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|The village of Kolimbari and the beach of Kolimbari on Crete|
Kolimbari is an attractive village at the beginning of the Rodopos peninsula in the north west of Crete, with a long pebble beach on the east side (called Tavroniti), some dilapidated houses, and lots of fish restaurants. It's surrounded by the high mountains (with caves) and connected with other villages nearby (the whole road from Tavronitis to Kolombari is one village after another). Being away so far from Heraklion and its airport hopefully keeps it quiet in the near future.
As it is now the village of Kolimbari makes more the impression of being a fisherman village where there are also some tourists visiting. The village is popular with the inhabitants of Chania that like to come to Kolimbari because of the good fish restaurants. Mass tourism as you will find in villages like Chersonissos and Malia is unknown here. There are however enough restaurants, shops, apartments and rooms for rent for people who want to stay longer than a few hours and like to relax and experience the village both at evening and at daytime. Compared to some of the other beaches in the north of Crete the long sand- and pebble beach of Kolimbari seems dreamingly quiet.
For hotels, appartments and studios in Kolimbari - CLICK HERE.
|Sights of interest in and around Kolimbari|
On a hill just outside the village you can see the 17th century Monastery of Gonia, that is still inhabited by five monks. Here you find a small museum with religious artefacts like bibles with silver covers, silver crosses, priests vestments and old icons dating back as far as the 13th century. Some of these icons are considered to belong to the most important icons of the island of Crete. The monastery of Gonia was built between 1618 and 1634 and is one of the most important monasteries on Crete. The monastery has a reputation of resistance towards the occupying forces throughout the centuries and has regularly been attacked, damaged and re-built.
The monastery of Gonies is opened on all days except Saturday (when it is closed) from 9.30 to 13.30 and from 16.30 to 20.00, there is a dress code (no shorts, no short sleeves etcetera) and you are not allowed to make pictures. How much more fun can you make it...? In high season there are sometimes boat trips from Kolimbari to the tip of the peninsula where there is a Dorian sacred place from the 9th century BC (Diktina). Diktina (or: Diktyna) is set in a beautiful isolated cove with crystal clear water and sea caves in the north east part of the peninsula. The ruins that you can see here today were built in the 2nd century AD on top of the Dorian temple, on the orders of the Roman emperor Hadrianus.
|The Sanctuary of Dyktinna|
From Afrata there is a path leading to the extreme north where you can see the Diktynna Sanctuary. On the way you will pass the Ellinospilos cave which was already inhabited in prehistoric times. The sanctuary in the north of the Rodopos peninsula was dedicated to the daughter of Zeus. The myth tells that she had to escape from King Minos and jumped into the sea at this spot. Fishermen supposedly picked her up in their nets and brought her to the island Aegina, where she was honoured as a Goddess. The people of Crete called her Diktynna (which means "net").
The first sanctuary at the site dates from 700 BC and as good as nothing is left of it. Two centuries later the sanctuary was rebuilt. During the Roman period emperor Hadrianus had it enlarged. During the later centuries a lot of the buildings disappeared, mostly by people that wanted the stones to build their own houses. The Roman temple was surrounded by columns. Places where water was saved have also been found. Statues of the Roman emperor and of the goddess that have been found here can be seen in the Museum of Chania.
|Snack Milos - Kolimbari|
Snack Milos is located at the corner of the boulevard along the sea. Fast service. Immediately a glass of water with ice is brought. The cappuccino is strong and tastes good, but it could have been slightly warmer.
Our verdict: an 8 out of 10
|Palio Archontiko - Kolimbari|
Tipped by our friend Arianne from Kissamos as one of the best restaurants in Kolimbari. Archontiko Palio is located on the sea in the center of the village and it radiates just a bit more class than the restaurants next to it. The menu is varied and there are many fish dishes on it. We ordered the sea bass and salmon fillet. The dishes look great and the food tastes fantastic, highly recommended.
Our verdict: a 9 out of 10