Kolymbari, Chania, is picturesque fishing village about 10 kilometers west of Pyrgos Psilonerou and Daphnis Villas. Kolymbari has not been so affected by tourism development, as other parts in West Crete, so it is one of the best places in Chania prefecture for real relaxation.
Kolymbari is located inside the homonymous Kolymbari Bay, at the eastern part of Rodopou Peninsula. Kolymbari Bay offers breathtaking view to the sea and the surrounding area and is considered one of the most picturesque bays in Crete.
The beauty and tranquility of Kolymbari bay comes in contrast with the fierce battles that took place in the area that had to do with the Ottoman occupation of Crete. It was at this particular bay that the Ottomans landed for first time on Crete in 1645, when they arrived to occupy the island. Rather ironically, this was the same location where the Greek army landed about 250 years later, in 1897, in order to liberate Crete from the Ottoman Empire. Many years have passed since these events have taken place, however, and today Kolymbari is one of the most tranquil places in Chania prefecture.
The many facets of Kolymbari, Chania
The area of Kolymbari, Chania, has been inhabited since the ancient Minoan years, as the remnants of Minoan settlements that have been found all around Kolymbari suggest.
The location of Kolymbari village is magnificent: Between the sea and the green hills, Kolymbari is the ideal place to enjoy calm mornings and evenings, and feel the lazy days of summer.
The beautiful Kolymbari beach is long and sandy. The water is crystal-clear and excellent for swimming. Near the beach, there are plenty of amenities: shops, taverns, restaurants, cafes and bars await you for relaxed eating out, drinking and chatting when not in the gorgeous beach.
The residents of Kolymbari, Chania, are mainly occupied with fishing, tourism and wine-making. In fact, the wines of Kolymbari are pretty well known in the area.
Kolymbari, Chania and Moni Gonias
Possibly the most known sight near Kolymbari, and one of the most known sights in Chania prefecture, is the so-called “Moni Gonias” (meaning “Cloister in the Corner”). The name comes from its location, at the southeast corner of Rodopou Peninsula. Moni Gonias is dedicated to Virgin Mary and is one of the sights you have to visit when you are in the area.
Moni Gonias was originally built in the 9th century AD in a location near its present location. The original cloister was severely destroyed in the 17th century AD and soon after rebuilt at its present location. Generally, the cloister has suffered many raids from the Ottoman occupation forces, which were in search of its hidden treasures. Today, one can hopefully find most of these treasures intact, including the Crucifixion, the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, St. Antonios and St. Nikolaos. In the cloister there are also centuries-old rare manuscripts and books. Finally, in Moni Gonias one of the most known local feasts in Chania prefecture is held in August 15th, the day that Virgin Mary is celebrated in Greece.
Kolymbari, Chania, is a village full of tranquility, with an excellent beach. If we also take under consideration the breathtaking landscape of Kolymbari bay, Kolymbari village is one of the best places in northwest Chania to unwind.