Crete is one of the 13 regions of Greece and at the same time the southernmost district of the European Community.
It is the biggest island in Greece and the second biggest (after Cyprus) of the East Mediterranean. A high mountain range crosses the island from West to East, formed by three different groups of mountains. To the West the White Mountains (2.452 m), in the middle the mountain of Idi (Psiloritis-2.456 m) and to the East the mountain of Dikti (2.148 m). Kalives belongs to the prefecture of Chania and in the district of Apokorona.
The village stands on a fertile site with abundant supplies of water and dense vegetation. The village is divided into two parts: the old settlement, with traditional stone-built houses, and the new quarter, with more modern structures. Currently in the area of Kasteli there are only the remains of a Venetian castle the Castle Bicorno/ Apicorno / Ipokoronio (out of which the district of Apokoronas took its name), which has a splendid view over the whole region of Kalyves. Kalives is an ideal location for peaceful and relaxing vacations by the sea and an excellent starting point for day excursions to the surrounding sites. Kalyves is a slice of real Greece squeezed among the foothills of the White Mountains, the olive trees, the vineyards, and the clear blue water of Aegean. Reaching the village the smell of the wild flowers, the herbs, and the sea breeze will manage to make you drunk before the traditional drink raki.
In accordance with the historian K. Dunakis the village of Kalyves took its name from the Arabs who invaded the region in 828AD and arrived at the village area, at a place called Sarakinos. There they built their houses the huts. Ultimately, Kalyves means huts in Arab. Kalyves has two rivers Kiliaris and Xidas of which one is beautifully developed with wooden illuminated boats, while the trout and ducks are wondering around to scrunch a bite of your food.
One can see the remains of the fortified Venetian castle Bicorno situated on the hill Kasteli, an interesting archaeological site. The hill Kasteli has a splendid view over the whole region of Kalives. The name of the district Apokorona has taken the name by this castle. You can also admire the old German fireplace near the harbour which is (up till now you can differentiate the canon) hewn into the mountain. At the end of the cave there is a small window with a breathtaking view to the sea and cliff. Moreover, you cannot miss the beautiful church of Saint Paraskevi in the village square with the painted frescoes which was built during the German War with the help of all habitants.
You must not miss to visit a bizarre collection of Gaudi-style stone buildings known as Koumos built by local man who has spent the past ten years erecting them. Paths are beset with mosaics, walls are stuffed with stones in the shape of fish, snakes and other creatures and rough tables and chairs of stone planted about for the visitor to view it all. The place is eccentric enough to be really quite interesting and well worth a visit. For those who love walking they can go around to the beautiful old part of the village with the narrow streets and the tiled houses full of roses and jasmines. They will end up to the old Byzantine church of Holly Mary with the nice forecourt and ancient frescoes. Above Kalives is the once powerful city state of APTERA. A visit to the archaeological site of Aptera (Just 5km from Kalives) is indispensable.
Aptera is one of the most essential cities of ancient western Crete which was built during the 7th century BC and was discovered in 1834 by the English traveller Pashley. It is located on a site 15km from Chania, south of Souda Bay and near the village of Megala Chorafia, while it has a superb panoramic view of the area of Apokorona. As A. Zois supports the place used to be called palaiokastro.
The breathtaking city walls are traces of the Cyclopean walls of Tiryns and Mycenae which were destroyed in the catastrophic earthquake of Santorini in the 7th century AD. However, the visitor can still admire the enormous vaulted cisterns of the Roman period, the remains of a small temple of Demeter (built at the 1st century B.C.), a Roman theatre, the Turkish fortress Inzentin, a monastery of 12th century, and various other buildings. Also, a visit to numerous Byzantine churches and monasteries around Kalives will leave you enchanted. Finally, a small tour around the small villages with the historical sites, and the natural beauties (rivers, lakes, and waterfalls) will make your stay special and unforgettable.
WHERE TO GO
The village has many nice taverns (traditional restaurants) and cafe shops along the seaside and in the picturesque village square with the four hundred years old plane-tree. By the river there is a small traditional cafe with small tables and a hanging vineyard and an always cool atmosphere (because of the river) in which you can enjoy your drink. There are three beaches in Kalives. The waters are deep blue and crystal clear (there is an EC blue flag to prove it). The golden sands are deep and soft and backed by trees beneath which white benches have been placed for visitors to take full advantage of any shade.
KALIVES BY NIGHT
When the night falls, Kalives is not a very busy village. However, you can choose among some cafe bars. For those who love Cretan music they can visit the restaurants which have every now and then Cretan nights, an unforgettable moment. All of the restaurants are nicely decorated and located either by the sea or another graphic location. The food is based on the freshest products from the local countryside and the sea, there are also biological products. For those who are not exactly the type of a restaurant there are also nice fast food shops. However if you want some wild nights you can go to Chania, an easy drive from Kalives (15kil away) and choose among a variety of bars and discos to drink and dance until the morning.
So Kalives, lost in the haze of legend, where your stay becomes unforgettable and endless. Where In Crete. land of tradition, myths ,and exotic beauty