The villages of Armeni and Prasies each stand on opposite sides of mountain Vrisina. This part of the E4 trail route combines the mountainous landscapes with panoramic views of the city of Rethymno in the distance. Prasies is a traditional settlement with beautiful churches that is worth exploring in full.
The E4 route from Armeni to Prasies
From Armeni (1), we follow the road northwards, until the branch which leads to the Late Minoan cemetery. We take the right-hand branch in a northeasterly direction (2) for approximately 800 m, ignoring any side roads. We then come to a right-hand diagonal branch (3) forming an uphill dirt road, on the south of a low hill. We follow it for about 500 m and then the road turns northwards; a few metres further on, we see a path hard to discern (4) on our right side, which we follow.
The E4 signs as well as the yellow and black marks on the rocks lead us almost vertically up the steep slope. Once we are on its top, we pass through a rocky plateau in a south-easterly direction. After approximately 700 m, we reach the small saddle at Spathi (5), at an altitude of about 670 m, where we see a cistern (not drinkable water). From the saddle, we have a magnificent view of the northern coast of Crete and to the city of Rethymno. After the rainwater cistern, we follow the dirt road southwards. Approximately 300 m further on, we leave the unsurfaced road and follow the path to our left (6), which goes along the slope, climbing constantly towards the saddle on the south-eastern side of Vrisinas peak.
In this section of the route, we enjoy the southern view to the mountain range that runs along the southern part of the Prefecture of Rethymno. After about 50 minutes of ascent, we reach the saddle (7) and pass onto the northern side of Vrisinas, from where we can enjoy a distant view to the Cretan Sea. We then turn south-easterly, passing through a bleak and bare landscape with jagged rocks, until a small plateau. There, we come to the end of a dirt road (8), which we follow in a south-easterly direction, passing through small flat areas full of prickly bushes. Approximately 30 minutes after the saddle, we arrive at the top of the south-eastern side of the Vrisinas massif. We then begin to descend towards the village of Selli (9), where we arrive after 2 km, constantly following the main dirt road.
From Selli, we follow the asphalt road for 1 km in a north-easterly direction and then come to a left-hand dirt side road (10). We follow the unsurfaced road which lies on the western bank of a stream, ignore a left turn and then a right side road and after 850 m on the dirt road, we come to a breeze block sheepfold. We continue for about another 400 m and see a rectangular ruined building to our right. A few metres towards the north, we leave the dirt road and turn to the right, on a rough path (11) that runs along the eastern slope of the hill. By now, down below to our right, we see the valley of the area of Potami.
After 650 m on the path, we come to an abandoned building and immediately after to a dirt road (12), which we follow northwards. We pass through an area of olive trees, oaks and ferns and end up at the main road that connects Rethymnon and Amari (13), after approximately 1 km. We turn right and after 200 m we reach the church of Agia Fotini (14).
|Path Length||13.5 km|
|Hiking Duration||5 hour|
|When to hike||Spring, Summer|