By far, without a doubt, Polyrriniá is one of my favorite places to visit on Crete. Polyrriniá was an old Minoan city, that thrived from around the 6th century BC through the Roman times. For a while the city was abandoned, only to be re-inhabited during Venetian times. Today, there is not much left for buildings, but the site is still well worth the visit. The hill (it’s kind of like a mountain) that Polyrriniá’s ruins rest on, also has a little village, about 2/3 of the way up the hill. Throughout this small village (same name as the ruins) are various structures from the ancient town, including several aqueduct features. Most of the homes in this village have been built into, or with the remains of the prior civilization. Park your car at the entrance to this town, the road through it is extremely narrow, and won’t take you anywhere worth while. Walk through the town, there are signs pointing out the sites of interest, and little arrows pointing the way. There are ruins of an old olive mill in the center of the village, from a later period.
At the top of the village, is a little woodshop. If you are at all interested in purchasing any olive wood products from Crete, I highly encourage getting them here (provided you are already going to Polyrriniá). The man who runs the shop, has an adjacent little shop where he makes all his products by hand. He speaks very little greek, but is very friendly. His products are also amazing. I love the olive wood cutting board I got from him. Fair warning, olive wood products need to be oiled regularly with olive oil, otherwise they dry out and crack… Hard lesson learnt. Past his shop, the road continues up the side of the hill. You pass some more remains of structures, then come to the Church of 99 Saints. A quaint little church with quite the view! Polyrriniá looks out over the city of Kissamos and the Mediterranean. Past the church, the path continues around the hill and up to the top, passing plenty of huge rock walls, remnants of the ancient city’s defenses. The views truly make this little “hike” well worth the time and effort.