Leave Kalyves in the direction of Armeni. Pass through Neo Chorio and keep looking to your left. As you pass through this beautiful green valley with olives and fruit and before you see the sign to the left, you’ll already have noticed the village of Maheri.
It’s perched high on / hanging off the side of a perpendicular rock face and overlooks the valley below with views to the turquoise sea of Souda Bay. There is a gorge with multi-coloured rock formations to the left of the village.
This very traditional village is part of the municipality of Armeni and has about 100 permanent residents. The villagers are nearly all involved in farming / agriculture of some king and lead a relatively simple life.
The Maheri houses are mainly restorations of the original Venetian dwellings and are usually stone built. Many are whitewashed but others are attractive pastel colours.All have brightly coloured doors, shutters and fences. Conservation is a big issue for this village for the mayor and a lot of the villagers. As a result of their efforts in restoring some of the old stone houses and an olive mill,it has recently been awarded the status of ‘Conservation Village’.
It’s a lovely village to stroll through. Many of the paths/roads between the houses are not paved and are not wide enough for cars to travel through. As you walk around you will see many remnants of the past civilisations who came to Crete – stone columns, troughs and carvings which reflect Maheri’s full and bountiful history
There is also – somewhat surprising in such a small village - an old stone amphitheatre built in to the side of the hill. Cultural summer events and live music can be seen and heard there in the summer as up to 500 can be seated.
Maheri of course wouldn’t be a Cretan village if it didn’t have a church and the most spectacular one is cut in to a cave on the cliff above the village.
There is also a small kafenion in the village square serving a good meze during the day and very nice meals in the evenings. It’s a great place to sit and listen to the peace and quiet of the village and the valley.