Kolymbari (also spelled Kolymvari and Kolimbari) is a large village on the foot of the beautiful Rodopou Peninsula 22 km west of Chania, on Crete.
This Cretan village, surrounded by olive groves and the sea, has slowly entered the course of tourism development but remains a quiet and picturesque traditional village.
It has a large pebble-stone beach 400 meters long, with facilities for swimming, sunbathing and sea sports. The beach extends eastwards up to the Tavronitis area, and the sea with its crystal clear waters has been awarded the Blue Flag status. The flora of the area is dominated by Tamarisk trees and the rare Sea Lily, a protected species grows here. The Sea Turtle (Caretta Caretta) breeds in the area where its nesting sites are protected (please respect its breeding sites and take notice of the signs).
The village has few shops, very good tavernas, and a few cafes.
Kolymbari also has a small harbor where the waterfront and jetty are ideal for an afternoon stroll overlooking the blue sea on one side, and on the other side the hills and the mountains of Rodopou peninsula.
To the north of Kolymbari’s harbor, two buildings spark interest; the historic monastery of Genie, a beacon of Orthodoxy, and the Orthodox Academy of Crete, an important religious and spiritual foundation of the Archdiocese of Crete.
Kolymbari is 12 km from the large resort of Platanias and Agia Marina with public bus service running regularly between Kolymbari and Chania. MAP
The area is a trekker’s paradise, with many well-defined trails. Among other, hikers will enjoy the winding track 600 feet up to the village of Afrata – with views to reward.
Afrata (approx. 7km from Kolymbari) is a tiny, authentic hillside village with a handful of good tavernas. At the foot of the hill is a small, secluded stone beach, a beautiful playground for fishing and snorkeling! Diving clubs come all the way from Chania town just to dive here. There is a small beach-café with good, modest Greek food, perfect for a lunch by the sea within a well protected bay. The wild beauty of the surrounding nature, combined with the picturesque village, makes Afrata an ideal choice for nice walks and nearby excursion to Kolymbari where hospitality (filoxenia) is still practiced as before. MAP
Another lovely village worth visiting in the area is Ravdoucha, one of the most beautiful and traditional places of the Rodopou Peninsula.Τhis small village of just 133 inhabitants is located on a hill with an incredible view overlooking the gulf of Kissamos-Kastelli, and is also very close to the sea. There are no shops in the village just a few kafenions where you can enjoy a Greek coffee, some raki, local wine or a beer.
The beach of the village ( not well known to tourists) is a fond retreat of the Chania locals, especially to discerning foodies. There are two tavernas hidden in the olive groves and and rocky landscape just meters away from the still virgin beach (no umbrellas or sun-beds) serving delicious Cretan food. My favorite place to eat is the “Waves on the Rock” taverna, owned by ever-smiling, lovely and cheerful Rodo, and her welcoming husband, Theodoris. Steps away from this delightful place, your children (and you) can swim in the always-protected, gorgeous natural sea-water pool with its small channel to the open waters. MAP
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