Kalyves is an ideal location for peaceful and relaxing holidays by the sea and an excellent starting point for day excursions to the surrounding sites.
To one side of the village is the sea and behind low hills covered by orange and olive groves raises the dramatic scenery of the “White Mountains” in the background. As many other coastal areas of Crete, Kalyves has grown popular in recent decades, but the development of tourism is gentle with small hotels and family enterprises.
The coastal village of Kalyves is built at the entrance of Souda Bay. It is one of the areas on the peninsula Drapanos, and together with the nearby villages of Almyrida and Plaka it is renowned for its beautiful beaches, but also for its intense residential development. To the north of the village close to the small fishing harbour, the visitor can find the large beachfront equipped with all facilities for swimming and relaxing.
The large coastal settlement is evidenced by the years of the late Venetian period, while in the east over the hill Castelli was the important Castel Apicorno, seat of the Castellani Apokoronos during the Venetian era. Some parts from the old village still survive, particularly around the Church of Our Lady.
It is said that Kalyves (Greek for huts) took its name from their makeshift shelters (huts) built by Arab pirates who invaded in 828 AD and occupied the region “Saracen” near the village. Another version is that the name comes from the huts built by farmers near their farms to stay in the summer, without having to return to their village every night.
At the village square in Kalyves a watermill has been preserved that fed the village with water from the river Mesopotamou and is well illustrated in several Venetian maps. It has four ports with horizontal rotors and operated for grinding grain until the early 20th century. This watermill hosted astonishing early the first power generator supplying Kalyves and the prisons Itzedin with electricity.
Beaches in Kalyves
- To the north of the village, on the long coast between the village center and the fishing harbor, the visitor can find the large beachfront equipped with all facilities for swimming and relaxing.
- Not far away at the western outskirts of the village, you can enjoy the large sandy beach of “Kiani Akti”, where the river Kiliaris flows into the sea.
What to see around Kalyves
- the archaeological site Aptera with its fortress and views all over the bay of Souda
- the nearby Vamos village with its old stone paved roads
- the monastery Agios Georgios with the spectacular old olive mill
- and of course the cities of Chania and Rethymnon
There is a good public bus connection from Kalyves to Chania and Rethymnon.