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Arkalochori

Arkalochori is at 395m above sea level and is connected with the crystal clear waters of south coast beaches of Tsoutsouros, Dermatos, Keratokambos, Arvi and others. The views throughout this area are simply breathtaking and will live long in the memory.
The visitor will find all the elements of a relaxing and enjoyable stay, comfortable tourist facilities, a hotel to stay, many beautiful small tavernas and cafes to taste the Cretan delicacies as well as local fruit and vegetables, but mainly the good heart and hospitality of the residents and a genuine fragment of true Cretan life.
It is worth visiting the picturesque town churches and the small remote country churches to admire their architecture and religious paintings.
It seems that badgers used to exist in large numbers in the area, as the name of the Arkalochori refers to the word "arkalos", which is the common name for the badger in the local dialect.
All local civil services are based in Arkalochor, including schools of all levels, a Police Station, a Telecommunications Office (OTE), a Post Office (ELTA), a Radio station, a Sports centre, a Health Centre, pharmacies and generally whatever is expected to be found in a modern town.
Arkalochori shows a remarkable increase in wealth and population.
The town of Arkalochori has a population of about 3.000 inhabitants most of which are occupied with agriculture. Commerce and arts are also popular occupations.
Commerce is especially developed and one can find a rich variety of all kinds of goods. The market of Arkalochori has been famous since the Ottoman occupation times and the open market (bazaar) held here every Saturday has its roots some centuries back.
In the area there are cultivated fields, hills, mountains, rivers, caves, and beautiful natural landscapes. The main land products in the area are olive oil and olives, raisins, grapes and a few cereals.
There is a recent development of medium sized enterprises, such as packing of products etc.
The last days of August every year, a successful Agricultural and Commercial Exhibition with the participation of a large number of enterprises, manufacturers and services is held in Arkalochori. The Exhibition contributes to the rapid commercial and cultural development of the area and is visited by many visitors from all over Crete.
For those who wish to explore a relatively undiscovered and authentic area of Crete, the region of Arkalochori is richly rewarding. There are many clues to the past, and the place offers many fascinating glimpses back in time. Findings of the Minoan era have been excavated in the wide area, like the ancient town and palace at "Galatiani Kefala” and a cave of worship has been found at "Profitis Elias".
The Holy Cave of Arkalochori is the one of the most prominent Minoan archaeological points of interest. It is located on the hill that dominates the western side of town which took its name from the church of Prophitis Elias, was a holy place, since 2500 BC, long before the establishment of the Christian religion, probably dedicated to a God of war, as most of the votive offerings were weapons.
The most important finding was the Arkalochori Axe, a second millennium BC  Minoan votive double axe engraved with an inscription of 15 symbols, some of which were  identified as Linear A characters. The axe is on exhibit in the Heraklion Archaeological Museum.
It is reported that the cave was significantly larger, extending possibly to the whole hill area and consisted of small connected compartments.
The roof collapsed around 1500 BC due to either an earthquake or the eruption of the Santorini volcano, according to some archaeologists, this collapse was.
Today a narrow entrance leads to the interior of the cave where one cannot walk upright due to lack of space.
 

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