History of Almyrida

The name Almyrida

The name Almyrida is thought to come from the River Almyros that flows to the west, or from the tamarisks (almyrikia) found on the beach and above the main road of the village.

Almyrida from ancient times to the present day

History tells us that the Apokoronas area was inhabited in Early Minoan times. It is thought that Almyrida was colonised by the Phoenicians, a Middle Eastern sea people and active traders who had good relations with the Minoans. There were Phoenician colonies in other parts of Crete, such as Finikas next to Loutro in Sfakia, and Lendas, south of Heraklion. Almyrida continued to be inhabited in every period of history.

Early Christian basilica

In the 1990s excavations were carried out in the area by archaeologists Manolis Borboudakis and Michalis Andrianakis, who uncovered an Early Christian basilica of the 5th-6th century AD, with a transverse nave and T-shaped plan.

The bases of the high altar and the pulpit were discovered, along with Corinthian column capitals. The sanctuary and the central aisle contain very interesting and impressively varied mosaics.

Ruins of the Greco-Roman period are preserved on Finikia Hill above the church and on Karga Island, opposite the beach of Almyrida. The name Finikia (Phoenicia) is another indication that Almyrida was a Phoenician colony in ancient times.

Almyrida during the Ottoman Period

According to historical sources, the last battle in Crete against the Turks took place in the Almyrida area, in 1896.

Almyrida today

A few decades ago Almyrida was a small village of fishermen and farmers. Its beauty and proximity to Chania Airport quickly brought tourist development to the area, but this has so far been mild.

The area has also attracted many new inhabitants from Britain and other Northern European countries, meaning that many new houses have been built in Almyrida.

houses and villas in almyrida

As the locals themselves say, Almyrida has become a multicultural community with European inhabitants from 35 countries. The only countries not represented are Spain, Portugal and Luxembourg…

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