Zaros is a small picturesque town of approximately 2000 inhabitants in the south slopes of mount Psiloritis, about 46km southwest of Heraklion. It is a place endowed by nature with many springs with crystal clear water. Indeed, the name zaros means the place where a lot of water flows.
The fertile valley of Zaros has always been an ideal place for humans and therefore has been inhabited since ancient times. A Minoan settlement has been identified at the site of Kourtes, and in several places there are the ruins of the large aqueduct of Roman Gortyn. Water, an endless source of life, is an integral part of the history of Zaros, as the visitor perceives from the many old watermills in the village and from the scenic Lake Votomos. But even today, water brings weakth by mass water bottling in modern facilities, the operation of small trout farms, crops, etc.
The rich religious tradition of Zaros is reflected in the great monuments that one meets in and around the village. Within short distance, the visitor can visit the monastery of Vrondissi, the monastery of Agios Nikolaos, the monastery at Varsamonero, the cave of Saint Efthimios, etc. However, nature is just as interesting as one can climb the gorge of Gafaris gorge to the wood of Rouvas, walk in the E4 path that crosses Psiloritis, descend to the Lake of Faneromeni and visit the many deserted hamlets to the south where time has been stopped for decades.
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