Things to do in the area
Welcome to Zoniana, a picturesque village that offers a one-of-a-kind natural and cultural experience! Explore a world of natural beauty and genuine Cretan hospitality.
Spend the day in Zoniana, discover nature by exploring the gorge of the village, taste the local cuisine with a meal in the tavern of the cave, and learn all about Greece’s recent history by visiting the wax museum.
THE TAVERN OF THE CAVE
Food & Coffee
The tavern of Sfentonis is an excellent choice for visitors to the cave. It is located at the cave’s entrance and provides a one-of-a-kind dining experience with spectacular views. Guests can savor the local cuisine while admiring the natural beauty of the surroundings.
Whether someone wants to get a boost of energy before the trip to the cave or enjoy a rest on the way back, the taverna of Sfentonis will guarantee an unforgettable experience for all visitors.
10:00 – 20:00
from the cave
the modern history of Crete
Discover the modern history of Crete through a cultural walk.
The Wax Museum of Cretan History in Zoniana is located in the village center. Visitors can see the wax figures of Domenikos Theotokopoulos (El Greco), Nikos Kazantzakis, Vincenzo Kornaros, etc. In an area of about 700 square meters, the museum displays 87 natural-size figures in 14 representations.
10:00 – 19:00
from the cave
The gorge of Zoniana
hiking at the foothills of Psiloritis
The Gorge of Zoniana is located on Psiloritis, north of the village of Zoniana. It collects water from many streams in the surrounding mountains and flows into the village at an altitude of 650 meters. The “serpentine” river Oaxis, full-flowing until spring, flows through the gorge, eventually ending up in Geropotamos.
Since the slope is gentle, the gorge is easily accessible and safe for hiking. Many trees have grown vertically into the slopes of its narrow points, and the rocks are impressive in many places, forming multiple layers. In the final section of the gorge near the village, the walls open, creating a narrow valley.
from the cave
THE SHEPHERD AND CHEESE FESTIVAL
the biggest graviera cheese of Crete
The Shepherd and Cheese Festival is a great Pancretan festival held in the village of Zoniana in mid-summer. The festival hosts a series of activities that cherish the customs, habits, and traditional folkway of the shepherds living high up in the mountains of Psiloritis, while the village housewives prepare special homemade local dishes, following recipes and cooking techniques that they have been taught by their mothers and grandmothers. The youth of the village are also embroiled in this event, with music and dance groups setting a traditional Cretan feast in the village square.
The festival’s highlight is cutting a giant-sized cheese (weighing approximately 1 ton), made by the village cheesemakers and offered to the public for free.