Kolymbari Crete

Kolymbari is a small fishing village in the west of Crete, 30km west of Chania and 15km east of Kissamos. There are some great tavernas here which are also pretty cheap. All of them serve delicious fish dishes. Most of the tourists in Kolymbari are there to see the monastery of Gonia. Despite the construction work going on, Kolymbari is pretty quiet. Perhaps the biggest problem Kolymbari has is that its beach leaves a lot to be desired.

Kolymbari Crete

The best taverna is Lefka, just off the main road and 300m out of town. The fish is delicately cooked and inexpensive – in 2008 a plate of sardine cost only €3.50. The friendly owner also rents nice, cheap rooms.

The seafront has a clean beach and fishing port; though the beach isn’t one of the best on the island, it was awarded a Blue Flag in 2007 (an award donating a clean beach), and the locals are extremely proud of that fact.

Kolymbari on Crete  Kolymbari Beach

Around Crete, Kolymbari is known for its fishing. A few years ago a big museum, The Fishing Museum of Crete opened here. Since 2007 A EU grant has been helping to the village to renovate the entire waterfront into a pedestrian zone. The inhabitants of Kolymbari hope that the current construction will pave the way for a successful future in the tourist industry.

Kolymbari Port  Fishing Museum of Kolymbari

Monastery of Gonia: The village’s main attraction, the monastery of Gonia is about 500m out of town. Gonia is well worth a visit (€1.50 in 2007). Don’t forget to dress appropriately – no shorts or miniskirts. Behind the monastery is an Orthodox Academy (see image to the right), where many important meetings take place. Gonia has also been the backdrop to many important events.

The Monastery Gonia on Crete  The Orthodox Academy of Gonia

Buses to Kolymbari: Kolymbari has excellent bus connections with Hania (at least two an hour in season 2023), stopping off at the other resorts of Platanias and Agia Marina. In the other direction, there are some buses daily to Kastelli-Kissasmos.

Rodapou: Rodapou is a big peninsula north of Kolymbari and a walker’s paradise. Very few of the roads on Rodapou are paved. The villages of Ravdoucha and Rodapou have some basic accommodation and simple tavernas.

In Maleme, 6km to the east of Kolymbari, there is a famous German war cemetery where the bodies of some 5000 German dead from WWII are buried.

Also a nice area is around Falasarna on the west coast of Crete on the way to the famous tropical beach Elafonisi.

My favourite place to stay in the area in the Summer Lodge in Maleme. on of the cheapest pensions on Crete, nice, big rooms, free WIFI, swimming pool, close to the beach. Friendly young owners. Book here

Online tickets and tours Chania and surroundings

Some tickets are now bought by many tourists in advance on the Internet. The queues on the spot are often long, guided tours only take place on certain days. In the following we have selected some good and important tickets for you:

1. Hiking tour Samaria Gorge: Full day hiking tour from Chania to the world famous Samaria Gorge: More info and booking

2. Tour by bus and boat to Gramvousa and Balos (very beautiful beach), full day: More info and booking

3. Bus trip to the world-famous beach of Elafonisi in Western Crete, all day: More info and booking

4. Big tour from Chania to the countryside on the theme of wine and olives: More info and booking

5. City tour Chania with food tasting: More info and booking


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