- Region: Crete
- Prefecture : Rethimno
- Municipality : Geropotamos
- Population : 464
The village of Melidoni is found approximately 27km east of Rethymnon in the Municipality of Geropotamos.
The village now has developed considerably although there are still some old Venetian buildings to be seen in the back streets if you take a walk through.
During the summer the village is extremely lively, with dancing and public events. On Clean Monday, the last day before Lent, there is an ancient ceremony only held in a very few places on Crete, marking the day with much festivity including fancy dress.
The village has its own bakery, petrol station and small grocery shops as well as tavernas and kafanea together with the inevitable kiosk as found all over Greece.
Almost all foreign travellers visiting Crete came to Melidoni due partly to its fantastic cave. However the cave became more infamous in 1824 when, during the Revolution some 250 unarmed villagers, including women and children were suffocated when the entrance was sealed and fires lit by the Turks thrown in to the cave following a three month siege.
Not until 1834 when the English explorer Robert Pashley visited Melidoni did Manolis Kirmizakis, the only survivor of the events, inspect the cave discovering the bones of the martyrs. Today there is a large sarcophagus within the cave containing the bones of those killed and the monument is now considered extremely important in defining the independent Cretan character.
How to get there
By Air: From May through mid-October there are direct charter flights to Chania and, more frequently, to the capital Heraklion. Tickets can be bought in advance for almost all flights via our partner website.
By Sea: The journey is the thing". A superb way of enjoying the journey to Crete is to fly to Athens and take the ferry from Piraeus (Pireas) - the port serving Athens. A still-romantic way to travel by the overnight ferry from Piraeus to Chania-Souda port or Heraklion Port. Tickets can be bought in advance for all ferries via our website.
By Car: If you want to explore the region while you're here, we recommend that you rent a car, other means of transport are limited and/or infrequent. We suggest our Partner Budget, which offers competitive prices and you can collect your car at either airport.
By Taxi: Book your taxi transfer online easily and safely from the airport or port to any location via our website.
Where to stay
Melidoni X Village, a cluster of 5 beautifully and traditionally decorated Villas with private pool, each sleeping 2-6 people, with nice views over Melidoni Village and cretan mountains.