Built into a marble cliff face, the village’s thick-walled stone houses are clustered typically together along narrow, sinuous, traffic-free streets that are wide enough only for a laden donkey to pass. It is hard to say how old the oldest of these houses are; even renovated homes in the village retain arches and walls which may date back a century or two. As with most of the island’s 45 inhabited villages, Kardiani was in its day built a safe distance from the sea, high up on a mountainside, out of the reach of marauding pirates. There are three noteworthy and historic churches, one of which is Orthodox, while the other two are Catholic. Although no longer functioning, there are three old olive oil presses, which used to work day and night for weeks on end during the local olive harvest. Come to Kardiani and explore these beguiling, atmospheric streets and alleyways.