Kolymbari is a small, quiet fishing village, 23 km west of Chania at the foot of Crete’s Rodopou peninsula. It combines the feel of the rugged and untamed peninsula with majestic mountainous backdrops and panoramic sea views.
The locals are primarily farmers and stockbreeders cultivating olive and citrus trees, grapevines and vegetables. As such, the local produce is olive oil, honey, wine, meat and dairy products. Along the coast, fishermen provide fresh fish and tourism has, over the last years, flourished.
Whether you are taking a couple’s break, a family holiday or combining one of these with some business, Kolymbari would work well for you if you are looking for a quiet time, to relax on the beach and to explore Crete.
Within this small village you can find a small selection for your everyday essentials; pharmacy, ATM, souvenir shops, bakery, supermarket, bus stop, post office and more. Small fish taverns and cafes are clustered along the beautiful stretch of beach.
Though night-life does not feature highly here it can be found either in the nearby coastal village of Platanias or in Chania centre and Old Venetian Town.
Surrounded by natural beauty, you can take in this solitary place by taking relaxing walks along the beach, having the time to read a book, reflect, and rejuvenate – tranquility at its best.
For the days where you wish to be adventurous and explore you can easily access several of the ‘must-see’ monasteries, beaches and gorges such as the famous 13th Century Greek Orthodox Gonia Monastery (used today as a cemetery), Elafonisos beach, Falassarna Beach, the gorge of Samaria and the Balos lagoon and Gramvousa islet.
Kolymbari village and beach provide you with the opportunity to fill your days and please your soul.
SIGHTSEEING – EXCURSIONS
Visit the well known beach of Falassarna (20 km from Grand Bay Beach Resort, about a 25 minute drive). At this beach you will also find windsurfing, and kite surfing. Along the way, visit the 13th Century Gonia Monastery (just 2km from Grand Bay Beach Resort).
Visit the lagoon like beach of Elafonisos and stop at the Monastery of Chrysoskalitissa along the way (about a 45 minute drive from Grand Bay Beach Resort).
Balos lagoon and Gramvousa islet – a full day trip (take a ferry, available daily, from the port of Kissamos). For further info, have a look at http://www.gramvousa.com (on-line booking is now possible).
Visit the ruins of the ancient city of Polyrinia (20 kilometers from Grand Bay Beach Resort). Polyrinia is considered to be the oldest city that the Dorians built in Crete (following the Minoan Period).
Visit the Archaeological Museum of Kissamos (16 km from Grand Bay Beach Resort) housed in a Venetian-Turkish monument.
Hike the Samaria gorge – This is the well known gorge of Samaria, where thousands of visitors come to Crete and hike this gorge. This is a 15km (mainly downhill) hike – a whole day event. You can do it on your own by use of the local bus service from Chania central bus station or, and this is more convenient for you, by organized tour from Grand Bay Beach Resort (ask us while you are staying with us).
Therisso gorge: This is a unique gorge as it is one that you drive through to reach the village of Therisso where there are several tavernas. Continue to explore the traditional villages of Zourva and Meskla – beautifully scenic drive.
The Eleftherios Venizelos tombs: (historical site) are located high above Chania centre and old town (great views) in the direction of Chania airport.
Aptera archaeological site – This small archaeological site (ancient town of the Minoan era) is well worth a visit. From here there are wonderful sea views to the port of Chania (Souda) and the Akrotiri peninsula.
Itzedin Castle: A Turkish castle, built in the 19th Century. Also known as the Kalami fort.
Lake Kournas – The only freshwater lake in Crete! A good small trip to take with the family to enjoy the wonderful views to the mountains, lake and the sea. Walk around the lake, paddle-boat, feed the ducks and have a snack/lunch at one of several cafes/taverns.
Imbros gorge – A short and easy hike (about 8km) that starts at originates from the last houses of the village and end at Komitades village. A guide is not needed. Once at Komitades village you can take a taxi back to your car (or if you are up to it, hike all the way back).
Diktamos gorge – Hike the 7km gorge of Diktamos. This begins at Katochori village Malaksa and ends in Stylos village (or vice versa). The hike takes about 3 and a half hours each way. At Stilos village visit the church of Agios Ioannis Theologos and enjoy a drink/ meal at one of the taverns.
Hike the Deliana gorge (this unchallenging but rewarding hike takes about two hours in total). You will likely see goats and the Griffon vultures.
Maheri gorge – Hike this 4km gorge which starts at Kares village (at the church of Agios Nikolaou) and ends at the entrance to Maheri village (or vice versa). This church of Agios Nikolaou is located at Kuriakosellia (towards Samonas village) and has byzantine frescoes. It is a beautiful church with archaeological significance. If you intend on visiting this church, do let us know as we would need to make arrangements for the key to the church (as it is not always open).
Visit the centre of Chania as well as the must-see old Venetian harbor and town (about 23km from Grand Bay Beach Resort).
Some of the more popular places there are the Naval Museum, the Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Museum, the Archaeological museum, the Turkish mosque (which now functions as an arts exhibit hall), the Municipal Art Gallery of Chania, the Jewish Synagogue and Hallidon Street (the most famous street of the old town). For more information, have a look at http://www.chaniatourism.com and http://www.xania.net/oldharbor.html (with several photos) and http://www.west-crete.com
Platanias is the core centre of tourism, entertainment and night life in Chania. In this coastal village, there are several restaurants, bars, clubs, cafes, Go-Karts, children’s entertainment venues, mini-golf, trampolines, internet café, mini-markets, supermarkets, pharmacy, ATM, post office, doctor’s office, car and bike rental companies, souvenir stores and more.
In Kolymbari village, just over 1km from Grand Bay Beach Resort you will find supermarkets, ATM, cafes, petrol stations, a hair dressing salon, car rental, bakery, post office, small shops and more. Within the same distance, there is a small hub of fish restaurants and taverns – just the thing to enjoy!
The bus station (for busses to Chania) has in the past years been in front of the INKA supermarket (just 500 meters from our resort). In 2011, it is likely that the bus will include a stop directly in front of Grand Bay Beach Resort (please check with us while here). Tickets cost 3.30 euro and can be bought on the bus.