About AlmYrida & Kalives
Almyrida (also known as Almirida) and Kalives are situated in the Apokoronas region to the east of Chania which is where most of our holiday villas are. Apokoronas is one of the greenest and most picturesque areas of the province of Chania with attractive villages including Kokkino Chorio, Plaka, Aspro, Gavalohori and Kefalas dotted all around. The main village of the region is Vamos where you will find full facilities including a 24 hour health centre.
In the last few years visitors from Northern Europe have become so enchanted with Apokoronas that many have bought homes here which has brought new life and tourist facilities to the area. This also means that there are now sophisticated and luxury villas available to rent in this part of Crete. Most of our properties are situated slightly inland, a little bit removed from the madding crowd, in the most sought after locations but with beaches and the sea close at hand.
The large, gently shelving, sandy bay that makes up the seaside resort of Almyrida was once a fishing village but is now a thriving seaside resort with a "blue flag" beach. Tavernas and bars line the sea front. There are a couple of mini-markets, a bakery, patisserie, a wine shop and a newsagents. There is a windsurfing school, a scuba diving centre and boat trips are available with Captain Nick. Mountain bikes can be hired and there is also a small taxi rank. The Almyrida Beach Hotel is open to non residents and has internet facilities (most of our villas now offer wifi) as well as a 10 pin bowling lane. There is a limited bus service to Kalives and Chania. At the entrance to Almyrida archaeologists discovered an ancient Mosaic which belongs to the 5th century. Other archaeological finds have been unearthed about 10 minutes away at Aptera, between Kalives and Chania.
Kalives is ideal for people in search of a quiet holiday at a fairly organised Cretan resort, without being in a busy, noisy place and good for families who want to relax and let their children play safely on the "blue flag" beach. Kalives is a working village as well as being a tourist destination so in addition to the beaches, tavernas, bars and tourist shops you will find many local shops as well as a fairly big supermarket of the INKA chain. Banking, post office, pharmacy and petrol station facilities are available in Kalives. There is a bus service to Chania which is approximately 20 kms away.
Approximately 25 kms east of Chania and just above above Almyrida; once a sleepy place of approx 250 inhabitants, Plaka has grown over the last few years as people have discovered its charms and moved into the area. You could come to Plaka for a holiday and never move out of the village because it has everything you need, a petrol station, well stocked mini markets, tavernas and a couple of bars that are popular with locals and tourists alike. At night the village is a buzz with people arriving for dinner at one of the tavernas. The area around Plaka has so much to offer that it would be a shame not to explore the other local villages. There are many marked walks and pathways in the immediate area. Local transport and taxis are available in Almyrida.
Kokkino Chorio means red village. Just a few minutes drive up the hill from Plaka, Kokkino Chorio is famous for its part in the filming of Zorba The Greek; nearly all the village participated. Anthony Quinn is still talked about in the village kafenions!! There's a fine traditional taverna in the village square and a very well stocked shop nearby. Try a visit to the glass blowing workshop which uses recycled glass. Next door is an organic taverna where you can try some traditional Greek dishes with "a twist". The village boasts some of the most stunning views out to sea and has deservedly become a desirable location both for permanent residence and as a holiday destination.
Aspro means white village. It is a quaint place with some new villas. There are no amenities such as a grocery shop or taverna in Aspro but it's only a couple of minutes drive to Almyrida where there is a choice. There are however many walking paths to choose from.
The historical village of Gavalochori is situated approximately 4kms inland from Almirida, on the road to Vamos and was named after the Byzantine family Gavalodon who lived there about 1200AD. The village has many old buildings which are being lovingly restored and make this village much sought after. In the centre of the village is a shop exhibiting traditional arts and crafts of the local women. There is also a folklore museum. Kafenion and tavernas edge the village square inviting you to sit and to pass the time away. Monica's taverna, just behind the war memorial, has a tiny indoor eating area with a large garden filled with tables and Arismari down the alleyway on the opposite side to the memorial has an atmospheric setting. Both tavernas serve a wide choice of Greek dishes, many of which cannot be found in other places.
Kefalas is a large village with a traditional atmosphere, approx 4 kms to the east of Vamos (5 minutes by car) with good access to all the beaches of the Apokoronas area including Georgioupolis. The views from Kefalas towards Georgioupolis are spectacular and on a clear day Rethymnon can be seen. There is a pretty square (plateia) with a museum just off the square which houses old artefacts donated by the villagers to show a typical village house from the last century. You will also find an INKA supermarket, a couple of kafenions and a very good taverna called Meterizi which we thoroughly recommend.
The White Mountains
Wherever you go, the White Mountains provide a dramatic backdrop to this beautifully scenic area.
Walking in the area around Almirida and Kalives - there is a great deal to interest walkers in this lush area. Extending about 10 kms or so inland it is rich in olive and citrus groves, pasture lands and tiny hamlets rarely visited by tourists. In the spring-time, the fields, groves and tracks abound in an endless variety of flora including many species which are endemic to Crete. Keen birdwatchers will find a large number of local as well as migratory birds to see, ranging from tiny warblers to large buzzards and even the odd kite!