Enjoy a fusion of luxury and tradition, past and present, sea and land in an authentic neighbourhood setting with stunning sea views and immaculate facilities and services, just a breath away from the beach and the hip and happening Hersonissos. Esperides Resort Crete’s rooms, suites and residences perfectly balance design and comfort while you enjoy a typical Cretan village life once you step out of your door.
Koutouloufari’s history goes back to the Byzantine era, when its first residents lived by a seaside settlement. An earthquake destroyed the settlement, and people moved up to the nearest hill of the Pyrgias mountain. In medieval times, when piracy was a significant threat in the Mediterranean Sea, Koutouloufari became a target due to its flourishing economy. Residents were hit again, this time by pirates, which made them move more inwards up the hill towards Mountain Harakas, close to the church of Saint Vasilios, where the village is situated today. A priest named Koutoufaris welcomed the people and gave them land around the church to build a new village. To honour him, locals named their new settlement after him.
All the buildings that exist today have been standing here since then. The narrow paved streets have an absence of traffic that is significant for its noise-free, relaxing atmosphere. The picturesque alleys with the colourful stone-built houses filled with lovely flowers and Cretan herbs, the friendly and welcoming people and the dozens of amazing little taverns and small bars or cafes with or without sea views make Koutouloufari a unique destination on its own.
For those who discover Koutouloufari without knowing what to expect, it comes as a surprise to see its beauty, simplicity and blessed natural backdrop. It feels like a nest between the sky and the sea, and you may find that at night, stars look brighter, and the world feels like a better place thanks to the charmful scenery and beauty of the surroundings.
On a typical summer day, you’ll most probably see Cretans in their traditional costumes going to or returning from a local feast, while in August, don’t miss any of the local fiestas taking place around the square of the church.
Easter at Koutouloufari is a memorable experience, as the village is ‘dressed’ in its blossoms, flowers and trees share their scents, while a number of traditional fiestas and customs take place.
The Church of Saint Vasilios dates back to 1840, and many of the beautiful murals inside are a century old.
If you happen to visit Koutouloufari during Easter, you will be carried away by the moving procession following along the Easter Epitaph in the narrow streets of the village. The priests, together with young locals, carry along the Easter Epitaph, which is covered completely with beautiful spring flowers.
Each person following the procession holds a candle, and a beautiful candlelight street scene is created. The custom has it that the Easter Epitaph of the village ends at a well that is between Koutouloufari and the neighbouring Episkopiano village, where the two Easter Epitaphs and the two processions meet, creating a heartwarming moment.
Lychnostatis Traditional Museum is an awarded museum worth visiting, as guests have the opportunity to discover the history of the Cretan way of life throughout the centuries. The buildings themselves are some of the main exhibits among other agricultural, gastronomical, architectural and local art exhibits. It’s a living museum where visitors travel back in time.
Lychnostatis Museum is located just 5 km away from Esperides Resort Crete.