West Crete is famous for its green landscapes and peninsulas with a roughly hewn coastline like the Gramvousa, Rodhoupou and Akrotiri. In springtime the green inland and tablelands like Askifou and Omalos plateau become to a colourful floral carpets, while the white mountains are covered with snow. A perfect idyll and easily accessible. Lively towns where beauty meets history like Chania and Rethymnon, wonderful heritage.
Explore the stunning nature reserves like the lagoon Balos, Elafonissi and Falassarna. Walk in the shadow of the gorges Agia Irini Gorge and pass through Crete´s largest National Park Samaria Gorge. You´ll see you get lost in the majestic mountains of the Askfifou-Tableland and its nature reserves in the biggest hiking area of Crete.What is the best time to visit Crete? West Crete for all seasons
In the springtime you'll be delightful from the bright green flower-quilt laying across the hills and the snow-covered peaks. The
bathing season of Crete starts from 15. of May even the mountains are covered with snow. The average temperature is 23 degree. Crete´s nature at its best.
In summertime you´ll will find your bliss in one of the awarded beaches of western Crete. You´ll get wet in the clear indigo water and its nature reserves Lagoon Balos, Lagoon Elafonissi or Falassarna. The average temperature is about 29 degree.
In autumn you must take some time out in one of our 2 cultural cities in West Crete. Chania and Rethymnon have really got all the elements for a memorable visit. As Crete is one of the southernmost island of Europe autumn time is the most popular period for travelling to Crete. The difference to the other islands is the milder temperatures at night and the pleasant water temperatures till the end of October. Average temperature September 27, October 23, November 21. The natural splendor of the inland slowly awakes in winter. From November it will be green again and from February the first orchids blooming. There is much endemic wildlife on Crete, over 2000 endemic species of orchids, for Hobby botanist a paradise to see.
The cheapest time for travelling around Crete is the wintertime. You are invited for harvesting. The inland in western Crete boasts many natural splendours. Are you a traveller who loves to wander off the beaten track and chatting with the locals? Western Crete is known for its olive oil of excellent quality. Enjoy your break in a traditional retreat and make your first experience with the traditional olive pricking.
Best Beaches of West Crete, the most popular beaches
Sandy Beach with dunes, nature reserve, excursion by boat, at western tip of the Gramvousa peninsula.
The Lagoon Elafonissi
Sandy beach with dunes, nature reserve, by car, by excursion in Southwest of Chania
Sandy Beach and nature reserve, 17 km westwards from the coastal town Kastelli - Kissamos
Sandy Beach, 19 km eastwards of Chania Town.
Sandy beach, 25 km westwards of Chania town,
Glaros Beach/Kato Daratso
Sandy Beach 5 km westwards of Chania town.
Sandy Beach, 6 km westwards of Chania town.
Sandy Beach 4,5 km westwards of Chania town.
sandy beach awarded with the blue flag, azure water, sheltered from the wind, perfect place for children.The beach is well organized with taverns offering best traditional Crete food, parasols, sunbeds and showers available. The beach includes infrastructure for disabled persons.
Sandy Beach 4 km westwards of Chaia town.
When you have booked your hotel in Chania town, the nearest beaches are:
Nea Chora Beach
Sandy Beach 1,7 km westwards of Chania Centre.
Koum Kapi Beach
Sandy City-Beach 1 km eastwards of Chania Centre in direction to the district Halepa.
For spectacular views of Crete ’s most iconic landscapes, get away from the crowded beaches and head to the small pebble bays like Ravdoucha, Afrata, Menies ( only by boat, or wiht a Jeep), Nopigia or Drapanias, Choni Beach and Skotini Beach
An ideal spot for a picnic is the Grotto of the Saint John the Baptist, place of pilgrimage, above the village Marathokefala. Tables and seating options infront of the small Grotto Church available. You´ll enjoy the spectacular views to the bay of Kolimbari.
The Gorge of Deliana( Gorge of the bearded vultures) is a small Gorge the walk takes about 1 1/2 hours, safe and practicable for walking with children.
Things to do, activities in Western Crete
Enjoy Crete with bird's-eye view, feel the strong emotions of freedom over the spectacular beaches or white mountains.
in West Crete work during the whole year.
Climbing in West Crete the Crete Mountaineering Association was founded 28. September 1930. Hospitable shelters in Chania, climbed as nests of birds on the mountain tops, wait for climbers and tourists.
Planning on cycling in West Crete? There is not a lot of traffic on the asphalted rural agricultural roads but you must be careful some country lanes have deep potholes.
Please watch out for wildlife and livestock! These roads through the olive groves, vineyards and orange groves will lead you to the heights of the gentle hills with spectacular views.
West Crete is a green fertile countryside. Cycling through this landscape is a memorable experience.
Sailing in West Crete
enjoy relaxing sailing with weak to moderate winds, enjoying the aquamarine waters of the West Crete and admire its enchanting natural places. Explore beautiful, cecluded beaches with
crystal clear water and live an unforgettable sailing experience on a private boat trip with skippered sailing yacht.
Diving – Scuba diving
Whether you’re just a newbie looking to get started or a veteran searching for new places to explore,the unique submarine environment of western Crete offers memorable diving experiences.
Exploring the amazing wrecks in the crystal clear waters and the different cavern dive-sites like the caves cathedral, seal cave, the spotlights caverns.
is a popular recreational activity, particularly in West Crete as the waters are warm and clear making this activity really enjoyable for the entire family. A variety of dive centres offer guides boat Snorkeling Tours.
Things to see in Crete. Cultural Highlight in Western Crete:
The Monastery Arkadi
is the best-known monastery on Crete due to the Holocaust of 1866. The Monastery Arkadi was designated by UNESCO as a European Freedom Monument due to its history.
The Monastery Agia Triada situated at Akrotiri peninsula
The Holy Trinity (Agia Triada) Monastery is probably the most impressive monastic complex of the final period of
Venetian rule on Crete, due to both its scale and architectural form.
The small museum displays relatively few heirlooms rescued from the continued historical adventures of the monastery, mainly icons, holy utensils, and official documents.
There is a small Monastery-Shop where Monks offering their organic olive oil and wine. The olive oil of the Monastery Agia Triada has won many awards.
Moni Gonias Monastery in the Village Kolimbari
The Monastery was built 1618, it looks like a fort and has a three apse Catholicon church and two chapels.The museum of the monastery one can admires the wealth of its icons and manuscripts.
The Ancient Aptera
located in the Souda Bay, 13 km eastwards from Chania in the village Megala Chorafia. Aptera was inhabited since Minoan in the 14th- 13th century BC. Aptera became a significant city around the 8th century BC. Aptera was destroyed in the great earthquake of 365 AD and only sparsely inhabited afterwards but a monastery dedicated to St. John the Theologian remained amidst the ruins. The visitor can see roman cisterns, ruins of roman public bath houses and a newly excavated theatre. The most impressive of the preserved ancient buildings are the groups of Roman reservoirs that served the needs of the city and supplied the facilities of the public and private baths.
The Church of Archagel Michael
is an early Christian church dating from the second half of the 6th century, situated outside Kato Episkopi, 7 km southwards of the Coastal village Kolimbari. This Church is one of the most important and oldest monuments of Crete from the early Christian period.
Culinary delicacies, Cretan taste
Don´t miss to taste this:
The Sfakiani Pita. This is a delicious thin sheet of pastry is filled with fresh sheep cheese and drizzled with honey. Traditional cheese-making still plays an important role in Western Crete. Cheese is even served drizzled with honey as a dessert. Well-known cheeses are Graviera, the cream cheese Ksinomizithra, Pichtogalo Anthotiro, Kefalotiri. Spread Cheese: Malaka, Staka and Tirozouli. You should also try the traditional smoked meat such as apaki and siglina pieces or the filled Kalitsounia dumplings. Your main course should be accompanied by tasty traditional season's "Chorta". These are steamed vegetables, mostly stamangathi, ruccola, wlita and purslane. Dressed with fresh lemon, olive oil and a little salt.
In the wintertime you´ll see men and woman pick these wild vegetables in the fields and in the mountains.
The best take-home-gifts for family and friends from Crete
The best take-home-gifts is the Crete mountain - tea Malorira and Dictamus. You should taste them with wild thyme honey from the white mountains.
This is the real taste of Crete!
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