. Going up to the peak can begin either from the plain “Gious Kambos”, or from the village Pandanassa. At a height of 900 m. rise the springs of “Arnaouti – Megali Vrissi” from its slope, which provide the village with its water.
One can go up the rocky, cone – shaped mountain called “Soros” from the village Patsos or from the plateau “Gious Kambos” from the side of Gerakari. On the day when the Transfiguration is celebrated the pilgrims have a Mass for His Sake every year on the peak. In various spots on the mountain we find sage of excellent quality.