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Achentrias or Ochentrias (the village with the many Ochentres, a non-venomous viper species found on Crete) is one of the most typical examples of a lively animal raising village in the Asterousia. It is located on a small, cultivated plateau to the west of Asfentylia and to the north of the cliffs and gorges that lead to the southern coastline. The aesthetic value of the plateau of Achentrias is matched by its ecological importance in preserving the biodiversity of the Protected Area of the Asterousia.

Most of the villagers are animal farmers and, to a lesser extent, work the land. The main products come from goats and sheep (meat, milk and various cheeses) and the excellent flavour and quality of the cheese produced here, at the uniquely built mitata (plural of mitato, stone huts on mountain peaks) of the area, is well known.

The village is downhill from Mount Asfentylias, an ideal juncture for the entire south of Crete, as there are but few obstacles. This is why a television broadcasting antenna was installed in 1970 on its 970.43m peak, which unquestionably affects the otherwise spectacular view towards the entire Mesara Valley, the Sea of Crete and the island of Dia. On this mountain, an ongoing survey by the Natural History Museum of Crete is after a very rare animal fossil, argued to have lived here, but has not been matched to any known animals until now.

Some of the most beautiful hiking trails of this mountainous zone start at Achentrias. Signs with maps and descriptions that will help you approach them safely are located at the starting points of the trails. The most beautiful trail is the one that has always connected Achentrias with the Holy Monastery of St. Nikitas, with the renowned palm forest and water spring, Kefalovrysi. Animal farmers continue to wash their sheep in the sea on St. Nikitas beach to this day, usually in late spring, in order to clean them.

Two more wonderful trails connect Achentrias with the seaside hamlet of Maridaki, through two gorges. One is Ligiofarango and the other Lichnistis.

Churches, celebrations

The village churches are those of Agios Dimitrios (St. Demetrius), Kimisis tis Theotokou (Dormition of Mary), Agios Charalambos (St. Charalambos) and Agios Ioannis Theologos (St. John the Theologian). On August 6 Achentrias celebrates the Transfiguration of Christ with a festival. 

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