A Vivid Canvas of True Natural Splendour
Maybe less known than the famous Almirida and Georgioupoli sea-side resorts, the village of Vrisses definitively deserves a visit. Surrounded by the White Mountains, this blessed-by-nature area plenty of river, caves, vineyards, olive groves is the ideal place to walk around and explore the province of Apokoronas. Apokoronas’ magnificent surroundings and interesting architecture have endowed Vrisses with an unparalleled beauty. Vrisses is located at an altitude of 62 meters, 30 Km southeast of Chania, close to the national road that connects Chania to Rethymno and on the road that leads over the foothills to the Imbros Groge (about 30 minutes’ drive) and to Chora Sfakion on the south coast (about 45 minutes’ drive).
The name of the village, which means water fountains, is obviously related to the fact that there were many water fountains in the region during the past. Ideally nested at the foot of the White Mountains, Vrisses are boasting an exceptional rugged beauty in the area of Apokoronas. As soon as you approach Vrisses you are impressed, transported… in space and time: its narrow streets, its houses of traditional architecture inspired by the surrounding countryside of Apokoronas, its church its old olive mills… If your eyes have had their fill, then your body will be able to get some exercise with the multitude of outdoor activities adapted to the area around the village.
Vrisses Roman Bridge
Three small, yet wonderful rivers flow through the village of Vrisses: Boutakas, Vrissianos and Farmakera. Springing from the White Mountains, they carve, wind and splash their way through small ravines and gorges. From its source, the Vrissianos flows eastwards, carving its way through the slopes of the Apokoronas, passing on the way stunning landscapes of rocky cliffs, green olive groves, and abundant wildlife. Here and there are traces of human life: settlements built of stone, Venetian and Minoan remains and several old bridges.
The best of these is the “Kamara”, bridge, dating back to the Greco-Roman period (300 BC to 300 AD). The bridge is one of the oldest in the island of Crete and it was an important connection point to facilitate travel on the old route from the north artery of Crete known later in the Venetian period as Royal path (1645 – 1669 AD). This region is called Greek Kamara and it is located next to the church of St. Nicholas, in the north of the road that passes through Vrisses. The bridge, which is used until nowadays, is a remarkable architectural construction. The fact that the arch (raised 6.4 meters above the river) was exclusively built with boulders without connecting mud is incredible.
Amazing, Authentic Gastronomic Experience
At Vrisses you can find public services, two bakeries, a butcher, two supermarkets, a bank, two gas stations, pharmacy, restaurants, cafes and rooms for accommodation. The best place to enjoy an ice coffee or a Cretan dish is the central square of Vrisses, where you can sit by the Vrissianos River, under the large, centuries-old plane trees. Well-known for its delicious goat cheese, yoghurt, honey and the traditional Sfakian pies (yummy pancakes with cheese and honey.), Vrisses gastronomy destinations will amaze you. To partake in an authentic local experience, tourists may attend some of the region’s traditional events, such as those taking place during the two first weeks of August.
Vrisses: A Place with an Extraordinary History
Archaeological investigations at the village have concluded that the stone walls and artefacts discovered indicate that there is continuous human presence since the Neolithic period (6000 to 3000 BC). The ancient settlement that was brought to light dates from the Late Period (16th century BC) and some of its magnificent discoveries are hosted and exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Chania.
With direct access to the National Highway, 5 minutes’ drive to Vamos, 8 minutes’ drive to Georgioupolis, and 15 minutes to Kalives, Vrisses has a privileged location. The sandy long beach of Georgiopolis is just 10 km away and the Chania International Airport “Ioannis Daskalogiannis” is located approximately 38 km away. Nonetheless, Vrisses, aside the wonderful landscape and great accessibility offers the warm hospitality of its people. An experience to remember!