Sun, sea, sand and savings. Save up to 50% on your summer holiday to the real Greece. View our latest offers here.

Overview

Introduction

Chania area • Kalives • Almirida • Kastelli • Rethymnon • Panormos

Transfer time 20-30 mins (Chania), 45 mins (Kalives), 1 hour (Almirida and Kastelli), 1-1.5 hours (Rethymnon and Panormos)

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.

For those wishing to stay close to the beach, yet enjoy quick and convenient access to the city, the area of Agii Apostoli should suit. Less than 5 kms from the centre of Chania, this is where the locals come to swim, play and relax. A frequent bus service runs from early to late and takes just 15 minutes, making it easy to have a day at the beach and dinner at the Venetian harbour.

In fact Agii Apostoli has three adjacent and beautifully sandy bays, sheltered by the rocky arms of the pine-clad headland. Although development close to the beaches has sensibly been restricted, the area has a good choice of cafes, restaurants and shops as well as a small public park. Understandably Agii Apostoli is a popular area and does get busy, especially during summer weekends and Greek holiday periods.

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 there are more than a 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 small motorboats can be rented (tuition given, no licence required - the best way to explore Souda Bay), bicycles can be hired, excursions operate (from early 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!

Historic Rethymnon is the only town on the island which can rival Chania in terms of atmosphere and character. In many ways a more compact version - the old harbour is a fraction of the size of Chania's (but none the worse for that) - the Venetian/Turkish old town behind is equally maze-like and enchanting. Rethymnon also has a sandy beach in town itself, below the palm-fringed promenade, although this gets busy and we prefer to walk the short distance beyond the harbour wall to the miles of sandy beach which lie beyond. The whole is dominated by a massive Venetian fortress above.

20 minutes drive beyond Rethymnon, the atmospheric village of Panormos has everything we look for – oodles of laid back charm, two good sandy beaches, a photogenic harbour (with church above and tavernas to each side) and, above all, a true Greek village atmosphere. Yet, remarkably for such a pretty place, foreign tourism here is still low-key and there is only one hotel.

Panormos has everything close to hand, including some ten tavernas and a good selection of local shops in the narrow streets leading down to the harbour and beach. A fun trip is the ‘road-train’ which runs to villages in the hills. For bright lights Rethymnon can be easily reached by the frequent local bus.

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.

Discover on Foot provide a comprehensive selection of maps and walking guides for north west Crete - especially good for the Apokoronas region (Kalives and Almirida).

 

Sunflower Books Website

Talk to one of our experts

020 8568 4499

We're open today till 5:30 PM

Get in touch

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.

Shirnett Ballantyne
Shirnett Ballantyne
Note: Map is for guidance purposes only.

Talk to our Crete expert

Shirnett Ballantyne
Shirnett Ballantyne

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

Make an Enquiry

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.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Spain, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774
  • Marketing: 020 8758 4731

Required Information

* Mandatory Information
Title *
First name *
Surname *
Telephone number *
Alternative telephone number
Email address *
Confirm email address
Preferred method of communication *
If you would like to be called during a specific period, please specify

Destination Details

Chania, Crete

North West Crete

Preferred departure date *
Duration *
Preferred UK departure airport *
Party size *

Back

  • Adults(12+ yrs)
  • Children(2 to 11 yrs)
  • Infants(Under 2 yrs)
Budget range
Other comments:

Email newsletters

 

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
  • Marketing: 020 8758 4731

Required Information

* Mandatory Information
Title *
First name *
Surname *
Telephone number *
Alternative telephone number
Email address *
Confirm email address
Preferred method of communication *
If you would like to be called during a specific period, please specify
Booking reference number *
Alternatively, please enter your query in the box below:

Email newsletters

 

Thank you for your enquiry

Thank you for your enquiry. A member of our specialist reservation teams will be in touch shortly.

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

Your details have been saved

Feel free to continue to browse the site and add to your enquiry. Don't forget to send the enquiry before you leave!

My Suitcase

We understand that so much choice can be overwhelming which is why we have developed 'My Suitcase'. This facility allows you to save and compare your favourite holidays, and even allows you to return to your selection at a later stage.

Why not use 'My Suitcase' to compile a wish list of your future Sunvil holidays?

 

Sign in


New to Sunvil?

Create Account

 

Already have an account?

Password reset

Back

Close

Close