Episkopi is not far from all-inclusive Creta Maris Beach Resort: a short 30-minute drive up the mountain on the way to Arkalochori will take you there.
The village is located in the eponymous Cretan municipality, an area that boasts many attractions of cultural and historical interest. Episkopi has been inhabited since Minoan times as archeological finds in the region have shown.
A few years ago, Episkopi was part of the Heraklion regional unit of the island, but since 2011 it has been assigned to the Municipality of Chersonissos, which promotes its value and points of interest actively. Here are two of the landmarks you don’t want to miss when you visit Episkopi (not to be confused with Episkopi in Rethymno).
Argirakio Ethnological War Museum
Argirakio Ethnological War Museum is one of Episkopi’s most celebrated points of interest for tourists. It was founded by Michael Argyrakis in 1994, to honor his parents Ioannis and Kalliopi, martyrs in the Cretan fight for freedom during World War II. Argyrakis curated the permanent collection of the museum with great care since he opened this veritable shrine. Today, visitors can learn about the Cretan resistance through documents from German archives, newspapers, and maps; but also observing items and Second World War memorabilia such as German-English uniforms, photographs, weapons, and much more. The battledress and rifle of Captain Tsatsadakis, one of the German General Heinrich Kreipe’s kidnappers, are among the most important exhibits of the museum.
A visit at the Argirakio Ethnological War Museum is also rewarding considering the gardens surrounding the main building. Over 300 trees planted by Argyrakis, make a scenic backdrop of cannons, military trucks, airplane accessories, and other weaponry.
Panagia Kera – Limniotissa
Dating from the 11th century, Panagia Kera – Limniotissa is a compact, cross-in-square church with a dome. It can be found outside the village, in the eastern part, on the country road to Skopela. It is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and although it used to be richly decorated with frescoes inside, only some of the murals survived. However, the church is in excellent condition, as the dome was restored recently by local authorities. The official site of the Municipality of Chersonissos offers you more details here.
Besides Panagia Kera – Limniotissa, there are many other Byzantine churches in the area, which, for the more religiously inclined, could make this a “Byzantine Park.” The official site of the municipality mentions Agios Antonios, Agios Ioannis, Agia Paraskevi, Michael Archangel, Agios Georgios, Faneromeni, and others, all placed in the 14th and 15th centuries, and noteworthy for their impressive frescoes.
Featured image: Argirakio War Ethnological Museum – courtesy the museum.