Pombia is a small village with a long history, located about 10 kilometers south of Mires. Historians found that the village was already inhabited in Minoan times, but under the name Vivi. Pombia is famous for it´s Greek freedom fighter Michalis Korakas. He was born in 1797 in Pombia and was a resistance fighter against the Turkish occupation. When in 1866 the great Greek War of Independence against the Turkish occupation began, which ended Crete victoriously, Korakas established one of the first armies. In honor is a bust in the village, which is to remember his dedication and courage. In addition, schools and sports clubs were named after him.
Geographically located on the edge of the Asterousia Mountains, Pombia has about one thousand inhabitants. The village has a quiet character, which makes it really lovely. Also it´s a great point to start numerous of activities around.
Also in Pombia you will find the typical Cretan village square at the church, which is dedicated to St. Agios Georgius. There are also a small number of different shops and cafés. Pombia has a very active cultural club in the village, which regularly organizes exciting events and exhibitions. Otherwise, Pombia is rather tranquil, but still very popular because of its central location and the lack of mass tourism.
If you plan your holiday in Pombia or the surrounding area and you are keen nature lovers, you should definitely make a trip to the nearby Asterousia Mountains with their highest mountain, the Koufina. Even if the landscape looks barren at first glance, the opposite is true. The Asterousia Mountains are home to more than 23 endemic plants, over 90 species of birds and a large number of small reptiles. Experience these unique impressions on your own or on a guided hike.
The famous Tripiti Gorge is also very good accessible from Pombia. Together with the Samaria Gorge it belongs to Crete's most popular and most visited gorges. Make a jeep trip through an impressive landscape to the end of the gorge, where you can expect a beautiful bathing bay and a small taverna.
From Pombia, you can quickly reach the famous Roman archaeological site of Gortyn, where you will find one of the oldest European urban edifices carved in stone. The inscription panels were discovered during excavations in 1884 by Federico Habherr and Ernst Fabricius. There are a total of 42 stone blocks, of which 12 are still very well preserved and open to the public. According to estimates, these inscriptions were created approximately the 5th or 6th century BC. In addition, parts of the amphitheater, Greek statues and a basilica of the ruined ancient city are still partially preserved. In addition to the famous Phaistos archaeological site, the ancient city of Gortyn is one of Crete's most famous archaeological finds.
The palace of Phaistos has the same great historical significance as the palace of Knossos. Phaistos was built approximately 1900 to 1850 BC and was a really significant Minoan settlement. Legend says that the city of Phaistos was founded by King Minos and named after his grandson and later king of Crete, Heros Phaistos. The first king of Phaistos is said to have been the brother of King Minos, Rhadamanthy. Important ports of Phaistos were the now popular Komos beach and the famous hippie village Matala.