The word Haraso in Slavic language means beautiful. The village was named so due to its beauty and wonderful view by the Slav soldiers of fortune, that camped in the area, under the leadership of the Byzantin Emperor Nikiforos Fokas who came to free Crete from the Arabs. Although the route is just 18 km it astounds with its beauty, constant landscape changes and the picturesque villages. A stop at Skotino Cave is a must as well at the monastery of Kera Eleousa.
The monastery belongs to Agarathos monastery and celebrates the first Friday after Easter and the locals do a small fiesta.
The off road section from Voritsi to Skotino is a delight for the eyes and the nose. The view of the north shore of Heraklio, Dia island, Ederi mountain and the scent of thyme and sage plants are enchanting. At this part of the tour there is a small church where we have seen the most beautiful icon with a local Cretan female saint dressed with the traditional clothes. This church is dedicated to Saint George and Saint Maria Methimopoula a Cretan saint (from Milatos village) who celebrates the 1st of May.
The road from Koxari village to Haraso is the difficult uphill section of the tour but it is cemented. The riders that are not so experienced can ride from Haraso to Voritsi village on the asphalt road but they will miss the visit at Eleousas monastery.
At Haraso village at the highest point of the tour there is a small cafe where you can drink a fresh orange juice or refill your water bottles. After you arrive back to Gouves there are some taverns with delicious dishes and beautiful gardens. At the square of Voritsi village there is a fountain with fresh water.
if you want to visit the cave of Skotino take a lock for your bike
villages we visit: Gouves, Agios Georgios, Koxari, Haraso, Voritsi.