Information about the Municipality of Platanias
Platanias village is located in the coastline of western Crete, 11 km from Chania town. It belongs to Municipality of Platanias which is regionally largest municipality area in western Crete extending from the beach until the peaks of Lefka Ori, the White Mountains.
The name for the village comes from the huge plane trees which the village was full of years ago. The plane tree grows in the places where is water, which is valuable also for the farmers. So, even before the tourism came to Platanias, the village was considered as a rich village due to the water sources.
Follow the Drakiana signs from Mylos tavern and after 3 km you will end up in a beautiful place called Drakiana. On the way you will see plenty of orange and other citrus trees as well as avocado and nut trees. Especially spring is colorful in Drakiana when the citrus trees are blooming and many of them are still carrying their fruits at the same time! Next to the Drakiana tavern besides the tiny Keritis river you will find a small picnic area with huge plane trees.
The village is surrounded by the olive groves with charming walking paths running up and around the small hills. Unfortunately there is not available an exact map of the area but that makes it even more adventurous… Just remember to take a bottle of water with you!
The lake is located in the village of Agia, 9 km west of Chania. The lake is actually an artificial lake based in an old swamp and receives water from the underground springs and the river Xekolomeno. The lake used to have a water pump which was used for watering the farms near by. The factory is no longer working, but the visitors can still see the old facilities.
Today the Agia lake hosts a large variety of species of the flora and fauna of Crete. It is considered as a very significant refuge and nesting place for many migratory birds. The ecological importance of this wetland is reflected through the international treaties that protect it.
Walk around the lake or have a drink or snacks in one of the cafeterias by the lake and enjoy the peaceful nature.
To get to the park you must pass through the village of Fournes and continue up the mountain, there are many signs showing you the right way along the road. Just at the feet of the White Mountains you will find with nearly 20 hectares of land a park that is filled with fruit trees from all over the world, herbs, medicinal and ornamental plants. A park that really stands out and shows you the beauty of Crete and how fruitful the land is. The botanical gardens formation and the areas microclimate makes it a paradise for hundreds of plants and animals! In this paradise you will also see a burnt 100 year old olive tree, a memorial from the fires in 2003, it tells the history and the origin of the park. It was founded by four brothers who had a dream and wanted to share with us what they believe is heaven on earth.
The best time to come during the hot summer months is early in the morning, staying clear of the midday heat and ending your visit with lunch at the restaurant. All the products are local and organic, and the view is fantastic!
Don't forget to take your camera with you, there are many pretty pictures to be taken.
Is one of the most popular beaches on the west side of Chania. The beach is approximately 2 km long starting from the border of Agia Marina and reaching out to the Keritis river. The beach is sandy/stony and not so shallow. Platanias beach is a public beach meaning that you are free to choose the best spot for you! You will find several small beach tavernas and bars along the beach which also rent out sunbeds and umbrellas. During the summer months you can find different water sport activities as well. If you prefer a more quiet atmosphere, choose the west part closer to the Keritis river.
On the west side of Platanias is the beach of Gerani which offers a peaceful spot for people who wish to have more privacy. The beach consists of sand and partly small stones. Smaller hotels have a few sunbeds and umbrellas for rent but you have plenty of places to set up your own too.
How about an evening walk by the Maleme beach? Follow the paved sidewalk from the end of Gerani beach and enjoy the sunset on one of the benches by the sea. During the daytime the beach of Maleme is still calm even though it offers beach services as sunbeds and umbrellas for rent. The beach walk offers restaurants, bars and fish taverns.
Looking for more authentic atmosphere? Why not to try the pebble beach in Tavronitis? Under the Tamarisk trees you will find a nice shadow during the hot summer days and you will reach very local and relaxed feeling. Tavronitis is only a few kilometers after Maleme and before Kolymbari.
When the North wind is blowing strong, the small Afrata beach could be a good option for swim. Actually just the road from Kolimbari to the village of Afrata is an exciting experience! For snorkeling this tiny pebble bay is also offering more action underwater comparing the sandy shores. A restaurant by the beach serves simple meals and refreshments and has a few sunbeds with umbrellas.
The small village Ravdoucha is just by the peninsula Rodopos. It's famous for how peaceful and quiet it is. The beach of Ravdocha is stoney and without any umbrellas or sunbeds here you must find your shade with a little help from mother nature. The road down from the village to the beach is really something, just a bit narrow at some points. Just take it easy and enjoy the view. At the beach you can do some really good snorkeling and for lunch there are fish taverns that you must try.
Vatolakkos is a lowland village of the hinterland, only 15 km away from Chania. It is one of the richest and most productive villages of the prefecture of Chania, located in an area that is full of orange trees. The main occupation of the permanent population is certainly agriculture and farming.
During the German occupation, the Nazis besieged Vatolakkos as well. They arrested villagers who resisted, and executed them along with other locals from the surrounding villages, on the 1st of August, on 1941, at the bridge of the River Keritis, situated at the village of Alikianos.
Manousakis Winery is in Vatolakkos and if you are interested for a wine tasting, we can help you!
The village of Meskla is at the root of the White Mountains on a altitude of 200m next to the river Keritis. There is a small hidden gorge, Sarkina that not even locals are so aware of. It can be a little bit tricky to find it being hidden big trees. The gorge is only one hour of easy walking. You will end up where you begun sense it's in a circle. Don't miss the stunning views this village has to offer.
Between the villages of Meskla and Therisso, you will find up in the mountains the small village of Zourva. Just a few houses and of course a restaurant at the top with stunning view. Marias Taverna serves you traditional plates from her own hands. Try out the lamb shops, staka, lamb in oven and greens (chorta) from the mountains.
The traditional village of Lakki you will find on your way to Omalos. The stone houses are all on the steep slopes surrounded by the olive groves. Here it's not unusual that the they have snow during the winter. The cafes and the local tavernas of the village are built so the visitors can sit to taste the local cuisine and relax watching the landscape, at the same time.
The village name comes from been on a plateau, Omalos meaning even, plain, referring to the flat surface. The village is surrounded by the White Mountains with peak altitude of 2453m, Omalos is at 1250m. Here you will find the entrance of the famous and stunning Samaria Gorge, 18 km long. During winter time Omalos is often covered by snow and sometimes the roads are closed due to heavy snowfalls. You must try in one of the local taverns lamb meat and their own produced cheese together with traditional mountain “chorta” greens from the mountain hills.
Vouves is a fertile village at Kolimbari, part of Platanias, located 26 km west of Chania. The village is widely known for the wine it produces, which is abundant and of excellent quality and taste, because in the past, the entire area was an immense vineyard. Nowadays, the biggest amount of the vines has been replaced by olive trees.
In August, the Wine Festival is organized. It is a thematic event, dedicated to the long tradition of viticulture in the village and it is famous for the excellent quality of the locally produced wine that is offered free to thousands of visitors, who honor the village of Vouves every year with their presence.
Voukolies is quite a big village with many inhabitants. The village holds a lot of history and is good at keeping traditions alive. Voukolies is especially famous for the Holy Friday market. So if you are here during easter make a visit to the village. The market has become a place of reunion for relatives and friends from the surrounding villages and today it represents a special festival for Crete. Back in the day it was an excellent opportunity for women to meet their future husbands.
If you are going to Voukolies have a seat in the traditional "Kafeneion" that Mrs Katerina owns. Try one of her sweets and a cup of greek coffee.
The village of Therissos is 16 kilometers from the city of Chania, built at an altitude of 580 meters, on the foothills of the White Mountains. Therissos has nowadays only 100 permanent residents but it definitely worth a visit because the natural environment of the region is simply breathtaking.
Driving up the road from Chania to Therissos is an unforgettable experience, as the road passes through the lush and unique beauty of the gorge that is 6 km long. Near the entrance of the Gorge, at the location “Three Churches”, you can see the old stone made bridge, called “Kamara”.
This village is famous for its rich nature due to all the small river surrounding it. It's also famous for the riding center that has been operating in the last 20 years. They have different tours for all ages and levels. See the beautiful village from the back of a horse.
Spot them in Kolymbari harbour
The village is along the coastline here you will find traditional fish taverns and a few coffee shops. The village is very quiet and peaceful. However there are some big 5 star hotel complexes that will impress if you visit.
Kolymbari has a small and picturesque fishing harbour with traditional fishing boats. Have lunch or dinner at one of the taverns to eat delicious seafood freshly caught . At the top of the hill just after the harbour visit the monastery “Moni Gonias” and learn more about the life there.
What you shouldn't miss is the local market that comes to the village of Kolymbari every friday. It starts at 8.00 until 14.00 here you will find just about anything but most of all fresh vegetables, fruit, cheese and fish from small local farmers and fishermen. We highly recommend you to attend and it's much easier to get here then when it's held in Chania city.
The “Laiki” is also something that is worth a visit. It is a market that movies around, on fridays it comes to the village of Kolymbari. It's very easy to go there by bus and you don't have to deal with the busy streets and traffic that Chania city has. At the Laiki you will find the very best fruits and vegetables straight from small farmers yard. Beautiful flower, fresh fish, mountain greens and other local products. The market also has shoes, clothes and bags among with lots of other things. The atmosphere is wonderful pay a visit to this local experience.Opening hours are 8.00-14.00.
International scientific research have demonstrated that olive oil is the secret to the long and healthy life of old Cretans. Also mainly fried food exclusively prepared with olive oil is not only healthier but just simply tastier!
In Crete olive trees have co-existed with the island's inhabitants for thousands of years making important history together and a unique culture. Abundant archaeological evidence bears testimony to the significant occupation of the inhabitants of Crete with Olive Trees and olive oil ever since prehistoric times.
Today, olive trees, a population of about 40 million, extend their ash-green figures to cover one fourth of Crete's total surface, forming the island's natural forest. They offer Crete their valuable olive oil that has nourished, healed and been the drive of survival for Cretan people for thousands of years.
In the past few years, Crete produces an average of 100 000 tons of extra virgin olive oil, which is significant source of income and an essential part of the diet of the inhabitants of the island. Currently, Cretans consume about 25 kg of olive oil per person a year, being at the top of the world in per capita olive oil consumption!
The oldest olive tree can be found in the beautiful and picturesque village of Vouves. It's probably one of the oldest olive trees in the world and it still amazingly enough produces olives! The tree is estimated to be at least 3000 years old but believed to be as much as 5000 years old. The tree is 12m meters in perimeter and a real beauty. Pay a visit to the museum that is right next to the tree, the entrance is free.
The picturesque Chania is the former capital of the island and nowadays the second largest city in Crete. The old town and the Venetian Harbour are giving to Chania a very unique Venetian character. The visitors of Chania are attracted by the beauty of the scenic narrow streets, the imposing lighthouse at the entrance of the small harbor and all the amazing monuments which create all together the magic of Chania.
The Chania downtown is divided to the new and old part and the actual city center is quite small. Modern shops and most of the services (like banks, bus stations and offices) are found from the newer part where most of the shops are following the traditional Greek opening hours (open Mon-Sat 9-14 and Tue, Thu and Fri 17-21). Most of the restaurants and cafeterias are located in the older part where the shops have usually longer opening hours as well.
Chania is vivid all year around but especially during the summer months you will find nice small events and happenings as well as live music in some restaurants. Sit down in one of the cafeterias in the harbour, visit the street market “laiki” to feel the local atmosphere or enjoy the warm summer night in the open air cinema…