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emsr2d2 Souda - A travel report by Emma
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Souda,  Greece - flag Greece -  ChanĂ­on
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emsr2d2's travel reports

Kalives, Souda Bay, Crete

  20 votes
A perfect area of Crete, full of beautiful little villages, unspoilt beaches, friendly people and great Greek food and drink. Plenty to do and easy to access if you don't mind hairpin bends!

For the third year on the trot, I visited Crete with some relatives and friends. We stayed in Kalives, at the Galazio Kyma apartments. It's only a half hour drive from Chania airport. The village itself is small but has plenty of good restaurants and tavernas. The apartments are located just outside the village with a stretch of beach just behind the swimming pool which is pretty much a private beach for the apartments. The local area is full of beautiful little mountain villages, churches, tavernas and beaches. The more active among us can walk one of several gorges, the longest and most spectacular being the Samaria Gorge on the south coast. It is 16km long and ends at Agia Roumeli. The Preveli Gorge and Imbros Gorges are shorter, but much less busy especially in the summer months. You can visit Georgeopouli which has a pretty waterfront, a river you can pedalo up to see the river turtles, and is a great spot for an icecream or a cocktail. If you feel like travelling further you can go to Knossos or Phaestos and see the ruins of the Minoan king's palaces. If you want the excitement of driving over the mountains to the south coast, try Paleohora. Go in the middle of the afternoon, spend an hour at the juice bar on the waterfront then catch the dolphin-watching boat for a 3 hour trip along the coast. Even if you don't spot any dolphins it's a lovely way to spend the hours til sunset. Crete is a beautiful island and if you avoid the miles of several storey hotels etc which now fill the north coast between Rethymnon and Heraklion, you will find it remarkably unspoilt despite it's popularity with tourists.

Favourite spots:
Sunset at Paleohora
Sunset at Paleohora
O Koumos - a bizarre site just uphill from Kalives where a local guy has built a bar, rooms, a house, and lots more from little pieces of stone. Some shaped like animals etc are dotted around. Has to be seen to be believed. Paleohora - dolphin spotting from a boat and coming back in at sunset is a sight to behold. Georgeopoulis - lovely little village.

What's really great:
Flowers at Lappa
Flowers at Lappa
Everything!!! Crete is a lovely island where the people are friendly, you can get just about anywhere if you don't mind the hair-rising hairpin bends to cross the White Mountains. Food and drink are good and plentiful as you expect from Greece, and you can easily escape the mass tourism of the north coast.
Lappa is a must. Upper Lappa is an ancient village with a self-guided walk around some Roman remains. Also there is the Lappa Avocado product shop, full of body lotions, hand creams, everything you could possibly imagine made from avocado oil, run by a very enthusiastic and lovely lady. From there you can walk down to Middle/Lower Lappa where you find the fresh water which serves the whole of the north of the island running freely into pools and from pipes in the wall. A great place to top up your water bottle or stick your head under to cool down.
Spili - a recent discovery. This mountain village has steep cobbled streets, and some lovely shops with embroidery work for sale.

Galazio Kyma - the apartment complex is small but beautifully formed. The little bar by the pool serves food and drink during the day, and is a good spot to grab a drink before heading into Kalives for dinner, and for an aperitif afterwards. The barman, Babis, is very entertaining and frequently knocks up some bizarre concoctions for guests to knock back with a clink of glasses and a loud Yammas (Cheers!)
We gather that a new tour company is taking over the complex from next year so the layout may change from studios and apartments, to bigger suites.

Samaria in Georgeopoulis - A bar rather than a pub. It serves a huge variety of cocktails which come with free nibbles, and if you can't be bothered to move you can order a pizza late at night from them. The waiters are very accommodating and if you can't decide which cocktail you want they will rustle one up they think you'll like.

Il Forno, Kalives - Great food and service. Once a week they have Greek night, and on the Sunday that we were there they hosted a very entertaining drag artist called Paul. The show was maybe a bit close to the knuckle for kids but he doesn't start til gone 9 at night so most of the audience was over 18!

Other recommendations:
Rent a car. Be careful on the mountain roads. Stop at one of the many roadside honey or olive oil stalls and buy something. Try the goat's cheese on sale in the street at Lower Lappa. Walk around and say Yassas to people. Go to the darkest place you can find and marvel at the Milky Way above your head. Look for shooting stars. Never turn down an ouzo or a raki if offered to you after a meal or at someone's house. Get into the slow, laid back Greek way of life.

Published on Wednesday August 3th, 2005

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Wed, Aug 03 2005 - 05:01 PM rating by eirekay

Beautiful Report with LOVELY pictures! Nicely done!


Wed, Aug 03 2005 - 04:55 PM rating by picasso

Very interesting report with a lot of information.

Wed, Aug 03 2005 - 09:06 AM rating by mkrkiran

Good report. A couple of snaps could have added more to this report.

Wed, Aug 03 2005 - 07:14 AM rating by davidx

Very informative. Well done.

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