Nopigia, a coastal village, is situated 6km east of Kissamos and 30km west of the city of Chania. Nestled on the eastern side of Kissamos Bay, it sits adjacent to the base of Rodopos Cape and follows the eastern end of Drapanias beach.
A long beach lies ahead of the village, stretching westwards up to Kissamos. The beach boasts sandy shores with clear, shallow waters. As Nopigia village is close by, visitors can easily access facilities like umbrellas, showers, restaurants and accommodation, all set in a peaceful environment.
To the east, the beach becomes rockier and more secluded, presenting several pebbly and rocky coves. After walking 2km, you will come across the church of Panagia and the beautiful remote beaches of Choni.
Nopigia is believed to have a history dating back to ancient times. Local folklore suggests that upon Agamemnon’s return from Troy, he landed in the area to give offerings to the gods. However, he had to leave swiftly due to the Trojan prisoners’ attempt to burn his fleet.
Not far from Nopigia, following the road to Koleni, you’ll find the ruins of the ancient town Mythimna, nestled amidst olive groves. You can also visit the cruciform Church of St. Panteleimon, which features a cylindrical dome and rectangular floor layout. To the west of Nopigia, ruins of a Roman settlement and a church adorned with Byzantine frescoes, dedicated to Saint George, can be found. Interestingly, the church’s orientation is from North to South, unlike the typical Greek Orthodox churches that face from East to West. This is believed to be due to its construction on the site of an earlier Roman temple, the direction of which was preserved. To the east of Nopigia, there is a small seaside theatre, built in 1992, modeled after ancient Greek theatres and renowned for its excellent acoustics. Lastly, just 200m off the main village street, you can explore the cave of Rizospilios, an underground river.
Heading 2km east from Nopigia, you’ll encounter the rugged coastline of Choni. To reach it, take the coastal road heading east from Nopigia. After passing the quaint square theatre of the Orthodox Academy, continue along the unpaved road towards Choni and the Panagia church, also known as Santa Maria. The stunning rock formations lend an extraordinary, untamed charm to the area. In certain spots, there are petite rocky coves suitable for swimming.
The water here is clear as crystal, displaying vivid hues of blue and green, making it an excellent spot for swimming on calm days. Sparse trees offer some natural shade to visitors in this untouched oasis where there’s no sign of modern civilization. Despite its remote feel, Nopigia is just a short walk away.
Drapanias Beach, situated 5km east of Kissamos and 32km west of Chania, lies between the beaches of Korfalonas and Nopigia. It takes its name from the eponymous village located approximately 1km south of the beach. The eastern part of the beach is also known as Kokkino Metohi, named after a nearby small village whose inhabitants own the surrounding land.
Stretching over a long area of 2km, Drapanias Beach is part of a large beach that extends from Kissamos to Cape Rodopos in the east. Like its neighbouring beaches, it is sandy and shallow but is often wavy due to the northern winds.
The shoreline of Drapanias is dotted with restaurants, cafes and lodgings. It also offers amenities such as umbrellas and showers. Additionally, there are two camping sites located in Drapanias.
Within the region spanning from Ravdoucha to Nopigia, numerous hidden coves with petite beaches emerge, primarily featuring pebbles and a rocky seabed. The road from Nopigia runs parallel to the coastline, offering breathtaking sea views until it reaches the church of Panagia Myrtidiotissa at Choni location, and it continues only a short distance further. From this point, a walk will lead us to the renovated chapel of Saint Basil situated on the beach. To get there, we first hike up a rather rough dirt road and then descend towards the beach where the chapel is roughly in the center. This beach is adorned with large pebbles and an eye-catching rocky seabed.
To the north of Agios Vasilios, a minor stream forms that can be accessed on foot from the Ravdoucha region. Where this stream meets the sea, the small pebbled beach of Skotini takes shape, counted amongst the most stunning hidden beaches in Western Crete. A few meters further north, at the edge of a peninsula, remnants of an early 20th-century iron ore mine can be found. The base of the loading platform still stands in the sea. In the past, a small community of mine workers resided here, but it is now abandoned.
Skotini, a stunning beach, is nestled between Ravdoucha and Agios Vasilios at Cape Sideris, near Panagia Myrtidiotissa at Choni. It is found at the end of a narrow, steep gorge. The beach is reachable via a striking trail that begins at Saint Marina (Agia Marina) in Ravdoucha and extends to Nopigia. Approximately 20-25 minutes into the hike, after passing the rock above Ravdoucha beach, you divert from the path and descend towards the dilapidated iron ore transhipment facilities that were operational in the early 20th century. Historically, there existed a small settlement, Skotini, inhabited by mining workers.
Before arriving at the rugged coastline, you’ll discover a sizable cave that provides refuge for the local goats. After cautiously navigating through the mine and natural saltpans, you will reach Skotini beach, noted for its rocks and cavities, and also referred to as Metalio (mine). The beach features pebbles and crystal blue waters. However, it is significantly impacted by the west winds that carry litter across the Kissamos bay. The beach provides an idyllic relaxation spot during the south winds, when the waters are clear.