Krasi village is a traditional mountainous village at an altitude of 600 m, 46 km from Heraklion and is situated northwest of the foot of Mount Selena (1559 m). It is located above Stalida and is just 8km after Mochos, on the road to the Lassithi Plateau. The visitor, while ascending the uphill and the winding road in the direction of Krasi, has the opportunity to admire the panoramic view of the north coastline of the Municipality of Hersonissos.
Northeast of Krasi village, at the foot of Mount Selena, we can find a forest that consists mainly of evergreen oaks and kermes oaks that are found mainly in Crete. The forest is accessible through paths that start from Krasi and Malia. The terrain in the area is characterized as rocky with the exception of a small plateau at the foot of the settlement at its northeast side which has a very fertile ground. Krasi is a rural settlement and the main occupation of its inhabitants is the olive cultivation and the animal husbandry.
From an archaeological point of view, one of the areas’ main attractions is an Early Minoan Tomb, discovered in 1929 by Spyridon Marinatos and is located at Armi, just next to the western edge of the village, about 300 meters away of Agios Georgios church. It is a circular arched tomb, influenced by Cycladic effect and contained scattered bones and shells of Minoan Period. Archaeological researches revealed residential and burial remnants of Minoan times in the wider region. References to the Venetian censuses confirm the history of Krasi as it is proved by contracts of 1280 (Crassi) as well as in 1583 where there were 169 inhabitants (Kastrofylakas, K94). No Turks inhabited in Krasi during the period of Ottoman domination.
As for the village itself, visitors, arriving at the square of Krasi, can see three huge plane trees and Vrises (water fountains) that dominate the landscape. Among them, the largest perennial (2400 years old) plane tree is found next to “Megali Vrisi” (large water fountain) which consists of two fountainheads that flow clear and potable water all year round. More information can be found at the relevant page.
Krasi village is also known that Nikos Kazantzakis spent several summers with his friends during the decade of 1910-1920 in Krasi which is his wife’s, named Galateia Alexiou, birthplace. In Krasi, he was calm and felt inspired which was reflected in his works. For instance, in “Kapetan Michalis” there are many scenes which were set in the shade of the old plane tree in Selena. People of the Spirit chose Krasi in order to get rest and it was a place of inspiration and creation for them. For this reason, “The House of Literature” was created in the village in 2009 in a building of 1882. This building was formed by the technical direction of the Municipality so as to have the ability to accommodate new writers and people of the spirit. There are 13 houses of literature in Europe. The countries participating are: Germany, Belgium, Spain, France, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Holland, Slovakia and Sweden. In 2000, the International Literary Translation Centre was established.
A walk in the picturesque narrow streets of Krasi, where stone-built houses of Cretan architecture and well-preserved historic churches are found, is enough for the visitors to experience at first hand the warmth and hospitality of the local residents. There are also several cafes and traditional taverns that are famous for their traditional dishes cooked in wood ovens.
The settlement of Krasi belongs to a protected natural area (NATURA 2000) while the monumental plane tree was proclaimed with the Presidential Decree 29/8/2011 as a preserved monument of Nature.
Τake a tour of the area