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Greece » Crete » Chania Prefecture » Chania Villages » Kolymbari
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Kolymbari, Chania Crete

24 kilometers far from Chania, at the West, just off the National Road to Kastelli Kolymbari is a small, scenic village on the sea, situated at the inlet of the homonymous bay; it counts 950 permanent residents. Due to its rather protected port, it has been used for landing of troops in various periods of the modern history of the island.

A good number of villages around Kolymbari are worth seeing, for their beautiful landscape, the Byzantine churches, some of them dating back to the 6 th century (as is the church of Archangelos Mihail near the village of Episkopi) and the relics of Venetian buildings (as Rodopos some 7 kilometers at the Northwest).

The village Nohia, 7 kilometers at the south is worth visiting for its tradition in pottery.

Those looking for natural monuments should see the ancient olive tree, near the village Ano Vouves; it is also worth seeing the cave of Aghios Ioannis Erimitis, 3 kilometers far from Kolymbari at the south, near the village Marathokefala. Close to the village Deliana, 15 kilometers at the south of Kolymbari there is the Deliana gorge. Some 3,5 kilometers at the North, the bay of Afrata is worth seeing for its wild landscape and the crystal clear sea.
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Possibly the most interesting and worth visiting place of the area of Kolymbari is the Monastery of Panaghia Odigitria, dedicated to Virgin Mary, known as “Moni Gonias” due to its place at the very western end of the bay. The Monastery has a long history going back to the 9 th century when it has been built. At its actual place it stands since the early 17 th century as safety reasons forced the monks to move there. The monastery has always been a spot of resistance to the various conquerors of Crete; for this reason it has been destroyed several times.

Near the Monastery it has been established the Orthodox Academy of Crete, a very important Orthodox educational foundation.

23 kilometers at the North it is located the archaeological site of Diktynna, a sacred place in honor of Artemis Vritomartis, which flourished during the Roman period. The site is accessible via the bad unasphalted road starting from the village of Rodopos.

A series of cultural activities take place in summer organized by the Municipality of Kolymbari.

A representation of the Birth of Christ takes place in Christmas Eve at the cave of Aghios Ioannis Erimitis, near the village Marathokefala.

A local feast (“panighyri”) in honor of the same Saint is celebrated in the cave on the 6 th and 7 th of October.

On the first Sunday of August is celebrated the benediction of the fruits at the church of Archangelos Michail near the village Episkopi. The farmers bring their products to the church so that the saint gives them a good harvest.

Three more local feasts (“panighyri”) take place on 15 th of August, in honor of the Assumption of Virgin Mary (Monastery of Gonia), on the 29 th of August in honor of St. John Rigologos (Giona) and on the 14 th of September in honor of the Holy Cross (Tavronitis).

A lot of hotels, rooms to let and studios are available for the tourists. Food and drink are offered at the taverns and cafes by the sea, a scenic place to eat, especially in summer nights with full moon.

Access to the village is possible by public bus running regularly and taxi from Chania, or Kastelli, as well as by private and rented car and motorbikes. 
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