Heraklion area Towns . Villages

The villages Pitsidia, Sivas, Kamilari in Messara south Crete

The villages Pitsidia, Sivas, Kamilari in Messara south Crete
Alley in Pitsidia village Crete
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The villages Pitsidia, Sivas, Kamilari are part of the fertile Messara plain, harmoniously integrated into the landscape and surrounded by olive groves on the western slopes of the mountains Asteriousa.

In the Messara, olive trees, vineyards and horticultural crops are cultivated and offered on the domestic market, the region’s inhabitants, in spite of the partial touristic development, keep their simple and traditional agricultural life style.
These villages Pitsidia, Sivas, Kamilari unite in a perfect manner the traditional Cretan way of life, the genuine hospitality and warmness of its inhabitants with holidays on the beach and trips to lots of nearby attractions.

The villages Pitsidia, Sivas, Kamilari in Messara south CretePitsidia village

Pitsidia is a small village directly on the road to Matala. Though it is within a small distance from the tourist-overwhelmed Matala, Pitsidia manages to keep its traditional village character. It seems to be one of the old villages in Crete, an agricultural farming community, with white washed houses and small alleys, wide enough for 1 car to drive through.
Several small shops cover the basic needs of the visitors, and the taverns offer traditional Cretan food. Every kind of accommodation can be found here, and many holiday makers prefer the tranquil environment of Pitsidia enjoying at the same time the small distance to Matala (5km) or Komos beach (1km, 30 min. on foot).
The bus stop on the main road gives you the opportunity to experience traveling with locals in the public bus to Matala, Moires, Heraklion, Phaistos and Agia Galini.

Sivas village

More withdrawn from the main road to Matala is the village of Siva, where traces of Cretan history can also be seen. Ottoman and Venetian architecture characterize the houses in Siva. In the center of the village is a pretty big square with accompanying coffee houses and taverns etc., and the streets around the square are perfect for a discovery walk.
The Ministry of Culture has recognized Sivas as a protected traditional village.

The villages Pitsidia, Sivas, Kamilari in Messara south Crete

The central square in Siva

The Cretan Saint Agios Ioannis the Stranger was born in Sivas in 970, 10 years after the liberation of Crete from the Saracens. He tried to reorganize the Christian communities, preaching for 50 years and building temples and monasteries wandering from place to place mainly in west Crete.

There is a public bus connection to the town of Moires.

Kamilari villageThe villages Pitsidia, Sivas, Kamilari in Messara south Crete

The traditional village Kamilari with its stone built houses lies on top of three hills, Europ, Goulas and Alevrota at an altitude of 110m.
In Kamilari times goes by without rush. The quaint village square is surrounded by taverns, the narrow alleyways are lined with low whitewashed houses and coloured bougainvillea, while the shops and the accommodations are family owned and kept in traditional style.

The name of the village is of Byzantine origin and derives from the word “Kamilari” = the man who rides the camel. The old village was built on the hill Europ, in a place where residents could control both the Turks who possibly came from the hand of the Messara plain, and the Pirates of the Libyan Sea.

According to tradition, Epimenides, one of the seven sages of antiquity, was born in Kalimari. The settlement was first mentioned in 1370 as Camilari as a fief of Adrea Buffo.

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