One of the magnificent orange-growing villages of the Keritis Valley and, at the same time, one of the Martyr Villages of Greece: Skines. Officially declared one of the villages of the “Network of Martyr Towns and Villages of Greece”, it was literally burnt to the ground by the Germans during the Nazi Occupation and its male inhabitants were all executed. The village was reborn from its ashes, however, and now it is prosperous again, having a lot to offer both to its residents as well as to its visitors.
The main site in the village is the village square round which there are numerous traditional cafes and taverns where you can enjoy coffee, refreshments or even a delicious meal made of pure, local ingredients. A few metres away you can visit the impressive main Church of the village, dedicated to the Assumption of Christ, celebrated on August 6th. On the Eve and also on the Day of the Feast there are very many visitors coming to the village and there follows a traditional local Feast.
As we approach the village of Skines from the side of Alikianos( from which it is less than 2 kms away) just a few metres before entering the village square, on our right we can see the “Ioulianos Tsirakis” Foundation, a multi-purpose Hall for all kinds of events, donated to the village by the entrepreneur Mr. Emmanuel Tsirakis who, coming from Skines, emigrated to Brazil where he worked and succeeded but never forgot his village and its people.
If we follow the road leading away from the village square to the right, after a few metres, we come across the main Church of Christ. As we keep driving along the steep road leading to the mountains on the South East of the village, after a short drive through an incredible route lined by orange trees and olive trees, we reach a level spot which, at an altitude of approximately 400 metres, offers a fantastic view of the Valley as well as the surrounding mountains. This is the site where the National Shooting Range was built and where National or Pan- Cretan Shooting Competitions are often held.
Some metres away, we come to the site called “Golgothas” by the locals where three gigantic marble crosses have been erected in memory and honour of the Crucifixion of Christ. The site is well worth a visit even if it is in order to enjoy the view and the rich aroma of thyme and other specimens of the local flora!