In the west Cretan province of Apokoronas some villages are so hidden that they have remained quite untouched by tourists and still manage to retain their original character. And not only that; one can find restored city walls or a Turkish fountain, former olive oil factories and even walls washed with indigo dust, narrow streets and quaint coffee houses invite for a visit in all seasons. And last but not least, here one can still enjoy traditional Cretan cuisine whose ingredients come mostly from their own production …… the aroma alone will make you curious.
One of these villages is Gavalochori.
Counting today 500 souls, it had in past centuries 1500 inhabitants at that time one of the important towns of the area. A village with many memories of hard times, both under Turkish rule as well as under German occupation. Many brave men from Gavalochori had to pay for their faith with their lives, and a war memorial and a plaque are evidence thereof.
Historical – Folklore Museum of Gavalochori
The Museum was founded in 1967 and was inaugurated in September 1993. It is housed in a building which is a characteristic example of local traditional architecture and stands on two levels. There is a ground floor with a verandah, an inside courtyard, an arched house proper, with its utility areas and a first floor with an “ondas” or large room.
The Museum is divided into seven rooms, according to the following units: The Arched House, Silk, Pottery, Lace-making, Masonry and Stone carving, Church and Woodcarving.
Opening hours: from 09.00 – 15.00 hrs / Entrance fee: 2€ / Tel.: +30 28250 23222
Best park your vehicle at the entrance of the village
under the war memorial wall, as the narrow alleys are better to explore on foot. The atmosphere in the streets of the village is quiet, small signs show the way to the Folk Art Museum, the old school, the Turkish fountain or the former olive oil factory. In the winding streets every hobby photographer experiences joy, and you should calculate about 1 hour for a leisurely stroll. There are 2 kafeneions / taverns with great food, a bakery and a shop, where the women’s cooperative of Gavalochori sell their traditional products.
Nearby locations worth a visit:
- Kalyves – ideal location for peaceful and relaxing holidays
- Ancient City Aptera – Theatre, Monastery St. John Theologos, Koules Fortress