Almerida, once a small fishing village, has evolved into a tastefully developed resort within the last few years. Coming to life during the summer months the resort has many tavernas, bars and coffee houses. Mountain bikes can be hired and there is a small taxi rank. For the active there is a water sport centre. The excellent, safe sandy beach is in a natural cove, benefiting from natural protection from wind and current. Kalives is only a few minutes drive along the coast, where good shopping and amenities are available as well as fine sandy beaches. Just at the entrance to Almerida, archeologists have discovered an ancient mosaic dated back to the 5th Century.
Drapanos is a small village with traditional tavernas, Kafeneon and a quaint local church. The village now has a small shop which stocks basic items and eggs straight from the owner's hens! There are more amenities in Plaka village, which is only about an 8-minute drive away. Located at the edge of a plateau at about 700 feet in altitude on the Apokoronou Peninsula, the views from Drapanos are splendid - both to the White Mountains to the south and Souda Bay to the north. The sandy beach at Almerida is only 15 minutes drive, and a short distance further is the coastal town of Kalives, which offers good shopping and amenities for day-to-day living.
The village of Gavalohori was named after the Byzantine family Gavalodon who lived there about 1200AD. It is a very pretty rural village in the hills of the Apokoronas peninsular, with small shops for day-to-day needs, tavernas and several Kafeneon. In the centre is a shop exhibiting arts and crafts of the local women and also a folklore museum. The many old buildings are being lovingly restored, to make this village much sought after both for permanent residence and holidays.
The views of the White Mountains to the south are spectacular and the village is surrounded by olive groves. Plenty of opportunities for walks are provided around the group of Venetian wells, the Roman cemetery, the neighbourhood and the church of Agios Pavlos. A women's association continuing the old art of lace making (kopaneli) and dealing generally with alternative tourism also exists in Gavalohori.
Gavalohori is only a five-minute drive from the sandy beach and resort at Almerida, and ten minutes from the town of Kalives, which has good shopping and administrative amenities.
Kalives is a flourishing traditional working village on the Apokoronou Peninsula. It is tastefully developed for tourism, and welcomes many visitors during the summer season to its safe sandy beach. With comprehensive amenities, there are many shops, tavernas and kafeneon, in addition to banking, post office and petrol station facilities. It is only a twenty-minute drive to the historic city of Chania and forty minutes to the international airport.
Kokkino Chorio is a small, traditional Greek village on the coast of the Apokoronou Peninsula. From here the views across Souda Bay to the Akrotiri Peninsula are magnificent, and to the south the White Mountains provide a dramatic backdrop, making the village a highly desirable location both for permanent residence and for holidays. It is only a few minutes drive from Plaka with its tavernas and bars, and the lovely sandy beach at Almerida. A few minutes further brings you to Kalives where there are more sandy beaches, good shopping for day-to-day needs and a variety of other amenities.
The village is famous for taking part in the filming of Zorba the Greek - Antony Quinn is still talked about in the local kafenions!
Above Kokino Horio is the strangely shaped hill Drapanokefala or Calapodha (so named during the Venetian occupation). The coastline northwest of the village is an extremely interesting place for a walk due to the ground formation and the caves, such as the cave of Petsi (or Karavotopos). Another cave called Katalimata, located at the centre of the village, is also an interesting site.
At cape Drapano, approximately 10 metres under water, is the impressive Elephant Cave, an area 60mx60m full of stalactites and stalagmites of various shapes and colours.
Kambia, on the Apokoronou Peninsula, is a small community near the village of Plaka. It is within easy driving distance of the coastal resort of Almerida, with its lovely sandy beach, and the busy town of Kalives, which offers shopping and amenities for day-to-day living.
Plaka is a lovely village built on the slope of a hill overlooking Souda Bay. It has all the amenities you need, including excellent tavernas, bars, a grocery store and a kafeneon, all of which remain open throughout the year. Plaka is only a few minutes drive from the sandy beach at Almerida, and five minutes further along the coast is Kalives, where day-to-day shopping, general amenities and more sandy beaches are available. The historic City of Chania is forty-five minutes drive, as is the airport.
Plaka was once a sleepy village with only approx. 250 inhabitants - it has grown over the last few years as people have discovered its charms and moved into the area. There are many marked walks and pathways in the area, with local transport and taxis available in Almerida.
The village retains its traditional identity, which must be protected through checks on new buildings in order to prevent the alteration of the traditional architectural style. Every summer Cretan music festivals take place in Plaka, the "Plakiana", in honour of Michael Papadakis, from Plaka, a fine lyra player of recent years.
Vamos is a perfect choice for holiday visitors who prefer to be away from the main tourist areas but also close to excellent facilities. Well situated at the centre of the Apokoronas peninsula giving easy access to all the surrounding villages, the beaches at Almirida, Kalives and Georgeopoulis and the motorway to Chania and Rethymno. Vamos boasts a Health Clinic with 24 hour medical care, petrol stations, a bank with ATM, a Post Office, 2 Bakeries, 2 small well stocked supermarkets, a Pharmacy, a Greek cheese/deli shop, several kafenions, a kiosk, two hairdressers and a barber and last but not least, two excellent tavernas serving delicious Greek food with a modern twist that are open all year round.
There is an increasing awareness of the conservation status of this area and many old houses are being restored to their former glory; part of this activity includes an Art Cafe from which you can enjoy wonderful views of the area and an Organic shop selling local produce.
Interesting buildings in the village are the Agios Nikolaos and Agios Georgios churches, the restored old school (built in 1863) with the old girl's school in its yard, which is now used as a guesthouse.
Vamos was the site of many battles in 1866 and 1896. The 1896 events attracted foreign interest and were the cause of the General Cretan Revolutionary Meeting (with Roussos Koundouros presiding) in Vamos with the aim of the independence of Crete).
Georgioupolis is a small lively self-contained village with something to suit all age groups. The scenery is stunning with the mountains and the river, the beach idyllic and close to town. The Village Square and tavernas are the focal points for evening entertainment.
The old name of Georgioupolis was Almyroupoli, named after the river Almyros by which it stands. It's a beautiful village situated on the northern coast of Crete, about 35km away from Hania and 20 km from Rethimno with a backdrop of spectacular mountain scenery. Ancient eucalyptus trees surround the village square amidst the tavernas and gift shops.
Georgioupolis used to be a tiny fishing village located by a small river next to a very long sandy beach.
Three rivers run into the sea at Georgioupolis.
The road bridge crosses the largest, the Almiros river, whose mouth creates the small harbor.
In the last hundred years, many things have changed in Georgioupolis.
The once small village with its 9 km long sandy beach enticed the first "do it yourself" holiday makers, who found a few rooms available in the village.
The long sandy gently shelving beach is ideal for those lazy days in the sun and very safe for children however we would recommend close supervision at all times. When you have worked up a thirst sunbathing just stroll over to one of the many tavernas lining the beach and enjoy a nice cool drink.
Idyllic places around the rivers and marshy areas can still be found despite the increase in construction.
But with its river, eucalyptus trees and (still existing) small fishing harbor it remains attractive.
The road east of Vamos leads through a group of small villages, surrounded by wonderful scenery and very well preserved local folk architecture. Xerosterni, which is built around the interesting church of Christ and in whose honour a festival takes place every year on the 5th and 6th of August, is the best preserved village of all, maintaining its traditional style with many old houses. The road continues towards Litsarda, passing through the archaeologically interesting cave of Dafne or Tripa.
Even though the village has lost some of its traditional character it remains interesting and it is worth visiting the church of Panagia with its fine wood-carved reredos and icons made by the Rethymnian A. Vivilakis.