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INCREDIBLE FLAVORS CRETE CRETE INCREDIBLE HISTORY ARMENOI A FLIGHT ABOVE VILLAGE CHANIA NEORIA CHANIA VENETIAN HARBOUR BEACH DAYDREAMING CHANIA WHITE MOUNTAINS THE DEEPEST CAVE

Armenoi

Armenoi, a typical Cretan village just 25 kilometers away from Chania. The village was named after its first inhabitants who were Armenians, serving in the army of Nikiforos Fokas, who liberated Crete from the Arabs around 920 AD.

By studying the mosaic floors that were discovered around the temple of Virgin Mary as well as other remains of the same period near the church of St. John Theologos, it seems that the area was inhabited since the Paleochristian period. The big St Nikolaos church was built in the beginning of 20th century and it is the main church of Armenoi.

The village lies on good agricultural land with groves of avocado, orange and olives around, green landscapes and tall trees, surrounded by rich water springs. Armenoi is known for its gastronomic delights. Drosostalia and Tzitzikas restaurants offer delicious dishes in extremely generous portions.

The Armeni belong to Apokoronas, a municipality in the eastern part of the prefecture of Chania. It consists of mountain and lowland villages, many of which stand out for the preservation of buildings and monuments from the Venetian period. The largest are Vamos, Armeni and Vryses, while Kalyves, Georgioupolis and Almyrida are the largest beach resorts. In recent years, the region has experienced great growth thanks to the subsidization of agritourism programs by the Greek state and the building of a large number of tourist accommodations. Apokoronas has turned into a tourist attraction from Northern Europe as many people buy houses and then settle permanently in Crete.

Nearby Activities

Armenoi is located just 2km inland from the picturesque sandy beaches of Kalyves at the mouth of Souda Bay. For those seeking a unique experience, traditional boat cruises are available, allowing you to explore the coastline and several stunning beaches.

Koiliaris river ends at a beach close to Kalyves and is one of the few rivers of Crete that continue to flow during summer. The springs of the river originate from the White Mountains (Lefka Ori) which provide water of excellent quality. Along the river you meet orange groves, many different animals and migrating birds.  Furthermore there is a beautiful walk mostly alongside the river that covers a distance of 11 Kilometers. The walk starts and ends at Kalyves. It includes some of the most interesting attractions of the area as the Venetian watermill built on the river Mesopotamos since the 17th century, a venetian olive press and many ideal picnic spots.

Just a short distance away from Armenoi lies the captivating village of Vamos, known for its exceptionally preserved houses, churches, and monasteries dating back to the Venetian period.

If you’re a nature enthusiast, a visit to Kourna Lake is a must. Not only is it Crete’s largest natural lake, but it is also a protected area under Natura 2000. A diverse range of waterfowl that call this place home, includes moorhens, ducks, herons, and cormorants.

Gourgouthakas, one of the deepest caves in the entire world, is located in an area of the White Mountains, 25 kilometers away from Armenoi. Sitting at an altitude of 1500 meters Gourgouthakas is 1208 meters in depth and 900 meters in length. The area around Gourgouthakas Cave is extremely beautiful and worth exploring on its own. Only those who are the most qualified and experienced climbers should consider this expedition.

Crossroad of Cultures

The town of Chania is built on the site of the ancient Kydonia, one of the most important cities of Crete according to Homer. Despite the occupation of Chania over the centuries by the Arabs, the Venetians and the Ottomans, the inhabitants of Chania never lost the Greek-Orthodox identity. On the other hand the city has been a crossroads of cultures which is evident in the architecture of the buildings in the Old or Venetian Port.

The Venetian neighborhood of the Old Town in Chania is one of the most picturesque areas. Many of the venetian mansions have been recently transformed into stunning boutique hotels, retaining the original architecture. The lighthouse of the Venetian harbor, is considered the oldest existing in Greece, and one of the oldest in the world. The first phase of the construction of the port was during the Venetian period between 1320 and 1356.

In Chania’s Municipal Market you will find key ingredients used to prepare the delicious Cretan dishes. The Turkish district is the favorite place for locals when it comes to dining. A few boot artisans still remain at Stivanadika, the area used to be the home of the cretan boots shoemakers.

Unreal Landscape

A drive around the prefecture of Chania will also bring you to many interesting sights. Explore the Medieval Castles you will find on your way, trek the many paths along with forests and gorges, visit the small local museums that depict the local history and even try a chat with the locals at the traditional restaurants.

However, the wonderful shades of blue in the water and the sky combined with the bright sunlight highlight the unique beaches as a winner of impressions. The most spectacular beaches some of which are among the top in the Mediterranean, are Balos, Elafonissi, and Falassarna, while there are innumerable other around the coastline, from organized resorts to secluded coves.

Another unique characteristic of Crete is the gorges. The most famous is the Samaria Gorge which attracts thousands of people every year. The descent, with a length of 18 kilometers, takes around 4 to 7 hours, depending on the experience and stamina of the hikers. The narrowest point of Samaria is called “Doors”. It is 3 meters wide while the rocks reach a height of 600 meters! Imbros is another famous gorge at Sfakia, close to the southern coastline. There are many other gorges that are easy to walk like Aradena and Saint Irine. 

Enjoy Crete

Many say this island is a blessed place. During your stay at Villa Methexis you will too.