|Distance||9 km to the south of Agios Nikolaos|
Located 9 km to the south of Agios Nikolaos, on a 365m altitude, Kritsa is built in a semi-circular shape and consists of 2200 residents. It is one of the oldest villages on Crete and retains even today elements of the Venetian architecture.
The area, as shown by the excavations, has been inhabited since the Late Minoan Period (tomb finds exhibited in the Agios Nikolaos Archaeological museum). In the first millennium BC, 3 km away the ancient town of Lato is thriving, however, after the 3rd century BC, the town of Kamara, where modern Agios Nikolaos spreads, absorbs most the inhabitants. It seems that it was inhabited afresh after the 7th century earthquakes and the abandonment of Kamara and booms, but it was deserted due to the Arab invasion in 824AD. It is inhabited once again in 961AD (second Byzantine period) and thrives in the Venetian years in the 13th and 14th century. The historical Byzantine churches of Kritsa -4 are wall painted- date from that period.
The local olive oil (Kritsa Union), which is exported, enjoys international awards.