Platanias Municipality, a small image of Greece !
Whether it’s mountains or beaches, wonderful plateaus and famous gorges, a low profile or lively feasting, the new Platanias Municipality can boast of having all of these !
The Platanias Municipality has been changing profile and invites you to explore step by step its new magnificent puzzle of characteristics –from the numerous crowded beaches of the cosmopolitan resort , to the scenic trails of the Lefka Ori (White Mountains) and the Omalos Plateau.
Begin from the seaside. The town of Platanias, with its beaches , all awarded blue flags due to their crystal clear waters and golden sands, has developed the best tourist facilities in western Crete. It is a favourite, both for Greeks as well as foreign visitors, offering many choices for holidays.
The best and the biggest hotels , numerous beach bars, fine restaurants and a very lively night life, compose a complete by itself recommendation for a short or longer stay.
In addition, the transitions of landscape make this resort not only cosmopolitan but also ideal for peaceful family holidays. Take , for example, the beaches of Kontomari, Gerani and Tavronitis, or the picturesque little village of Deres with its traditional neighbourhoods and the warm hospitality of its people, or the historic village of Maleme, symbol of the Battle of Crete, steadily developing through the years. There, you can visit the tomb built in the late Minoan Era, located on the hill called “Kafkala”, one of the most significant ancient monuments of Crete.
Continue to the west . Travel around Kolymbari, one of the first fishing villages in Crete. Visit the Monastery of Gonia and the museum with the rare religious pictures ,the canonicals and the manuscripts. A canon ball driven and stuck in the stone wall on the side of the sea reminds of the Turkish attacks against the monastery.
Move further up to the Museum of Cretan Herbs, situated right next to the Orthodox Academy of Crete and the Gonia Monastery, and enjoy the collection of local herbs and aromatic plants of Crete.
In Kolymbari you can also visit the Fisheries Museum, witness of the fishing tradition of the land. During the summer months exhibitions are held in this museum- Art and Photography exhibitions as well as plastic arts by well known Greek and foreign artist. Enjoy a walk in the scenic port and experience endless hours of relaxation. Its clean , sandy beaches offer kilometers of relief from the heat, while many “ouzo restaurants” have laid their tables right next to the waves , awaiting you with fresh fish directly from the Cretan Sea and plenty of other delicacies !
Change “frame” and get ready for the surprises of the inland.
The Rotunda of Episkopi village , or the temple of the Archangel Michael, is a unique construction with none like it all over Crete. Built in the late Christian Era, with a dome, mosaic floors and frescos datong back to the 7th century AD, it cannot fail to impress.
A wonder of nature comes up next, the oldest olive tree in the world, located in the Pano Vouves settlement, dominant and overlooking the sea for at least 3000 years. Next to the monumental olive tree you will find the Olive Museum of Vouves with a rich collection of rare exhibits showing the traditional occupation of the locals with olive growing and producing through the centuries. A little further uphill you come to Dromonero village and the art gallery called “Oil Press”, where you can admire works of Art from permanent of periodical exhibitions.
Change of frame and landscape again. This time we’re heading for the “Faraggas” – the Great Gorge- in other words the famous Samaria Gorge and the Samaria National Reserve. You cross the Omalos plateau and come to “Xyloskalo”, the entrance to the gorge. Its length of eighteen kms, its tens of thousands visitors annually, its nomination as a national reserve and its European Council award as one of the most unspoilt and beautiful areas of Europe, all these elements compose the name of a gorge you definitely must walk through !
Back to the magnificent inland again.
The inland trademark consists of our top-quality, world- famous local products. The olive oil, the wine, the honey, the dairy products and the numerous other traditional foods prepared with pure locally grown ingredients, offer unique culinary delights! Visit one of our well organized olive factories, wineries, cheese plants, bakeries and traditional workshops, taste our products and enjoy the gastronomic wealth of a blessed land!
The surprises do not end here. Routes of exceptional natural beauty await you to explore them by car, by motorcycle, bicycle or even on foot or 4-wheel drives for adventure lovers. Try a 4-wheel drive going up to the chapel of St John the Baptist in Apopigadi, and enjoy the majestic view from the hill top – from the city of Hania all the way to Cape Spada and Gramvoussa to the west , and the Cretan Sea to the north.
Imperious mountains, impressive ravines(Deliana- Messavlia gorge), green valleys, vast olive groves and orange groves, with numerous scenic villages scattered all around ! All so similar but each one different in a unique way !
The villages of the Keritis valley ( Skines, Fournes, Alikianos, Vatolakkos) and the town of Voukolies with its huge square and the traditional cafes around it, or the mountain villages such as Sebronas, Prasses, and Palia Roumata with its numerous neighbourhoods literally swamped in greenery.
Many traditional and religious feasts are held in all the villages and you are invited to taste local cuisine delicacies, to enjoy the beauty of the environment and have the time of your life !
There are also many events held during the summer months :concerts with famous musicians and singers, significant theatrical performances and many cultural events culminating in the mid-summer Platanias Municipality Agriculture and Tourism Festival. For seven days our Greek and foreign visitors are given the opportunity to sample our local products, experience their exceptional taste and aroma, while coming in touch with our culture and tradition.
The Municipality of Platanias, its people and the beauty of this exceptional place await you to help you live the experience of a lifetime …
Last updated 15/03/2011