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THE VILLAGE AND THE BEACHES OF ALMYRIDA OR ALMIRIDA IN THE APOKORONAS IN CRETE
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Almirida (sometimes spelled as Almyrida) is a small village on the Apokoronos with 3 shallow beaches (two small ones, one a little bit bigger, but nice, and there are more beaches within walking distance) located in the bay of Souda, about 25 km west of Chania. The village looks out over the sea and the Akrotiri peninsula. It's still sort of quiet, with some waterside taverna's, a few bars and a couple of hotels. Some of the houses are standing in the water of the sea, making it look like a tiny Venice. I thought this village was very relaxed and looked really good in it's pretty bay surrounded by a steep hill on one side. There is plenty of choice for taverna's, super markets, and hotels and apartments (most of them small accommodations) and most of the visitors seem to be English (often with small children, because the beaches are perfect for them). It is a good destination for families and has a certain feeling of class to it. In this area lots of new houses have been built, especially around the village of Plaka. In front of the beach there is a cute islet in the sea which is called Karga. In Almirida you can also find the remains of an early Christian basilica from the 5th century, with mozaiks and some fallen down pillars.

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Almirida has two blue flag beaches the smaller one to the west and a long curving beach to the east the latter is particularly safe for young children. Both of Almirida`s beaches are flat and sandy and slope gently into clear turquoise water. Along the beach are a number of restaurants offering diners a wide range of local cuisine, whilst enjoying breathtaking views across the beach and Souda bay. The sunsets in this part of Crete are spectacular as the sun falls across Souda Bay. Both beaches have lounges and parasols to rent, you can hire sailing boats for day trips round the peninsular. A well know windsurfing school is situated on the west beach at Almirida where you can hire windsurfers. There are plenty of shops and tavernas along the front.

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In Almirida you will find a good number of tavernas (many of them serving fresh fish) including options for vegetarian meals, some bars and kafenions. There are cash machines and there is a small fishermens harbour just above the largest one of the beaches. On the beaches you can rent sunbeds and umbrellas if you want. The village has about 1000 permanent inhabitants. In Almirida you also find the crossroads to the villages of the sea side resort of Kalives and the village of Plaka which is situated above Almirida. There is also a road leading to Vamos and Gavalochori with its historical buildings. It is a good place to make short excursions to for instance the very pretty village of Kefalas or the cove of Ombros Gialos with its turqoise waters and a very special restaurant. Compared to some of the districts of Crete the area of the Apokoronas, where the village of Almirida is situated, still makes a pretty unspoilt impression, with hills with olive groves, lush nature, old traditional mountain villages and (good) roads with not much traffic. The area of the Apokoronas is one of my favourite destinations (together with the south east of Crete) where you can still find plenty of peace and quiet. Just take a turn here from the highway and within a minute you will find yourself in a completely different world, surrounded by large trees and olive groves, villages with historic stone buildings dating from the Venetian and Turkish times and interesting old small churches. If you want to visit the Apokoronas area you also have the option to fly to the airport of Chania, which is nearby. Chania is one of the other gems that you might want to visit when you plan your holiday in this area.


Hans Huisman, http://www.angelfire.com/super2/greece/ 2014
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