Patsos in the prefecture of Rethymno is a village near the foot of Sorós hill, approximately 30 km far from the city of Rethymno.
As far as the origins of the name of the village are concerned, there are various versions. The most prevailing is the one that mentions a surname Pazo, which is recorded in the archives of the Duke of Candia. There are places called Patsos near Argyroupoli as well. Another version speaks about the Latin word “pax” (peace).
A small in population verdant settlement of Patsos, built at an altitude of 490 meters, has been inhabited since the early Minoan period, or even earlier, as is evidenced by the findings in Agios Antonios Cave. The village is mentioned in the work of Barozzi in 1577, while the 1881 census mentions Patso with 14 Christian and 287 Turkish residents.
The inhabitants of Patsos village produce many good quality products such as oil, walnuts, cherries, fruit and citrus. The dense vegetation and the crops are supplied with water from the many sources, full-flowing throughout the year.
One of the attractions in Patsos village is the Patsou gorge located 3 km far from the village and home to about 80 species of plants and 24 species of fauna, many of which are protected species. The gorge, a small botanical garden with giant plane trees, tiny solenopsis or Laurentia (Solenopsis Minuta) and endemic verbascum or Mullein (Verbascum Arcturus), is considered easy to cross and is fully exploited by the forest service with bird observatory and facilities for picnics with fresh water. Next to the gorge there are traditional taverns with local dishes on the menu.
North of the village, in the Patsou gorge, there is the cave of Agios Antonios, a former place of worship of “Kranaios Hermes“, where anthropomorphic and zoomorphic figurines and a statue of the mythical god Pan were found. Inside the village there is the ruined church of the Birth of the Virgin, which was the cathedral temple of the village in 1357. According to local tradition, the church used to have 101 doors and windows.
Moreover, the visitor can follow the path that was properly constructed from the cave to the River Dam.