Route Length: 56 km.
Platanias, Kantanos-Selino (Chania)
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The picturesque coastal settlement of Kolimbari (1) is located at the western end of the bayof Chania; at a short distance south of it, there is the Monastery of Panagia Hodegetria Gonia.
This is one of the largest and best preserved monasteries of Crete. It is fortress-like and treasures numerous icons and manuscripts.
After the village of Tavronitis, which is situated a little further to the east from Kolimbàri, we follow the road in a southerly direction, parallel to the Tavronitis river course. We pass through a green agricultural landscape and after the village of Voukolies (2) we go uphill until we reach the little settlement of Kakopetro.
From this point forward, the incline becomes steeper and the road climbs up the verdant mountain side, exactly above the small yet impressive gorge of Mesavlia. From here on we enter the area of Kandanos, and after a few kilometres we reach the historical Kandanos village (3).
Built on a plateau with age-old olive trees, Kandanos flourished during the Byzantine years, a fact indicated by the numerous Byzantine churches which are to be found in the area. The village, however, was destroyed during World War II by the Germans, in retaliation for the armed resistance activity of the residents.
We continue southwards, along the valley which leads to Paleochora (4), one of the most beautiful coastal towns of the island.
Ancient Kalamydi was probably situated where the Venetian castle can be seen today; its ruins dominate the scenery of the rocky hill south of the town.
Paleochora is an ideal base to explore the surrounding area, from Elafonissi to the Samaria gorge, where numerous historical and natural monuments are to be seen.
It can serve as a starting point for excursions by car or by motorcycle, as well as for hiking on the E4 and for trips with the small boats that link Paleóchora Sougia, την Agis Roumeli, το Loutro, τη Chora Sfakion, το Elafonisi and the island of Gavdos.
However, in the immediate Paleochora area there are also several places of outstanding natural and ecological interest. You can explore unique ecosystems such as the coastal area of Koundoura which is known for its cedars and the fantastic colours of sea waters. Equally beautiful is the fine pebble beach of Krios which is located west of Paleochora ; its waters are crystal-clear, and it is partially organized.
If we follow the road that passes by a camping, east of the town, we reach two other secluded beaches: Anidrous beach, which has coarse sand and turquoise waters, and Gialiskari right next to it, where a thin spit of land reaching into the sea creates two beautiful beaches.
We can also go to Gialiskari (also known as Gianiskari or Dialiskari) by way of the gorge of Anidri beginning a few kilometres further, next to the village of Anidri. The walk down the gorge is quite pleasant and takes less than one hour; it goes through amild Cretan landscape typical of the region, which is characterized by the presence of gentle mountain slopes, olive groves and orchards.
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- History, Culture
- What to do (Activities)
- What to see (Culture, Nature)