The perfect place for...
A seaside village about 5 km drive west on the edge of Souda Bay. It has several beaches and a good selection of tavernas, shops and supermarkets.
A popular small resort village directly south from Villa Eleni on a narrow road, a 20 minute walk or three km drive. Smaller than Kalives, but with water sports available. The beach slopes gently, and is sheltered from the east and west. Tavernas line the seashore.
A 7 km drive to the east through typical Cretan villages on the rural route, or alternatively via straighter route on the National Road. The beach is a 9 km stretch of soft sand, often crowded at the western end but worth a walk to the east. There is a smaller beach on the opposite, western side of the river.
...Walking, hiking, rambling
Spring and Autumn are ideal seasons for hiking. the wild flowers are exceptional, and the nearby mountains are often snow-covered well into June. The best known hike in Crete is perhaps the Samaria Gorge, a downhill trek of 16 km from Omalos village to the coast. Organised trips are recommended.
Crete is so rich in archaeological sites that it would be impossible to cover then all in two weeks. Some of the closest are listed here.
The ancient site of Aptera is a short distance away. Excavations are still very much in progress, and there is much of interest, including a recently excavated amphitheatre.
Major archaeological site within a day’s drive are Malia, Phaestos, Eleftherna, and, of course, Knossos. Ancient Polyrinia, a C6 BC Dorian city, is at the western end of the National Road 40km west of Chania and a 7km drive into the hills to the north of Kastelli Kissamos, an interesting drive through olive groves and beautiful scenery.
There are many museums, the richest in terms of finds being at Heraklion, but the local museum at Chania, and the small but perfectly formed museum at Kissamos, which has well preserved Roman mosaics, are worth a visit. There is even one in the next village, Gavalohori.
...Birdwatching in a Twitcher’s paradise
Crete is rich in bird life, and many species can be seen in the woodland close to the villa. Venturing into the foothills of the mountains may reward you with a sighting of the rare Eleanora’s falcon or one of the many other raptors that abound in the area. Birds spotted or heard at the villa in April.... Scops Owl, wren, Cetti’s warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Sub-alpine Warbler, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Swallow, Housemartin, Swift, Alpine Swift, Sparrow, Blackbird, Nightingale, Cuckoo, Buzzard, Booted Eagle, Hooded Crow, Stonechat, Spotted Flycatcher, Purple Sandpiper and Whinchat (nearby), Bee-Eater, Turtle Dove and, last but definitely not least, Nicos, next door’s Mynah bird.
Aghia Lake has two good restaurants with views of the lake.
Greek village houses are frequently covered with riotous Mediterranean plants. White walls festooned with pink bougainvillaea, orange trumpet vine transform the simplest house. Chania is the home of a botanical park close to Chania which is a perfect day visit for gardeners and families alike. It has a very good restaurant.
Water sports are available close by at Almerida, and there is a water park near Chania that is the Cretan take on Disney World. Obviously much smaller in scale, great fun nonetheless.
...Honeymoons, Weddings, Wedding Anniversaries, Birthdays.....and any other excuse
......................... or simply lazing by the pool
a Kalives beach
Chania Harbour November dawn