The village of Voriza is located below the wooded slopes of Psiloritis, close to the village Zaros, in the middle of the wonderful landscape of Ida Mountains. Time seems to stand still in the mountain villages, you are far away from the bustling cities in the north and the beach villages in the south of Crete. The population of Voriza is mainly engaged in agriculture, but it also produces exquisite cheeses in the old tradition.
The village played an important role during the Revolutions - while the Turkish occupation many chieftains of the island came from Vorizia. And also at the time of the Nazi occupation the village took part in the Greek Resistance, was bombed by Germans and destroyed completely. After the Liberation the state made a settlement for the residents but they denied living in Vrontisaki, near the Vrontisi monastery. They preferred rebuilding their village and so they left the new settlement.
If you had wondered why there are no old houses in the village, now you know why!
The main occupations are agriculture, livestock, woodcarving and weaving - in Voriza the old traditions are preserved and give a good impression of the Cretan mountain farmers life.
The people of Voriza will welcome you with the famous Cretan hospitality and they might invite you home for coffee, raki or a table full local dishes, cooked by grandmother's recipes.
The surroundings of Voriza have a lot to offer, as it is close to Zaros with the Rouvas gorge and the well-known Lake Votamos, but also the proximity to the famous monasteries Vrondisi, Varsamonero and Agios Nikolaos makes a visit to the mountainous region of South Crete interesting.
The Varsamonerou Monastery (GR: Μονή Βαρσαμόνερου) lies in the surrounding fields of the village Voriza and its church has some of the most remarkable wall paintings in Crete. These paintings show the high artistic level of the different schools in 15th century Crete and through the years, several extensions were added to the original nave.
The region is especially popular for hikers, as the Farangouli gorge opens directly from the village. It is one of the three parallel canyons of the area and of these the shortest and most unknown. It climbs up steeply, has beautiful rocks of limestone and it is initially dry. While ascending there are more cypress trees and after about 40 minutes the gorge finishes and the landscape changes dramatically, with dense vegetation forming the pine wood of Pefkias, befor the path leads you up the the Nida Plateau.
The Kamares Cave, located on the slopes of Mount Soros at an altitude of 1700 m, became a very important archaeological site due to the Minoan fragments found there.
From the village of Kamares you walk for about 3.5 hours along the path through small oak forests, past springs with refreshing water, while enjoying the view of the plain of Messara. The last part to the Kamares cave leads over a gravel field, it is advisable to wear good shoes. If you wish, you can follow the path up to the Nida Plateau.