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Kalives beaches

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Beach description

The coastal resort of Kalives is situated 19km west of Chania, along the southern edge of Souda Bay. This charming village is nestled in a verdant valley where several rivers meander. Its name, which translates to “Huts” in Greek, is thought to have originated from the primitive structures erected by farmers for summer overnight stays. The rivers of Xidas and Mesopotamos flow near the village’s eastern boundary. The combination of these rivers with the sea’s many springs results in a cooler sea temperature.

Adjacent to the Xidas river, both east and west, are two sandy beaches with shallow waters, exposed to northern winds. Named Xidas and Maistrali respectively, these beaches are well-equipped with standard tourist amenities. A petite, picturesque bridge at Xidas river’s mouth connects these two beaches. The scenic harbor of Kalives neighbors Maistrali and is connected to Chania through regular bus services. The area also houses banks, post offices, clinics, shops, and more.

North of Kalives, at the mouth of the Kiliaris river, lies the serene beach of Kiani Akti or Glaros. The Kiliaris river, which carries water from the White Mountains, maintains a year-round flow, a rarity in Crete. This results in cooler seawater near the river.

Kalives’ geographical position and fertile soil have made it a place of habitation since ancient times. It is believed to be the location of the ancient city Amfimatrion. Notable historical events include the construction of the Castel Apicorno fortress in 1206 and the village’s destruction by the pirate Barbarossa in 1538. The village is also close to the ancient city of Aptera and the Ottoman forts of Intzedin and Aptera.

The harbor houses a German cannon concealed in a cave on the other side of a mountain. A small window at the tunnel’s end offers breathtaking views of the cliffs and sea. This is merely one example of the German defensive structures scattered across the broader Apokoronas and Akrotiri Cape area.

Visitors are encouraged to stroll through the village’s picturesque narrow streets, eventually reaching the village’s central square, home to a large plane tree and the Agia Paraskevi church. The church, adorned with frescoes, was constructed during the German Occupation in World War II.

An old Venetian mill, one of Crete’s most complex, is located along the Mesopotamos river. Built from stone and kourasani (a mixture of mortar and ground tile), it is renowned for its durability.