Koxari village is located 23km southeast of the city of Heraklion and just 5km from the sea and the village of Gouves, in the hinterland of the Municipality of Hersonissos. It is built in the green valley of the Karkania River at an altitude of 180m. The inhabitants are engaged in agriculture and livestock farming. The first mention was made in 1577 by Fr. Barozzi in the province of Pediados. Later, in 1583, it was referred as Coxari, in 1630 by Basilicata and in the Turkish census of 1671 as Koksari with 42 houses. The village of Koxari was suzerainty of Grego family and a part of it was given as a dowry to Ellena Gregon, who was married in 1618 the “Fortunato” poet, Marco Antonio Foscolo. The name of the settlement derives from the Byzantine name Koxaris. Koxaris belonged to the Latin Patriarchate of Costantinople.
The green landscape in the village with its olive groves, orange trees and loquats alternates with the wild and imposing scenery with the waters of the river flowing among the plane trees , walnuts, sages and kermes oaks. In the village of Koxari, there is a beautiful and small path, which starts from the picturesque alleys of the village to the spring of Mesa Vrisi whose waters are abundant, and it follows a southern direction. The water from Mesa Vrisi continues to supply the valley of Koxari. The crops of the village and the gardens are watered by the water of the spring. Along the way, there are water collecting troughs for the gardens and an old watermill for the grinding of the wheat.
Southeast of the settlement, the visitor should visit the church of Saints Kirykos and Ioulita. It is a temple built on a hill, in 1860, with a magnificent view. Close to Koxari, the Monastery of Kera Eleousa is located. The monastery was founded in 1606 on the ruins of an older temple and belongs to Agarathou monastery. It is a Venetian monastery with a fortress-like character as there are embrasures and small openings in the yard of these buildings. It has been built on a hill and specifically on 3 different levels due to the topography.
During the summer months, a series of events and celebrations take place in the village, but the event that stands out the most is the feast of Saints Kirykos and Ioulita. The church is celebrated on 15th of July each year, followed by a display of the traditional way of baking presented by the women of the village. Visitors and locals can taste the various kinds of bread and sweets offered to them and in the evening, the event closes with a Cretan feast with traditional dishes, drinks, music and dancing.
- Travel activities RECREATION, Villages
- Location Gouves Region / Koxari
- Listing categories RECREATION