Sights - Iraklio Prefecture



Zaros is situated at the foot of the southern slopes of Psiloritis in the so-called Apano Riza area. Apano Riza means "upper foot" and refers to the quite high altitude of the area, 300-500 m above sea level.
The village is known for its rich spring, Votomos, north of the village, supplying both the village and the entire area with water through a developed web of channels, pipe systems and water pipes. In the streets of the village you still see the open watering channels, so that there is a delicious sound of running water throughout the village even in the warmest summer months.

During the Roman period the spring also supplied the then capital Gortyna in the Messara plain with water as an aqueduct was built all the way from Zaros.
In addition to supplying Zaros and the surrounding area with water for household and watering, the spring also produces water for the factory of the village, which since 1988 fabricates bottled water for the whole of Greece - the well-known Zaros Water.

On the outskirts of the village, a lake has been constructed where the inhabitants of the village and others may visit the surrounding restaurants, enjoying the coolness of the water and the beautiful grounds.
The water is lead on to two trout ponds, so even though the village is situated far away from the sea, there is an excellent opportunity of having fish for dinner.



At one of the trout ponds a 400 years old watermill has been restored, so that the visitor can see how the corn was milled in old times. The mill is owned by Michalis Frangiadakis who tells us:

"My mill is 400 years old, it is like an only child, because there is nothing similar on the whole island. It belonged earlier to a Turkish family, but my father in law bought it, and when I married his daughter I got the mill as a dowry. Since then I have been there every single day. I learned the miller trade and liked it. The mill has supported my whole family for many years..."


If you feel like a drop of cold clear spring water, several wells have been built along the main street and in the side streets where you may quench your thirst with the running water.







North of the village at the entrance of the Rouvas gorge, is the well-kept Agios Nikolaos monastery. The monastery was deserted for a number of years, until it was restored and came into use again when a couple of monks moved in.


High up on the mountain-side east of the monastery you catch a glimpse of a church, built at the St. Efthymios cave. Efthymios lived here in isolation from other people and appeared only at nightfall to gather berries and roots. On a dark evening the nuns from the convent saw the shadow of a wild animal, which they shot. At dawn they had to acknowledge that it was not an animal they had killed, but on the contrary the hermit whom they of course had never seen.


Today the hermit is being worshipped as a saint.


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