The Apokoronas Area

The district of Apokoronas in the north-eastern corner of the Chania region lies at the foot of the White Mountains and is one of the greenest areas of Crete. It contains some interesting sights, such as Lake Kournas, the island's only freshwater lake, picturesque villages and small beach resorts, archaeological sites, monuments and wonderful countryside.

From January 1st, 2011 Apokoronas forms a new administration unity under the Kallikratis law.


Village of Plaka 

Plaka is one of the most traditional villages in Crete. It administratively belongs to Apokoronas Municipality and it is located 23 km away from the city of Hania. Plaka is built on a 70-meter altitude, over the coastal village of Almyrida and has a very healthy climate.

Its permanent inhabitants are hardly more than 300 but during the summer population increases rapidly. People in Plaka mainly work on their farms (olive trees, vineyards, and vegetables). They produce fine olive oil, wine and the traditional drink of Crete called "tsikoudia". A great part of the population is also involved tourism, as the area has gradually become a mild tourist resort. Some others make their living by fishing or stockbreeding.

Plaka has many traditional buildings and for the past few years many Europeans buy and restore old houses or even purchase land in order to build their permanent residents or holiday houses.

From the West, the village has a fantastic view of Souda Bay (the largest natural bay in the Mediterranean), while from the South there is a view of the White Mountains (Lefka Ori) which are covered with snow throughout the winter. Northwards the village faces Akrotiri (where the international Hania airport is situated and from the North East it meets with the mountainous area Drapanokefala.


Plaka has the most beautiful sunsets, famous water caves where one can take a picnic and swim on the rocky costline. Around the village there are interesting walking routes - (ranging from 3 to 10 kilometers) for the visitor to explore and exercise.

Plaka is an ideal place for holidays as it combines a peaceful stay and a good climate, friendly people, easy access to other locations and sights as the Fortress of Aptera, Kournas Lake, Samaria Gorge, Venizelos' Graves, the Venetian Hania Harbor, the Folklore Museum of Gavalohori, the "BLOWING GLASS" workshop in Kokkino Horio, the permanent glass painting exhibition by Ant. Santorinakis and many more…

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Villages near to Almyrida
Aspro
Aspro is an ancient village which had a turkish name until just 30 years ago and there are many homes and stone details in Aspro which identify its Turkish past.
It is a small peaceful village with countryside of outstanding natural beauty. Its narrow winding roads and beautiful restorations make it a unique village in this area.
Aspro is situated high on a hillside between Almirida and the historic village of Gavalohori and is a 5 minute drive to Almirida’s golden sandy beach.
Drapanos
Drapanos is a sleepy, peaceful hamlet set in the hills and is an 8 minute drive from Almirida’s popular blue flag beach. It has stunning views of the White Mountains and sea views from the North side of the village. Facilities in the village consist of a supermarket, a taverna and a kafenion.
The neighboring village of Palleloni is home to two fresh seafood tavernas that are reached by following narrow, winding roads all the way down to the shore, offering views as far as Rethymno.
Gavalohori
Gavalohori is a Byzantine village founded in 913 A.D. It was named after the royal family of Gavalades, who acquired it when Crete was divided between the 12 Byzantine princes in 1182. It is a traditional village with lovely stonebuilt houses, many of the buildings are protected by the equivalent of The National Trust. For this reason anything built here must be of a traditional design and follow strict architectural guidelines in keeping with the rest of the village.
On the edge of the village, one can see several of the renowned wells built during the time of Gavalades on a landscape of rare beauty. Gavalohori is also home to a Folklore Museum and a Women’s Cooperative which supports the traditional arts of knitting, embroidery and lace making.
With its beautifully restored stone homes and its sleepy atmosphere, the village can be deceiving, because it is in fact full of activity and is an ideal location for those seeking to live in a vibrant traditional Greek village. There are restaurants, cafes, supermarkets, a bakery and most every facility needed for year-round living.
Kokkino Horio
Kokkino Horio is considered one of the most scenic areas in the region with fantastic views of the snow covered mountains in the winter and unobstructed sea views all the way down Souda Bay. Out over the Bay on a clear night the sunsets are incredibly beautiful, a must for the romantic hearted. At the end of the village along the coast, there is a small cove with a secluded beach which lies next to a cave.
This area was used as the setting for parts of the film “Zorba the Greek” and was also a stronghold of the Germans during World War II. Kokkino Chorio’s elevated position at the entrance to Souda Bay made it an ideal watch tower and observation point.
It is located just minutes from the villages of Plaka, Almirida, Gavalohori and Kalives while the Venetian town of Hania is just a 30 minute drive.
Vamos
Vamos is the former administrative area of the Apokoronas district and is a large, traditional village with many restored homes. The village offers a wide variety of services such as a district court, post office, bank, OTE-the Greek phone company, police station, pharmacy and a 24-hour health centre. It also has several tavernas and cafes and the area is known for its hospitable and friendly people.
According to unverified historical sources, Vamos may have first been inhabited by Saracen pirates in the 8th century A.D. A traditional stone road still runs through the village and a walk down it is of great interest. Today, because of its year round activities it has become a village known for its rich heritage.
Vamos is an ideal starting point for hikes to the surrounding hills where one can enjoy their rich flora and fauna and the village hosts the only pine woods in the area.
Kambia
Kambia is in a small village just 2km from Plaka. It has beautiful sea views across Souda Bay as well as stunning views of the mountains and the surrounding countryside. Set in a peaceful area with little development, Kambia is an ideal spot for a private home in a picturesque setting.
The villages of Plaka, Kokkino Horio, Gavalohori and Almirida with its sandy beach are all just minutes away.
Xirosterni
Xirosterni is situalted midway between Vamos and Kefalas and is a traditional village with beautifully restored homes and a peaceful atmosphere. The approach to Xirosterni is through pine woods and the village itself is high on a hillside with sweeping views down towards Souda Bay.
It is an ideal location for a private home for those seeking to live in a tranquil place yet close to local amenities. The historic village of Gavalohori is just a few minutes drive.

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