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The ancient Tomb
Agios Ioannis
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The municipality of Kamilari consists of three villages: The village of Kamilari, the historical village of Agios Ioannis and the coastal resort of Kalamaki.

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The village of Kamilari is located 2,5 km west of the archaeological sight of Phaistos and 2.5 km from the sea, where the resort of Kalamaki is sited. The name of the village is of Byzantine origin, and is derived from the world "kamilaris" meaning the one who rides a camel.

Kamilari is built on the top of three hills, Evgora, Goulas and Alevrota, and it has 339 inhabitants. Its houses are built with stones and are two-stored.
The village is known for its climate that is temperate and there is sunshine nine months every year.

Public Bus Service to Kamilari Kalamaki:
From june 1st 1998:
departure from Iraklion 9:00 to Kamilari- Kalamaki
departure from Kamilari 11:30 to Kalamaki- Timbaki- Iraklion
departure from Kamilari 15:00 to Kalamaki- Iraklion

The road passes through the Messara valley, one of the most beautiful and fertile areas in Crete.

Kamilari is a quiet, traditional village, with a panoramic view to the endless olive groves of the Messara valley on the one side, and to the Libyan sea on the other side.
It has been inhabited since the Minoan period.
One of the seven wise men of the ancient world, Epimenidis, a great wise man and a soothsayer, lived in a small community outside Kamilari, called Metohi.

The old village is built on the top of the hill Evgora. From this site the inhabitants could have an overview of the enemy, to the Messara valley for the Turks and to the Libyan sea for the pirates.

Its people are hospitable with a great respect to the tradition, that passes from generation to generation.
The village organizes feasts during the Carnival, while during the Resurrection day in Easter, old customs come to life, like burning the Judas.
Great fairs are also organized during the feast-days of the village on the 27th of July and on the 6th of August.

In the village one can find a hotel, traditional guest houses and rooms to rent. There are also tavernas and bars.

The Tomb of Kamilari

In a distance of 4 km from Phaistos, outside the village of Kamilari, archaeological excavations have brought to light a vaulted Minoan tomb, one of the most important in the Messara valley. In this tomb, known as the "Kamilari tomb", several archaeological findings were found, today exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Iraklion.

Agios Ioannis

The small village of Agios Ioannis is one of the three villages that constitute the community of Kamilari.
The village of Agios Ioannis, is built next to Phaistos, the second biggest center of the Minoan civilization in Crete, after Knossos. Today the village has 103 inhabitants.

The houses of the community are built on the ruins of the ancient city.

The church of Agios Georgios (16th century) is located on the hill of Phaistos next to the ruins of an old monastery.

In the village there is the church of Agios Ioannis built on the 16th century, and the tower of Agriolidis. At the south part of the village there is an old distillery of raki.
Outside the village, on the road Phaistos-Matala there is a small chapel of Agios Pavlos, with excellent frescoes of the 14th century. On the same road, 200 m from the village an intact tomb of the Geometrical period has been discovered, and beside it two Roman tombs.

In the village there are two traditional tavernas and a cafe. The village celebrates the feast-day of Agios Ioannis on the 26th of September when a fair is organized.


Kalamaki community is fairly new, constantly developing, built on a beach of exceptional natural beauty and character . The fauna of the area is unique, with cedar trees centuries old, lilies of the sea, aromatic herbs, etc.
Kalamaki is located 2.5 km from the beautiful village of Kamilari and it is characterized as an archaeological site. It is one of the three villages that constitute the community of Kamilari.

The beach in Kalamaki is wonderful and extended, over 3 kms long and covered with fine golden sand. The Caretta-Caretta tortoises lay their eggs on the beach, among the sand-dunes of Kalamaki, and there is an information kiosk in the community.

The view from the beach is also magnificent. To the right of Kalamaki one can see the resort town of Agia Galini and , at a distance on the horizon Paximadia, the two small islands of the Messara gulf.
The area of Kalamaki has been inhabited during the Minoan, Hellenistic and Roman period. South of Kalamaki is the archaeological site of Kommos, port of ancient Phaistos.
Outside the community is placed the church "Palies eklisies", built on the 18th century probably on the ruins of a Roman temple. South of the "palies eklisies" church there is an excavated building probably of the Hellenistic period.

Kalamaki was built during the 80's, while the first houses were built during the 60's. The community is developing into a modern, tourist seaside resort, with restaurants, bars, hotels and rooms to rent.

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Agios Ioannis

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Municipality of Kamilari

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