Aerinos Kissamos

Wonderguide by

John Skilourakis

Aerinos Kissamos

Aerinos is the most mountainous village in Kissamos, at an altitude of 700 meters above sea level and there are now about 10 permanent elderly people. Village is located 60 km southwest of the city of Chania in Kissamos Municipality.

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Beautiful beaches nearby.

Image - Elafonisi lagoon
Elafonisi lagoon
John:Elafonisi is located 76km west of Chania and 5km south of Chrysoskalitisa Monastery, in the southwesternmost tip of Crete. Elafonisi is an oblong peninsula, which often breaks in two parts by water giving the impression of being a separate island. Elafonisi is a Natura 2000 protected area. The island is full of sand dunes with sea daffodils and jupiners. The endangered loggerhead sea turtle and several more rare animals and plants find shelter on the island; it is strictly forbidden to remove any plants, animals, shells and sand from the area.
Image - Voulolimni
John:Voulolimni (i.e. sunk lake) is located 70km southeast of Chania, about 500m northwest of Chrysoskalitissa monastery. It is actually a small crater, surrounded by rocks, forming a small sea lake. Voulolimni is not actually a beach, but the rocky "pool" for the residents of village Chrysoskalitissa. The small salt lake is very well protected by strong winds that blow in the area and there is only a small opening connecting that to the open sea. Thus, it serves as a natural harbor for small boats. The water is very calm and has greenish hues, that make it look marvellous to most swimmers. There are no facilities near the lake, however there are several rooms and taverns in Chrysoskalitissa.
Image - Aspri Limni
Aspri Limni
John:Aspri Limni (i.e. White Lake) is one of the most weird beaches in Crete, that almost nobody knows. This is a small secret beach, located 500m west of Chrysoskalitissa monastery and 70km southwest of Chania city. Thousands of visitors are attracted by the nearby exotic Elafonissi lagoon, but actually nobody has heard of this magnificent neighboring place. The beach has fine white sand and rocks in places and is surrounded by sharp rocks, reminding of a small whitish lake inside the sea. Fortunately, the beach is unexploited by touristic industry and remains an untouched paradise. There is no natural shade in the area. In order to come here, you have to turn right in Chrysoskalitissa village and follow the signs to the small Phoenix theofrasti (Cretan palm date) habitat, located around the lake. Otherwise, just ask one local to show you the way. Aspri Limni is a Natura 2000 protected area because it is the westernmost habitat of Phoenix theofrasti, the endangered palm tree of Crete.
Image - Kedrodasos Beach
Kedrodasos Beach
John:Kedrodasos (i.e. cedar forest) is an amazing beach, located 76km southwest of Chania and 1km east of the famous Elafonissi lagoon. The beach is full with juniper trees (mistakenly confused with cedars) and sanddunes. These are the small twisted junipers (juniper species are Juniperus oxycedrus subsp. macrocarpa and Juniperus phoenicea). If you ever visit the beach, you should note that the trees are very fragile and need respect. The "cedar" grove covers a big area of about 110 acres and is a magnificent place. It is a wonderful choice for swimming and a favorite beach for naturists. It is a very nice beach with white sand and some smooth and flat rocks in places. Fortunately, there are no facilities nearby, making this secluded beach, one of the latest untouched paradises in Europe. Moreover, since the beach is secluded, you should keep it clean and not littered. The beach is protected to some point from the winds that usually blow in the neighboring Elafonissos. The European path E
Image - Stómio
John:Stomio is located 74km south of Chania and 1km north of Chrisoskalitissa monastery., in the wider area of Elafonissi. It is not popular to the visitors of the area, because it looks rocky and usually wavy. The beach has large pebbles and some places with sand. It is a good choice for anybody that wants to stay remote, but not for families. Note that the water here is very cool and the sea is quite deep. Stomio means mouth and refers to the mouth of the river from village Vathi that exits at this point, the water of which is stored at the local reservoir. The beach is not organized at all, but there is a small tavern nearby. Access to the beach is very easy, since it’s next to the main road that runs from Chania to Chrisoskalitissa / Elafonissi.
Image - Sfinari beach
Sfinari beach
John:Sfinari beach is located 60km west of Chania city and 30km south of Kissamos, in front of the homonym village. The village is built at the exit of a lush deep valley and is surrounded by beautiful green mountains. Sfinari is a quiet place with a beautiful sandy beach with pebbles in places. There are a few accommodation and food facilities in the area, making it a very good option for quiet family holidays. The beach is ideal for snorkeling, especially on windless days, when sea is calm. There are many tamarisk trees on the beach, so if you seek for natural shade this is your perfect place to be. Sfinari is prefered mainly by visitors seeking remoteness, so don't expect lively night life and noisy beach bars. There are buses running to Sfinari from Chania bus station, thus it is no problem if you don't have a car, although a car is generally required for exploring Crete.
Image - Platanakia beach
Platanakia beach
John:Platanakia beach is located 61km southewest of Chania city, 31km south of Kissamos and 5km northwest of Kambos village and very close to Sfinari bay. The beach is shaped in the exit of the beautiful gorge of Kambos, starting from the homonym village. Platanakia is a small cove, protected by high cliffs that is almost always deserted. The beach is sandy in parts, but stoney in most places. This is an ideal place for staying remote, even in the middle of the summer. There are some trees near the beach, offering natural shade. In order to access the beach on foot from Kambos village, you have to follow the path starting from there and crossing the amazing lush gorge for two hours. The gorge is full with plane trees and there is a river flowing almost all year round. If you prefer offroad adventures and have the right car (4x4), you can visit the beach through a dirt track starting from Kambos. In the route you'll cross some fences, put up at points by goat and sheepherders.
Image - Kókkina Gremná
Kókkina Gremná
John:The secluded beach of Kokkina Grema (i.e. Red Cliffs) is located 55km west of Chania, 28km southwest of Kissamos and 3km west of Platanos village. The beach is named after the reddish grounds of the peninsula at its north end. It is located at the exit of a small gorge, starting from Platanos village, shaping the bay of Lygia. Kokkina Grema is a rough beach, with pebbles, ideal for camping and staying remote, surely not suitable for families with children. There are absolutely no facilities nearby and no shade, so bring an umbrella with you. Access to Kokkina Grema is not easy, because the dirt track that leads there from Platanos is generally in poor condition. You have to drive till you meet the picturesque chapel of Panagia on the beach.
Image - Falassarna Beach
Falassarna Beach
John:he exotic beach of Falassarna is located 59km west of Chania city and almost 17km west of Kissamos, at the western base of Cape Gramvousa. At the northern end of the beach there are the ruins of the ancient Grecoroman city of Falassarna. Falassarna bay is one of the most famous beaches in Greece, which has been awarded as the best beach of Crete and voted as one of the 10 best beaches in Europe in the past. Falasarna spans a large area and consists actually of five consecutive beaches, with the two most central being the most favorite. The sand in Falassarna is whitish, making the water color tropical. Indeed, if you're lucky and be here on a day that is not blowing from the west (rare in west Crete) you will be enchanted by the beach and its turquoise waters. The main beach of Falassarna is called Pachia Ammos (i..e Coarse Sand). It is an exotic beach with a length of 1km and a width of 150m. This beach attracts the most visitors of the area.
Image - Koutoulou Beach-Keramoti Beach
Koutoulou Beach-Keramoti Beach
John:The beach at Keramoti is located next to the homonym village and is located 75km southwest of Chania and 36km south of Kissamos. It is a medium sized and pebbly beach, mainly with rocks in places, quite known to locals, not suitable for families. There are no beach facitities, making it a good choice for staying remote. However, there are some rooms to let in the villages of Keramoti and Livadia. Next to the beach there is a stream with fresh water coming from mountain springs. The fresh water and the underwater springs lower the temperature of sea water. The beach can be accessed by car, through a quite rough dirt track from Keramoti. The wider area is mainly rocky but the rock formations are amazing.
Image - Balos Beach
Balos Beach
John:The famous lagoon of Balos is located approximately 56km northwest of Chania and 17km northwest of Kissamos, formed between the Cape Gramvousa and the small Cape Tigani and below the range of Platiskinos. Balos is surely the mostly photographed beach in Crete, a very favorite subject of all tourist guides for Greece. It is no coincidence that Prince Charles and Princess Diana visited Balos with their private yacht many years ago. Balos is famous for its turquoise waters, the wild natural beauty and the beautiful exotic scenery. During the summer, Balos is visited by thousands of people, who arrive mostly by the ferries running from Kissamos port. If you do not like crowds, you’d better avoid to visit the beach in July and August. Also, a perfect idea is to arrive at Balos in the morning, before the boats arrive from Kissamos. These few hours of remoteness in such a heavenly place will remain etched in your memory forever.
Image - Gialiskari Beach
Gialiskari Beach
John:The secluded beaches by village Anydri, also known as Gialiskari or Dialiskari, are surely some of the most beautiful beaches of West Crete. Gialiskari is located 4km east of Paleochora and 80km South of Chania city. The beaches are the easternmost part of the coastline of Paleochora, having an overall length of 18km. Gianiskari is actually a cluster of adjacent peaceful beaches at the exit of Anidri Gorge. Two of them are shaped on the two sides of a short peninsula. They have small pebbles and deep cool waters, while umbrellas are provided. A few meters further (on the east), there is the beach called Ammoudia (sandy beach). These beaches are located at the exit of the gorge that starts from the nearby village of Anydri. Gialiskari is nudism friendly, like most beaches of Paleochora. In order to get to Gialiskari from Paleochora, follow the dirt track leading to the east. After the camping, follow the road along the beach till you meet the peninsula.
Image - Livadia Beach
Livadia Beach
John:Livadia coves are located near the village Livadia, 72km southwest of Chania and 31km south of Kissamos. The coves are not popular to the visitors of the area, because they are very rocky and wavy, as most beaches in west crete. They are mainly prefered by the residents and visitors of Livadia village and those who want to stay remote. There are a few touristic amenities in the village. The coastline of Livadia is an ideal destination for snorkellers, but only on windless days. Livadia village is located in the middle of the European hiking path E4 – a seaside route of exceptional natural beauty - that starts at the village Sfinari and continues through the villages of Livadia, Chrissoskalitisa and finally ends at the beach of Elafonisi. The route is typical of the rugged beauty of Crete with amazing changes of the scenery between olive and locust trees and sea-beaten rocks of black and red volcanic lava. In order to access the beaches, you can walk along the shore at the village of Livadia and pass the port to reach the last large sculptured black rock formations, characterized as a monument of nature. Behind the rocks, you'll see a cluster of small ponds with greenish water. The sandy and pebbly coves are ideal for a refreshing swim. Another option is to swim in the pebbly beach inside the small harbour of Livadia.
Image - Giomat Beach
Giomat Beach
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Restaurants nearby

Image - Krystalia Cafe
Krystalia Cafe
John:A great location! You can drink your coffee or eat a traditional handmade food under the trees or on the terrace!
Image - Oasis
John:Amazing Cafe bar,exceptional waffles and amazing idiston(handmade lemonade) George the owner is amazing
Image - Panorama Cafe - Taverna
Panorama Cafe - Taverna
John:Really nice home cooked food. Great views and nice staff.
Image - Paradosiako
Image - IRIS
John:Good coffee, nice snacks, nice atmosphere and really good prices!!
Image - Taverna Stomio
Taverna Stomio
John:Super authentic local tavern run by brother & sister. Simple and well made food. Great service. A visit worthy.
Image - Filoxenia
Image - Kastanofolia
Image - Meltemi Restaurant-cafe
Meltemi Restaurant-cafe
John:Really great views from the terrace that was nicely decorated and covered from the wind. We stopped by some sodas and coffee. It was worth for the quick visit.
Image - Steki Ton Geuseon
Steki Ton Geuseon
John:Best lunch in Crete. Generous portions and super fresh!!!
Image - Beata's Orange Juice Bar
Beata's Orange Juice Bar
John:Amazing, just amazing. You have to go here. Great drinks, amazing view, friendly staff, 10+cozy puppies and a donkey walking inside the cafe (not kidding). Do not miss this!

Places to visit at the area

Image - Kefali
Image - Elos
Image - Chrisoskalitissa Village
Chrisoskalitissa Village
John:One of the most famous monasteries in Crete due to its impressive architecture and the short distance from Elafonisi is the Panagia Chrisoskalitissa Monastery. It is 72 kilometers in the south-west of Chania, on a 35-meter rock with a view to the Libyan Sea. It is a white monastery in a fortification style. It is one of the most important monuments of the south-western Crete. The cathedral of the monastery is dedicated to Agia Triada and Koimisis of Theotokos. n 1907, its monks helped the rescue of 102 out of the 140 passengers of the Iberatris ship that sunk in Elafonisi. When the Turks slaughtered 850 people (mostly women and children) on the Easter day in 1824, they also destroyed hundreds of churches of the area. When they tried to loot the monastery, a swarm of bees attacked them. The hive of the bees was in the iconostasis on the way up to the monastery. The monastery became a female one in 1940 and, a year later, the nuns were sent away in order a German outpost to be established. Four years later, monks moved in the monastery again. The area of Chrisoskalitissa was inhabited in the Minoan Years as a small fishermen settlement was found.
Image - Milia Mountain Retreat
Milia Mountain Retreat
John:Milia is located in a mountainous and environmentally sensitive area of Western Crete, at the prefecture of Chania and the center of Kissamos province. The region belongs to the Natura network of protected areas. The settlement is surrounded by a green valley formed by the mountains Kefali (Head) and Psilo (High), 550m above sea level. The mountainous landscape offers its distinctiveness to the people and their creations.
Image - Palaiochora
John:Palaiochora (Greek: Παλαιόχωρα or Παλιόχωρα) is a small town in Chania regional unit, Greece. It is located 77 km south of Chania, on the southwest coast of Crete and occupies a small peninsula 400m wide and 700m long. The town is set along 11 km of coastline bordering the Libyan Sea. It is the seat of the municipality of Kantanos–Selino and its population was 1,675 in the 2011 census.[
Image - Topolia Gorge
Topolia Gorge
John:The gorge of Topolia (Topoliano) is located at west Crete and it runs along the road leading to Elafonissi via Elos. The canyon actually starts near the village Strovles at an altitude of 450m, and exits near the village Topolia, at an altitude of 150m. However, the narrowest and most impressive hiking part of the gorge is located between Katsomatados and Topolia, where the side rocks are very high and steep. The canyon is crossed by the River Tyflos, which originates from Mount Dikeos. At the beginning of the narrow part, it is worth visiting the Cave of Agia Sofia, located just above the main road. The canyon and the wider area hosts rare and endemic plants of Crete, while the Cave of St. Sophia houses a species of cave spider that lives only there (Pholcus creticus).
Image - Samaria's Gorge National Park (Canyon)
Samaria's Gorge National Park (Canyon)
John:White Mountains’ National Park is the only national park in Crete. It centres around the Samariá gorge, at an altitude of 1,200m and continues down to Ayia Rouméli, on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding slopes and a number of smaller gorges branching off from it, Samaria Gorge forms the whole of the area designated as a national park, a status that offers protection to over 450 species of plant and animal, 70 of which are endemic to Crete. In the prefecture of Chania (also written “Hania”), the Samaria gorge is the longest in Europe (total length 16km), and one of the most impressive gorges in Greece. It starts from Xylóskalo, at an altitude of 1,230m. The width of the gorge is 150m at its widest point and 3m at its narrowest.


Image - Ammos beach bar cafe
Ammos beach bar cafe

Wonderguide map

  1. Elafonisi lagoon
  2. Voulolimni
  3. Aspri Limni
  4. Kedrodasos Beach
  5. Stómio
  6. Sfinari beach
  7. Platanakia beach
  8. Kókkina Gremná
  9. Falassarna Beach
  10. Koutoulou Beach-Keramoti Beach
  11. Balos Beach
  12. Gialiskari Beach
  13. Livadia Beach
  14. Giomat Beach
  15. Grammeno Beach
  16. Krystalia Cafe
  17. Oasis
  18. Panorama Cafe - Taverna
  19. Paradosiako
  20. IRIS
  21. Taverna Stomio
  22. Filoxenia
  23. Kastanofolia
  24. Kosmos Fish Tavern
  25. Meltemi Restaurant-cafe
  26. Gialos Mare cafe - bar - restaurant Chrissoskalitissa
  27. Steki Ton Geuseon
  28. Beata's Orange Juice Bar
  29. 'The West' Traditional Taverna
  30. Glykeria restaurant
  31. Kefali
  32. Elos
  33. Chrisoskalitissa Village
  34. Milia Mountain Retreat
  35. Palaiochora
  36. Topolia Gorge
  37. Samaria's Gorge National Park (Canyon)
  38. Nostos Club & Cocktail Bar
  39. Ammos beach bar cafe

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