Maroulas Village in Crete
Maroulas is a quiet village situated on the heights above Rethymno, facing the sea at an altitude of 150 metres and surrounded by greenery, a spring and several valleys.
In 1980, Maroulas was listed for its historical monuments but also for some of its houses including
Villa Maroulas, best option for your stay here.
Amongst its rich historical heritage, visitors can discover important remains of ancient tombstones dating back to antiquity, two wonderful Venetian towers one of which is 44 metres high, a Byzantine church dedicated to the Ascension, a more recent church dedicated to the Virgin Mary and lastly a small chapel with iconostasis which adorns the small village square.
The olive groves and presses of Maroulas were very important for the local economy therefore one of the presses is connected to the great Venetian tower.
During the first Venetian invasions, the middle class houses of Maroulas were used as second homes or agricultural warehouses by the nobility of Rethymno.
Its high position facing the sea and its narrow lanes without any main square make Maroulas a typical example of the kind of fortifications built at that time.
Inspired by the works of Venetian engineer Fr. Barozzi dating from 1577, the Venetian constructions were aesthetically considered as state of the art.
Later, the Turks would add architectural elements from Anatolia like chimneys, wells, hammams or fountains.
Two cemeteries of the palatial period of Minoan period have been revealed in the area. The findings of the cemeteries are exhibited at the Archaeological Museum of Rethymno.
It is said that the village was originally named Amygdalea and was at one point completely destroyed by a flood or an earthquake. The first person to inhabit the village again was a woman called Maroulio, which is a byname for Maria.
In the 1980’s, the village suffered great migration; the young people left for the cities leaving only the elderly behind. Nowadays Maroulas is coming back to life with its approximately 218 inhabitants and the restoration of many of the old buildings by Greeks but also foreigners who moved to the village permanently.
The village attracts many painters and photographers with its numerous themes; narrow alleys, old doors, door knobs, stone mosaics.
Nowadays, Maroulas reveals itself through a maze of alleys where visitors can stroll, meet with the locals and enjoy its tavernas and cafes.
Text and pictures: Crete Travel Guide and Yorghy Fokas