Crete : Regional Interest
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Rethymnon North coast
at 20.3km (E)
Panormo is a small coastal village with ~400 inhabitants, located 25km east of Rethymnon in a small distance from the national road.
The village has developed to a tourist resort providing quite a few tourist facilities such as hotels, apartments, lovely taverns and bars.
There is also a small fishing harbour that serves mostly the locals.
It is an nice place for swimming as its beaches - with umbrellas , sun beds etc - are with fine sand and clear water.
Early-Christian basilica in Panormo
In 1948 the archaeological axe brought to light the largest early-Christian basilica of Crete southwest of the village of Panormo. The basilica of Aghia Sofia had a wooden roof and dates back to the 5th century.
About 25km from Panormo to the mainland is the archaeological site of Eleftherna.
at 21.1km (W)
The community of Kefalas (GR:Κεφαλάς) is situated in Apokoronas, Hania, approximately 4 km to the east of Vamos. During the Venetian occupation higher and lower Kefalas were classed as two separate villages, however, today they have become one. It is a large village built in an outstanding position facing the sea with architecture dominated by the influence of the early and late years of the Turkish occupation. This influence is well preserved despite the existence of other architectural styles.
The church of Timios Stavros (16th century) is the oldest building of the village while the more recent churches of Panagia, Agios Antonios, and Michael the archangel, works of the reputed Kefalas craftsmen, are examples of folk architecture of the 19th century.
A further example of the work of the same craftsmen is the Public School of Kefalas, which in accordance with the decision of the county council of Hania will house the Environmental Educational Centre of the prefecture, a foundation that will play a definitive role in the development of the municipality of Vamos. Other interesting communities are Paleloni and Drapanos in the direction of Kokino Horio.
The road from Paleloni leads to Embrosgialo, a relatively easily accessible place, along the steep coastline, which extends to Georgioupoli.
Agios Vassilios, Rethymno (South)
at 21.3km (S)
A sea side village, 40 km south from Rethimno, with 237 permanent residents, built at the cove of the bay of the same name on a wonderful sandy beach, 1300 m long, between the capes Stavros and Kako Mouri, that is ideal for swimming and sea sports. The natural beauty of the place helped Plakias to become a renowned tourist resort now providing all the facilities that a visitor could wish. It belongs to the municipality of Finikas.
Agios Vassilios, South Rethymnon
at 22.4km (S)
One of the nicest sandy beaches of Crete Damnoni is around 6km to the east of Plakias. There are some facilities like umbrellas, sun beds and sea sports and a couple of taverns for drinks and food. Accommodation is also available. Within walking distance to the east there are two smaller beaches nested in small coves. A little farther is the beach of Shinaria which is very popular with the divers.
Agios Vassilios, Rethymnon south
at 23.7km (S)
It stands 37 km south of Rethimnon, in an imposing landscape which is mentioned at the mid-19th century diary of Th. Spratt (admiral of the British Royal Navy), as "one of the happiest places to withdraw from trials and responsibilities of life".There are lots of legends concerning the foundation of the monastery, which is believed that started during the Venetian occupation of the island. A number of its monks activities made the monastery one of the richest of western Crete and due to its isolated position it played important role in Cretan revolts against the occupying forces. A substantial number of icons and other items is kept in the Museum of the Monastery of Preveli amongst them the miracle - working Eulogistic Cross of Efraim Prevelis.
Kalikratis Village & Gorge
Sfakia, South Hania
at 23.8km (SW)
Kalikratis is a small mountainous village at the foot of the White Mountains (Lefka Ori) at an altitude of 750m above sea level. It is a traditional village with many well preserved stone houses. A German army of two thousand soldiers, invaded the village during the October of 1943 , burned it down and executed twenty men and nine women who did not manage to leave on time.
A little to the south of the village starts the gorge of the same name which is part of the European hiking footpath (E4) and after some 4km walking ends at the village of Patsianos.
at 23.8km (SW)
Two small villages, Epano & Kato (Upper & Lower) Rodakino halfway from Plakias to Frangokastelo, overlooking the bay of Korakas. Rodakino is 42 kms from Rethimnon, 27 kms from Hora Sfakion and 13 kms from Fragokastello. Rodakino is surrounded by small beaches some of them accessible only by foot, were visitors can isolate themselves from any trace of civilization. There are some small hotels and rooms to rent available and a couple of tavernas. The road to Rodakino is asphalt paved and there is a bus service to Rodakino from Rethimnon twice a day.
In the village the visitor can find a taxi station, and a gasoline station. A doctor is available for medical emergencies on the village of Plakias approximately 15 kms from Rodakino.
Rodakino played its own part during the eons, in the fighting of the Cretans against all the invaders. The village was totally destroyed during the Venetian occupation, with only one resident escaping to Peloponnese in Greece . Years after the destruction he returned to the site of the village, and he rebuilt it.
In Kourkoylo one of the quarters of the village the first rising of the flag of the revolution against the Turks was raised on May 24th 1821.
During the second World War the kidnapped German general Craipe was sent away from the bay of Korakas to the Middle East.
Kokino Horio village
at 24.1km (W)
Kókino Horio (GR: Κόκκινο Χωρίο), which is located at a higher altitude, has maintained its traditional architectural style even more so than the other villages with its narrow roads, beautiful gates and tiled roofs.
A group of cisterns, built in a sloping field, gather the rainwater, an interesting example of local architecture, dealing with the permanent problem of lack of water.
Above Kokino Horio one can see 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 stroll 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.
at 24.2km (S)
The gorge that forms the river "megapotamos" ends at the Libyan Sea creating a small lagoon at its mouth. This lagoon, which the locals call "Lake" (limni , Gr:Λίμνη), is surrounded by palm trees and rich vegetation and is one of the most attractive places in Crete. In the past it used to be the ideal place for camping and naturalism. The sea is clean with a dazzling range of green and blue colors and the beach has fine white sand.
at 24.4km (W)
Gavalohóri (GR: Γαβαλοχώρι) is an old big traditional village, with fine examples of traditional rural architecture and stone buildings that are well preserved. The village has been declared a traditional settlement and is awarded a protected status. Many interesting buildings still stand, such as the 18th century olive press, the church of Panagia (Virgin Mary) and that of Agios Sergios, the old school and the complex of the wells from the period of the Venetian occupation.
Historical and Folklore Museum of Gavalohori
Gavalohori, Vamos, Apokoronas
at 24.5km (W)
The exhibition of the objects takes place according to the contemporary museum conception, with explanatory texts, photographs, plans, models, and is enriched with new exhibits every year. The Museum is divided into seven rooms, according to the following units: The Arched House, Silk, Pottery, Lace-making, Masonry and Stone carving, Church and Woodcarving.
at 24.5km (W)
The traditional little village of Vrisses lies approx. 35 km from Chania town. The old village square with its tall plane trees, the tavernas and kafenions is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the lush green landscape by the river Vrissanos and taste the renowned and particularly delicious local yogurt.
Rodakino, South Rethymno
at 24.8km (SW)
At the end of the canyon that traverses the area of Rodakino lies the beach of Korakas at the bay of the same name. It is a nice, wide and 400m long beach, with clear waters and small grayish sand and pebbles. There are a few accommodation options in family run apartment complexes and a few taverns on the beach front. Umbrellas and sun beds are also available at the eastern part. The headland to the east separate Korakas Beach from another lovely beach named "Klimata". At the east side of that headland there is a small fishing harbour and along its coast there are sharp rocks in the shape of a crow's beak (Kórakas GR: Κόρακας, means crow) thus giving the name to the bay.
at 24.9km (W)
Vámos (GR: Βάμος) is the capital of Apokoronas district is an exceptionally interesting village that the Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works has classed as traditional. It is more like a small town, very well preserved, with folk and neoclassical architectural elements. The initiative of a group of inhabitants to create an association for the preservation of the village as well as alternative tourism strategies is already paying off while constituting a model for further local progress. The famous art and cultural festivals are good opportunities for everyone to experience the hospitality and entertainment Vamos can offer.
at 25.3km (W)
Pláka (GR: Πλάκα) is a lovely village in the Apokoronas area, less than one kilometer away from Almyrida, with interesting architectural style, which is unfortunately changing due to intense building mainly for tourist purposes. Its ~300 permanent inhabitants, occupying mostly with farming, stock-breeding, fishing and lately with tourism.
It has all the basic amenities, including excellent tavernas, bars, a grocery store and a kafeneion.
Plaka is built on the slope of a hill at 70 m above sea, with a panoramic view of the bay of Souda. The surrounding environment has maintained its character well and is ideal for walks either inland or along the coast. Visitors can also admire a magical sunset from here. Every summer -at about the end of July- a two days traditional feast - The Plakiana - is organized to honour the memory of the great local lyra player Mihalis Papadakis or else Plakianos. During the feast guests enjoy Cretan dances and can visit the textile and ceramics exhibitions. The custom of Klidonas is celebrated at the end of June and the Carnival usually takes place in March.
at 26.1km (W)
A beautiful small sea side village with long sandy beach where wind surf, canoes, paddle boats, umbrellas and sun beds can be rented. The place provides all the facilities for the visitors with small hotels, rooms, apartments and many taverns with traditional food and fresh fish. Recent years it became very popular with expatriates and there is a significant development in the real estate sector.
Sfakia, White Mountains
at 27.5km (W)
It is located at an altitude of 750 m, 50 km SE from the city of Hania and 20 km from the village of Vryses. Its population is approximately 500 people. The small villages that constitute the community of Askifou are Kares, Ammoudari, Goni and Petres. The most touristic organised of them is Ammoudari with restaurants, gas station, and some rooms for rent.
Rethymnon North coast
at 28.5km (E)
Bali is a small fishing village, about 40 km west of Iraklion and 37km east of Rethymno easily accessed from the international road.
It has a small picturesque harbour and lots of small coves with wonderful clear beaches.
Recent years Bali has been developed to a popular tourist resort but it is still preserves its traditional character.
Ideal place for family holidays, with small hotels and lovely taverns serving fresh fish and local specialties.
Not far from Bali is the Monastery of Saint John a place worth to visit.
at 28.7km (W)
A flourishing traditional seaside town on the Apokoronas Peninsula 17km east of Hania. Kalýves (or Kalives GR: Καλύβες) with its old tiled stone houses, mixed with the latest buildings form two separate districts, with typical island style. Most of it is literally built on the sea and has 1289 residents. Xydás (GR: Ξυδάς) river that runs through the town, is giving it a unique character and a cool climate that prevents the heat of summer. In the square, you will see a traditional water mill built in the early 20th century, one of the oldest in the area. Kalives 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, taverns and kafeneion, in addition to banking, post office and petrol station facilities.
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