Stilos: A Village of Authentic Character
Stilos village is located in the area of the Apokoronas, 10 km southwest from Almirida and 18 km southeast of the city of Chania. This is a lovely and charming small village that retains its authentic character in contrast to the busy and tourist Kalives and Almirida sea-side resorts. Stilos presents the traditional Cretan style with narrow, picturesque alleys, stone-built houses with stunning courtyards full of flowers, old wells and stone ovens. It is an ideal destination for those who want relaxation while staying in a quiet and picturesque environment close to the beautiful beaches of Apokoronas providing lots of sightseeing and outdoor activities.
Although it has been somewhat influenced by the vacation industry, it is not a place where one can find many bars, restaurants, cafes or amusements. Stilos keeps its traditional and authentic style that is confirmed not only by the everyday life and resident’s rhythms of life but also by the architecture character of the village. Admittedly, walking through the stone alleys and observing the traditional settlement with the characteristic examples of Cretan folk architecture, one really appreciates a delightful walk in this charming traditional village.
Charming Village Square
As the day wears on, Stilos’ residents awaken from their siestas and the villages come to life. Elderly women sweep their porches, hang out the washing, and indulge in some idle chatter with neighbours. Their sons and husbands head straight for the kafeneio to chain smoke,drink tsikoudia or wine. Hardy souls limp along the main road laden with wood and grumpy taxi drivers argue the toss with toothless gas station attendants. Join the locals and reward your endeavours with a coffee or, better yet, a glass of Tsikoudia.
The village’s main square with its traditional kafeneion and restaurants serving delicious traditional recipes of the Cretan cuisine, is for hundreds of years the meeting point of the inhabitants. When the weather is good, the outdoors sitting under the shade of the great platanos-tree is incredible. The complimentary tsikoudia and amusing platter of fresh fruits is definitely a lovely gastronomy experience.
Stilos’ Exceptional Surroundings
One word – variety. And Stilos has heaps of it. This fascinating landscape in Stilos is both sleepy and captivating with snippets to satisfy everyone. The nature is lush green and consists mostly of chestnut trees, olive groves and fruit trees. With magnificent plane tree forests and natural springs of exceptionally beauty the area provides endless possibilities of hiking, walking, mountain biking and trail running. Moreover Stilos village is famous for its spring water that floats down from the White Mountain. In the area there is a large water bottling plant that captures some of this water from its own springs and widely markets it as ‘Samaria’ bottled water.
Diktamos Gorge and Stilos’ Monastira
Many churches and monasteries surround Stilos village, such as the Byzantine church of Saint John the Theologian (Agios Ioannis Theologos ) and the 12th century church of Panagia Zerviotissa, named Monastira by the locals. Besides the excellent architectural preservation, the church of Agios Ioannis Theologos is particularly well-known for the magnificent frescoes . In all there are two layers of frescoes, the earliest dating back to the 12th century – the latest as old as the 15th century.
Next to the Church of St. John, there is a five million year old fossilized remain. The fossil is the articulated postcranial skeleton of a late Miocene sea cow or a late Myocene Cretan dwarf elephant, whose species is called Palaeloxodon Chaniensis. The specimen was discovered by a team of workers during the construction works of a village road and was carried to the church of Agios Ioannis Theologos.
Additionally, in Stilos is also the beginning of the Diktamos Gorge, which is approximately 8 km long and ends up at the east side of the village Faragi on 40m height.
Additionally, in Stilos is also the beginning of the Diktamos gorge, which is approximately 8 km long and ends up at the east side of the village Faragi on 40m height. Diktamos Gorge is a spectacular natural wonder and features many species of the Cretan flora and fauna.