Holidays in Kalyves
Practical information on holidays in Kalyves
On reaching Kalyves you will see the large sandy local beach, extending about 500 m., and the River Xydas, which runs through the village, to your right.
The main road of Kalyves divides the beach from the shops and hotels.
On entering the village, to your left (north) you will see lots of tavernas and cafés just above the beach, while to your right (south) is a row of tourist and souvenir shops.
Kalyves, a fully organised resort, has anything the modern traveller and visitor might need for quiet, relaxed holidays in Crete.
There are all kinds of shops and eateries, a pharmacy, a cashpoint, a post office, internet cafés, and travel agencies with information on excursions to the neighbouring villages and Chania Prefecture in general.
You will also find car and bike rental shops, while there are regular buses to Chania.
Hotels in Kalyves
You will find many hotels in Kalyves, as well as apartments for rent at reasonable prices even at the height of the tourist season.
There are very few large hotels in Kalyves but lots of small ones, which do their best to accommodate visitors. Many families choose Kalyves for their holidays, and the hotels mainly cater to them.
Restaurants and tavernas in Kalyves
Kalyves has tavernas and restaurants offering traditional Cretan cooking, as well as fast-food outlets.
If you would rather try some home cooking, wander round the narrow streets running at right angles to the main road, where you will find little tavernas and kafeneia serving Cretan mezedes (tidbits).
The more locals you see inside, the better you will eat.
What to do in Kalyves
Enjoy the sea at the beautiful and clean beach at kalyves. Stretch out on one of the free sun loungers offered by hotels and cafés, and relax under the hot Cretan sun, with a view of the sea and the White Mountains behind you in the background.
If you don’t want to spend your whole holiday on the same beach in Kalyves, visit the beach at Almyrida or that of Georgioupoli to the east.
On the opposite side of Souda Bay, the beautiful beaches of Marathi and Loutraki await you. Even when the sea is rough at Kalyves, it’s always calm on the other side in the lee of the headland.
Wander round the narrow village streets to discover the hidden sights of Kalyves.
Visit the church of Agia Paraskevi and admire its wall paintings and the 200-year-old plane tree outside.
If you happen to be in Kalyves at the end of June, remember that there is a great festival in honour of St Paraskevi on the 26th.
The church of Agia Paraskevi was built during the Second World War with the help of all the inhabitants, as the locals tell us.
In the village you’ll see many lovely houses with rose bushes and jasmine, as well as a beautiful Byzantine church of the Panagia (the Virgin) with a small but pretty, pure white courtyard.
The River Xydas is full of trout, and in the early autumn you can go fishing, or simply feed them a bit of bread and time how long it takes them to gulp it down.
The river is also full of ducks swimming happily on the surface. The wooden boats on the river are lit up at night, forming a lovely scene.
From Kalyves, head towards the National Road and go up to the great archaeological site of Aptera, packed with Roman ruins.
The ancient city of Aptera flourished in the Late Minoan period and Roman times, but was destroyed by an earthquake in the 7th century AD. Later the monastery of St John the Divine was built here and was active from the 12th century to 1964.
In Aptera, apart from the monastery, you can see the Roman baths and cisterns, the temple of the goddess Demeter, the ruins of Doric sanctuaries, and the Turkish fortress standing guard over Souda Bay.
If you feel like walking round one of the picturesque villages of Apokoronas, you can visit the small, quiet Tsivaras, or Douliana, standing on a hill near Kalyves.
The route to the village is scenic, winding through oak and pine woods. There you will find a good traditional taverna with home cooking.
Two other villages worth visiting in the Apokoronas area are Armeni with its running water, and Macheri, built in the shadow of an enormous rock.
On the hill of Kastelli above Kalyves is the Castel Apicorno, or Bicorno fortress as you will hear it called.
Many researchers believe that the fortress stands on the site of the ancient city of Ippokoronas, from which the area of Apokoronas got its name.
Kalyves is less that 20 kilometres from Chania and there is a regular bus service, making it very easy to visit the loveliest city in Crete.
Southeast of Kalyves is Lake Kournas, the only natural lake in Crete, offering the opportunity for a pleasant daytrip.