The historic village Kaloniktis is situated 14km northwest from the city of Rethymno, Crete, on the hill named “Nikephorus”, 270m above sea level. The main local products are wine, olive oil, locust beans and dairy products.
There is an oral tradition about the naming of the village. According to this story, Nikephorus Phokas, Byzantine general by that time and later emperor, lead the expedition to free Crete from Saracens in March 961 and one night, he encamped on a nearby hill, which he had just wrested. At dawn, someone asked him: “How was your night?” and he answered “A good night!” (in Greek : Kali nikta) and thus, the village was named Kaloniktis and the hill and the area where he encamped were called “Nikephorus”.
Nikephorus Phokas is considered the creator of the village and there is a road in the village named after him, as well as the municipality of the region.
There are several interesting churches you could visit in the region. The church of Virgin Mary’s Birth was built during the Venetian occupation and is located in the middle of the village. It is celebrated on 8 September, when a traditional Cretan festival takes place every year. An old little church with catholic style of architecture dedicated to Archangel Michael is situated on the location named “Monastiriako metohi” (which means monastery dependency). Saint Anthony’s and Saint Nicholas’ churches were built around 1965 on the ruins of older churches and Saint Nektarios’ and Saint Andreas the Cretan’s churches were built in more recent times.