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Kissamos - Elafonissos


7. KISSAMOS - ELAFONISSOS (see Map )

7.1 Kissamos to Falassarna 7.2 Falassarna to Elafonissos

This is a rather quiet route that goes through cultivated fields and small rural villages without particular interest.
Platanos is the largest village in the area with 1500 people who make a living out of olive trees and olive oil. Most houses are new and colourless, featuring walls made of concrete, but there are also

Map  Kissamos to Elafonissos

some old stone-built houses concentrated mainly around the foot of the hill at the east of the village. If you walk through the village you will see an odd mixture of the old and the new lying peacefully side by side: courtyards with age-old equipment used to make raki, traditional bakeries, old-time coffee shops where the elderly sip Greek coffee and have heated political discussions, and next to them modern cafeterias filled with young people who spend their energy and pocket money on electronic games.
Should you feel like staying for an evening and catching a glimpse of life in a Cretan village, the Rooms to Let Photopoulos are the most convenient accommodations. The restaurant next door is quite good and it belongs to the same owner.

As you leave Platanos from the south you will see an intersection with a Gr/E sign pointing to Falassarna. If you follow it, after five hundred metres you will have a beautiful panoramic view of the

Falassarna

Falassarna beach, the cape where the ancient town was built, and the valley south of it which today is full of olive groves and greenhouses.

If you are thinking about taking a swim, there is a small pebbly beach right in front of the ancient town, and a second quieter beach a little further to the north, behind the acropolis rock. A third beach, one of the best in Western Crete, with very fine sand, lies south of the town and is three kilometres long. Its most beautiful part, empty and clean and without “development,” is Pachia Ammos (“Thick Sand”), right in the middle of it. You will reach it if you take one of the many trails that go through the valley with the olive groves and greenhouses.

South of the archaeological site are a few pension houses and small hotels. These are fairly close to the beach, but not at its best part. Needless to say, there are many quiet spots for camping all along the beach.

Falassarna
The fertile valley at the south of the Gramvoussa peninsula has always been the area’s chief source of wealth. The Falassarnians chose to build their town at the north end of it, and throughout their history they fought hard to defend it from all those who wanted it for themselves. Falassarna was built right next to the sea, but the gradual rise of the west shore of Crete (and the sinking of the east shore) changed the topography of the area, so that today the town’s ruins are about three or four hundred

Falassarna

metres away from the water. To get there simply follow the sign as mentioned. The road actually goes north following the coastline, and at some point the asphalt stops and a dirtroad (D1) begins, which takes you further to the north. Take this dirtroad and you will soon see to your right an impressive throne made of stone. A little further you will see an imposing wall made of limestone, which once surrounded the town, as well as a small harbour. Although the only parts of it that have survived are a few large blocks of stone once serving as foundations and a few segments (which at places are as high as three metres), you can tell it used to be a harbour because there are holes carved in the wall to tie up the boats. Also surviving are the foundations of a temple and of some homes as well as the stone-paved streets of the town and a few cisterns. A recent excavation of the Department of Marine Antiquities, which is responsible for the Falassarna area, revealed a bathing complex with four clay bathtubs. Finally, at the top of the hill are the remnants of the Acropolis wall and the ruins of a temple that came down with an earthquake and has not yet been excavated.

THE ROUTES THE ROUTES

Routes starting from Hania

Hania
1. Hania - Akrotiri
2. Hania - Paleochora
3. Hania - Sameria
4. Hania - Hora Sfakion (Sfakia)
5. Hania - Kissamos (Kasteli)

Routes starting from Kissamos
Kissamos (Kasteli)
6. Kissamos - Gramvoussa
7. Kissamos - Elafonissos
8. Kissamos - Paleochora (through the Topolian Gorge)
9. Kissamos - Paleochora (through Episkopi)
10. Kissamos - Sirikari

Routes starting from Hora Sfakion (Sfakia)
11. Hora Sfakion - Rethimno (Rethymnon) (travelling inland)
12. Hora Sfakion - Rethimno (Rethymnon) (following the coast)

Routes starting from Rethimno (Rethymnon)
Rethimno (Rethymnon)
13. Rethimno - Ierapetra (following the south coast)
14. Rethimno - Ierapetra (travelling inland)

Routes starting from Ierapetra
Ierapetra
15. Ierapetra - Zakros (coastal road)
16. Ierapetra - Zakros (inland route)

Routes starting from Iraklio (Heraklion)
Iraklio (Heraklion)
17. Heraklion - Rethymnon (coastal road)
18. Heraklion - Rethymnon (travelling inland)
19.Heraklioon - Agios Nikolaos (coastal road)
20. Heraklioon - Agios Nikolaos (travelling inland)

Routes starting from Agios Nikolaos
Agios Nikolaos
21. Agios Nikolaos - Zakros


Source of the information on this page : “Unexplored Crete”, Road Editions. For more guidebooks and maps of Greece, click here.

 

 

 

Tip of the day

Religious celebrations and festivals, traditional popular events, culinary feasts and cultural activities organised throughout the year shape a unique cultural profile. One of the most colourful festivals in Greece, “Heráklion Summer Festival” is held by the Municipality of Heráklion and comprises a rich variety of cultural events. Every summer sea lovers gather in the harbour of Heráklion, where the yacht club of the city organizes yacht races, sailing or rowing lessons and sail rides for the public.
The Wine Festival at Daphnés, organised throughout the first fortnight of July, is dedicated to the local wine of Daphnes and Cretan gastronomy. Sample snails cooked with groats, rabbit with aromatic herbs, pork with celeriac, kaprikó pork grilled with herbs, kalitsoúnia (a pastry filled with cheese) and kserotíyana (honey dipped spiral pastries). Savoury local specialties are complemented with local wine. The region of Heráklion has three VQPRD zones (Vin de Qualité Produit Dans Une Région Déterminée: Wines of Quality Produced in Determined Regions): Pezá, Daphnés and Arhánes, with plenty of wineries and wine museums.

 

 

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