From historic gems with long, sandy beaches to more hidden rocky coves, you're sure to find a place perfect for your stay. Renowned for its charming coastal area and the magnificent surroundings, Platanias is the ideal destination to enjoy the Mediterranean breeze and soak up the local culture.
Platanias area has a few hidden gems besides its wonderful beaches and perennial monuments, and one of them is the villages – each one with its own beauty and distinctive character.
Perhaps more rewarding for the discerning traveler are those smaller corners of exceptional beauty, many reachable only by car or boat. On world maps these beautiful villages and settlements are marked only by the smallest pinhole, assuming they appear at all.
Hidden across the territory towards the magnificent White Mountains, they have something exceptional and special where it seems time came to a standstill.
Whether it is their architecture, historical aspect or simply their attractiveness, the villages of Platanias are definitely worth a visit.
From cobblestone paths, to 19th century churches, and from Venetians remains to luscious green fields – these authentic Cretan villages in Platanias will surely charm you away.
There is a unique culture in the area of Platanias that sets it apart from anywhere else in Crete. From the cuisine to how they spend their time with family and their hospitality.
There are many ways to discover this way of life, but exploring the lesser-travelled but equally stunning locations on the island is one of the best!
Omalos village is situated at the north-eastern corner of the magnificent Omalos Plateau approximately 40 km south of Chania in the White Mountains. The village of Omalos is dramatically beautiful in its isolation. Although access and comforts are not as good as in the northern part of the island, Omalos has an everlasting appeal for its exceptional scenery.
The village is settled 10 km from the entrance to the glorious Samaria Gorge, at the edge of the plateau, at a point known as Xyloskalo. This is where the gorge walk starts, which is 16 km south through the gorge to the seaside village of Agia Roumeli.
Despite its recent increasing popularity because of the Samaria Gorge, Omalos village remains an ideal place to experience the unspoiled and unique surroundings.
Aside from the stunning natural beauty which surrounds the village, Omalos itself is notable for the small, yet of exceptionally beauty round stone houses (mitata) used from the shepherds to produce the local cheese (graviera). Omalos has become an unmissable destination in recent years for those wishing to experience the beauty of the local history and culture.
The White Mountains are fraught with loose rock fields, steep paths, gullies, and difficult for hiking but also incredibly rewarding. At higher altitudes, harsh environmental conditions generally prevail and a treeless alpine vegetation dominates the area.
This means there is no shade, no shelter and no water. Hikers must be well prepared physically and mentally for a long distance hike.
After endless descents and ascents in a harsh landscape of rocks a green oasis suddenly appears, the magical Omalos Plateau.
The plateau of Omalos, a magical place rich on history and traditions, is the physical border and “meeting” point among three from the five regions of the prefecture of Chania, namely Selino, Platanias and Sfakia.
Located at an altitude of between 1040 and 1200 metres is often difficult to approach (in the winter) because of the heavy snow. However, when spring comes the landscape is completely transformed.
The plateau is covered by wild plants and flowers and it is an ideal base to explore the surroundings. There are tavernas and hotels for visitors to the area, some of which operate in the winter as well.
From the plateau and more precisely from the location Xyloskalo at 1,250 m high, there is the starting point of the path along the world famous Samaria gorge. Omalos village is approximately 5 km from Xyloskalo and derives most of its importance from its association with magnificent trekking trails.
In Xyloskalo there is a forest outpost and a small yet, very interesting museum about the White Mountains and Samaria Gorge. An old stone mule pathway connects the village of Omalos with Agia Eirini to the west, from where visitors can explore the magnificent gorge of Agia Eirini.
Full of colour, warmth and charm Platanias countryside overflows with beauty, from the dramatic White Mountains stretching throughout the region, to the magnificent azure sea contrasting with the yellows and golds of the beach sand.
The region is also home to a large number of beautiful villages, each adding to Platanias’ unique landscape and culture.
The hustle and bustle of Platanias seafront is offset by the small surrounding villages and settlements that can be found in the area immediately surrounding one of Crete’s most popular seaside resorts.
All along the coastline, seaside towns and villages not only vaunt a wide variety of stunning beaches, but they’re often flanked by many of the Platanias region most historic gems.
Despite the flow of traffic, Platanias is also home to wide range of beautiful beaches worth visiting. The area is also a perfect spot for scuba diving and boasts a lively nightlife. Platanias sea-side resort has it all: wild nature, unspoiled landscapes, excellent food and wine and endless things to see.
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