Comparatively larger than most inland villages of Crete
, Archanes has about 400 permanent residents. It is a beautiful traditional village with Cretan architecture, narrow streets and lively atmosphere. Most of the houses have been restored and colored with vivid paint, making a walk in the village pleasant to the eyes. It is 15 km south from Heraklion
Town and 10 km from the famous site of Knossos.
Archanes consists of Epano Archanes ("epano" meaning "upper"), and Kato (Lower) Archanes, as Kato is a relatively new settlement with modern houses. The traditional settlement with the old houses is Epano Archanes. The has been inhabited since Minoan times and it has a couple of archeological sites, as one is in the village and the rest are outside. Some of the excavations are exhibited in the village museum. The village has a small square in the center, with a small park, cafes, tavernas, shops and a three churches dated to Byzantine times.
Above the village, on the slopes of Gouchtas mountain, you can visit the church of Christ (Afendis Christos) which is a small old temple with panoramic view of the entire region. The church can be reached both by car and via a hiking trail.