Therisso, Crete, is a small village with a large history
Therisso, Crete, is a small village south of Chania city, located on the roots of the White Mountains (Lefka Ori) of Crete. Its population is small – about 110 permanent residents live here – but it has many things to offer its visitors.
Therisso is known in the area for its superb taverns, with local fresh food, especially plates with lamb and goat. The local agricultural produce is fine, too.
Therisso, Crete – A historic place
Therisso’s name has been connected to great events in the modern history of Crete and Greece in general. Therisso is the hometown of the mother of Eleftherios Venizelos, one of the most prominent politicians in Greece in the 20th century.
Eleftherios Venizelos became a leader of the Liberal Party in Crete, in the end of the 19th century, when Crete was still a part of the Ottoman Empire. Venizelos was one of the masterminds of the uprising of Crete against Ottoman rule. In 1905 he organized a Revolutionary Assembly with headquarters in Therisso, in order to achieve the independence of Crete and its reunion with the rest of Greece. The Therisso revolt, as this movement was called, was the answer to Prince George of Greece, who, serving as High Commisioner of Greece, had in 1901 dismissed Venizelos, who served as Prime Minister of Crete.
The turbulent years that followed, led to Crete being a the semi-autonomous region, Venizelos becoming prime minister of Greece in 1910, and, finally, in 1913, after the First Balkan Wars, Crete finally achieving its independence from the Ottoman Empire and its reunion with the rest of Greece, making Venizelos’ vision a reality.
Today, there is a memorial to Eleftherios Venizelos in the central square of Therisso. Also, the headquarters of the Revolutionary Assembly in Therisso now are a museum exhibiting findings of that crucial period.
The magnificent natural surroundings of Therisso, Crete
Therisso is placed in a superb natural location. It is about 15 kilometers south of Chania city, the last 6 of which are through the scenic Therisso Gorge. Therisso Gorge is accessible by car for a length of 14 kilometers, and it is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike. Probably the best part of the route is between Therisso and the small village of Zourva to the south. At the beginning of the gorge, don’t forget to look for the old stone bridge, the “kamara”, as locals call it.
Therisso Gorge is in the roots of the White Mountains of Crete, and is characterized by steep slopes, which are a magnet for experienced climbers from all over the world – sometimes you can see them when driving through Therisso Gorge. In addition, sometimes you can also see some of the wild goats of Crete, which can be found in the most improbable places in the gorges of the island…
From Therisso, Crete, one can climb to the highest peak of the White Mountains, the “Pachnes”, as it is called, which is in an altitude of 2.450 meters.
Another interesting location in the area is the “Kato Sarakina” cave, about 2,5 kilometers from Therisso, on the bank of Kladissos river, where many findings of the Neolithic and Minoan eras have been found.
Many of the visitors in Crete don’t include it in their travel plan, but Therisso, Crete, is a special place, that won’t fail to surprise you.