Overview

Introduction

Chania area • Kalives • Almirida • Kastelli

Transfer time 20-30 mins (Chania), 45 mins (Kalives), 1 hour (Almirida and Kastelli)

Chania is the main town in the west and has a strong Venetian flavour, particularly around its immense harbour, lined with restaurants. Behind, a maze of narrow lanes and crumbling Venetian facades conceal more restaurants, small shops and atmospheric cafés.

A half-hour drive east of Chania, neighbouring Kalives and Almirida are at the entrance to Souda Bay (the largest natural harbour in the Aegean), the White Mountains behind forming a majestic backdrop. Both enjoy fine sandy beaches and beautiful rolling countryside.

Walking in this beautiful region, called Apokoronas, is a major attraction and your Sunvil representative is happy to give advice and hand out walking maps.

Kalives has retained its relaxed village atmosphere and boasts two long sandy beaches, one to either side. Centred around a tree-shaded square, housing a couple of cafés and the handsome church, Kalives has a good choice of authentic local tavernas and small shops which cater for most needs.

Life in the thriving small resort of Almirida revolves around the beach and the dozen tavernas now here. The area has developed in recent years and the village now has several café-bars, a bakery and a pair of well stocked mini-markets.  Almirida now has just the right balance between lazy days on the long curve of sandy beach - there are plenty of sunbeds and beach cafés as well as non-motorised water sports (windsurf, kayak, paddleboard, pedalo) - and a vibrant but not OTT evening atmosphere. For a change of scene why not walk up the hill to the traditional village of Plaka (20 mins.) and enjoy dinner in the square in one of the several fine local tavernas here?

From both Almirida and Kalives bicycles can be hired, excursions operate (from late May), there is a bus to Chania and taxis are available.

The small town of Kastelli (also called Kissamos) is the gateway to Crete's wild west. Some 40 kms west of Chania, linked by a fast highway, Kastelli's atmosphere remains primarily that of a working Greek market town where the priorities remain agriculture (good wine from this area) and fishing rather than tourism. Hotels there are but tourism is generally low key, attracting those looking for a peaceful break with miles of unspoiled countryside and uncrowded beaches (mainly pebble) close to hand. The area is therefore the perfect base for our painting and walking holidays that operate from the seaside hamlet of Nopigia 6 kms to the east of Kastelli, and linked by a good bus service.

Lying at the centre of a wide bay formed by the rocky arms of two wild peninsulas called Gramvousa and Rodopou (boat trips run regularly to the former), Kastelli has good facilities and a small archaeological museum.

One of Crete's most beautiful beaches, Falasarna, lies just a half hour drive away. Being on the west coast and looking out over open sea, the sunsets here can be spectacular.  Further south is equally lovely Elafonisi, with its coral sands and islet you can wade to via a sandbank. With a car, a wonderfully scenic circuit - out via the coast road and back through the mountains via villages and a gorge - makes a great day out, although the twisting narrow roads are not for nervous drivers or those with a fear of heights!

Read more

Recommended Reading

The Landscape Series: Western Crete
For walkers and explorers, these pocket-sized guides contain walks of all grades, car tours and picnic suggestions, plus bus timetables and large scale walking maps. They are intended to be used in addition to a standard guidebook.

Sunflower Books Website

Holiday Tip

In Vamos, our local representative Chrissy recommends a cookery lesson with Mrs Koula which takes place in an olive press. Traditional Cretan dishes with fresh ingredients are made and then enjoyed with wine and raki.

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There is so much to see, discover and enjoy here. There is 1020 km of coastline boasting an abundance of beaches, from quiet coves to long expanses of golden sand. Inland there are lofty mountain peaks and lush countryside, dotted with traditional villages and walking trails, and fascinating archaeological sites.

Claire Kalatzis
Claire Kalatzis
Note: Map is for guidance purposes only.

Talk to our Crete expert

Claire Kalatzis
Claire Kalatzis

There is so much to see, discover and enjoy here. There is 1020 km of coastline boasting an abundance of beaches, from quiet coves to long expanses of golden sand. Inland there are lofty mountain peaks and lush countryside, dotted with traditional villages and walking trails, and fascinating archaeological sites.

Call one of our experts to discuss your next holiday with Sunvil on

020 8758 4758

We're open today till 5:30 PM

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Please use this form to request further information about a Sunvil holiday or destination.

We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

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Chania, Crete

North West Crete

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We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Spain, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774

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If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774

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