Who says only Chania Old Town is beautiful and alluring? Crete is full of really eye-catching and fascinating villages and the region of Apokoronas is famous for its small, yet of exceptional beauty settlements and villages.
They are located near the coastline or near the impressive White Mountains overlooking the Aegean Sea, medieval, historical, with narrow streets adorned with bougainvillea. The best summary of the Cretan essence is located in Apokoronas.
The major villages of Apokoronas are Vamos, Armenoi and Vryses, with police, municipal and utility offices as well as taverns and large churches; Kalyves, Almyrida and Georgioupoli are the largest beach resorts in this part of Crete.
The district capital Vamos, home to only 600 permanent residents, serves tourists exploring Crete’s northwestern coastline. Tourism and agriculture are the major local industries, with much construction and quarrying to satisfy the demands of many foreigners eager to buy or rent properties in what used to be beautiful and traditional villages.
At the present time, Gavalohori is among the more popular villages for foreign buyers, with a large amount of often low-quality building taking place. Many residents or workers in Chania also have homes in the area.
From cobblestone paths, to 19th century churches, and from Venetians remains to luscious green fields – these authentic Cretan villages in Apokoronas will surely charm you away.
Ombrosgialos or Ombros Gialos is a remote rocky cove (there is no beach) with deep blue crystal clear waters and amazing sea depth ideal for snorkelers. Ombrosgialos is located 25 km east of the charming town of Chania and 15 km from the Kalives village in Apokoronas. There is a small bay with a dock, from which swimmers usually dive.
Next to the bay there is a tavern, very famous for the fresh fish and octopus dishes. The beach is generally isolated and nearly unknown to everyone. Formed at the exit of a rocky gorge and into the arms of a long narrow bay.
Pebbles and large stones, which impede a little swimming. It is ideal for fishing and isolation. Of course, you must arrange to have all your necessities, such as umbrellas, food and water.
To get here you need to follow the road that leads north from the village to the Cape Drepano. From there follow the road to the lighthouse and after 700 m you will see a sign on your left. Then drive down to the beach. Worth to mention that near the beach there is a large, wonderful cave.
The region of Apokoronas extends from the foothills of the White Mountains north to the coast, in a wide plain with rolling hills. To the east, Cape Drapanon rises above the plain and extends out into the Sea of Crete.
The area is very green and fertile. The Kiliaris river, known in antiquity as ‘Pyknos’, runs through the region. Robert Pashley suggested that the name ‘Apokoronas’ came from the ancient city of Ippokoronas or Ippokoronion, also cited by Strabo.
There is a unique culture in the area of Apokoronas that sets it apart from anywhere else in Crete. From the cuisine to how they spend their time with family and enjoy the present and cherish every moment of life.
There are many ways to discover this way of life, but exploring the lesser-travelled but equally stunning locations on these spectacular villages is one of the best!
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