Villa Venetiana Apartments
West Crete, Greece
8 Air conditioned apartments in Chorafakia, Akrotiri, West Crete
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The Akrotiri and Chania
This small shallow cove is the nearest coastline to Villa Venetiana (about 150metres as the crow flies) about 10-15 minutes walk)
It's sandy beach is home to local residents as well as visitors. Safe snorkelling and shallow water for about 200metres, then it's down amongst the rocks and sea bed to explore underwater life.
For those who want to see everyday Cretans enjoying a beach side life, try the Rose Cantina on Tersanas Beach where Sarah (yes, an original Shirley Valentine) keeps snacks and cold/hot drinks
An important village, well spread out but houses some hidden
A few good restaurants of which Irene's & Sunset stand out for Greek Cuisine
(Both are favourites of Villa Venetiana regulars, especially on their first night)
Ramblers & Boys are respected for their more European taste
There is also "The Baha", quite a sophisticated Restaurant & Bar just outside the village towards Stavros
At the centre of Horafakia is the offices of Horafakia Car Rental, Stelios will be able to help you with directions and useful advice.
Koutros supermarket is always
well stocked for milk, bread and essentials provisions - the wines and beers are
A garage serve fuel and repairs punctures.
Regular bus services to Chania and Stavros stop here - it's not unusual for visitors to travel into Chania by bus and return later in the evening by taxi (about £10-£15) as it saves hunting down the parking spaces and the risk of a Greek breathalyser.
There are numerous cafes/restaurants on the main road between Chania & Stavros (which passes through Chorafakia)
a naturally formed Horseshoe bay and the
setting for the film
Zorba the Greek.
Stavros is a
delightful and relaxing village with the main beach, a perfect horseshoe, which
was the setting for the beach scenes including the famous final dance of Zorba
Zorba The Greek's Oscar winning Cinematographer, Walter Lassally now lives in the area and is a frequent visitor to Mailka's Cantina at Big Blue
The whole area is overlooked by "Zorba's" Mountain!
One or two, more sophisticated, Cafe' Bars are now coming to this part of Crete and are welcome as they help to cater for the evenings, especially after your dinner when you might want to relax and forget the pressures you have left behind at work.
Stavros is also home to Big Blue (not to be confused with a nearby Hotel) You can get to this beach by winding through the back streets of Stavros - not easy but worth the effort!
Big Blue is a favourite of local and regular visitors, mainly due to its long stretch of open, sandy beach and almost no tourists.
The ambience at Big Blue Cantina is
out of this world.
If you like quality home cooking, wine and world music then this is the place.
Forget the menu! there is no menu - just let Malika choose for you
- trust her
Sit back and enjoy - the food - the wine - the music
Take a night time dip or just hang
your feet in the water.
Take a table to the waters edge and cut yourself off from the world
The Monasteries of Akrotiri
Within a short drive of Villa Venetiana are a couple of the numerous monasteries of the Akrotiri.
the airport and you will find the signs to Agia Triada, follow the track up to
Gourveneto and then on through the mountain and down to the sea., you will pass
Little Bear Cave and The Monastery of Katholiko in an impressive complex of abandoned caves
Kalathas & Kounoupidiana
Kalathas is a beautiful beach, approached from above with views over the long expanse of sand with a small island just off-shore (to which it is possible to swim)
find a few small beach bars (open in the evenings)
The beach is shallow and well sheltered and wonderful for just lazing about in the sun.
Kounoupidiana has a great selection of shops and amenities including Doctor, Pharmacy,
Patisserie, Hardware, Cash Machines
and a Mobile Telephone Shop (local sim cards are available for those who need to keep up with home & office)
Major supermarkets have stores nearby
is an extremely pleasant town, different from other Akrotiri
villages. It has a good sized harbour facing Souda Bay and looking out
towards Kalives across the bay.
Besides the main beaches, other smaller coves and beaches can be found in the local area.
A good place for eating, whether it is daytime or evening.
Approaching Chania from the Akrotiri you will travel along the coast through Kalathas, Kounoupidiana to meet up with the main Chania - Airport road at The Grave of Venizelos (Founder of Modern Crete)
Views from The Grave of Venizelos
It is here
that Eleftherios Venizelos, the founder of modern Crete is remembered.
His grave looks out from high above Chania, over a city that resembles no other in Europe. A mix of Venetian, Turkish (Byzantine) and Greek (from Minoan to present day) with flavours of Arabia thrown in for good luck, it is busy day and night, a commercial city which goes about its own business each day with only a little regard for tourism for which Crete relies on so much. In the heart of the city, in the lanes and small alleys, you will find a wealth of cafés, restaurants and shops of all descriptions where you can spend time and enjoy the ambience of one of Europe's least know cities.
Chania is only 20 minutes drive from Villa Venetiana, in the evenings many choose to catch one of the regular buses into town and return by taxi
Come into town
earlier in the day to catch the Daily Market for fresh fish, cheese and
Saturday is the time to find the Farmer's Market, fresh from the fields, everything that is in season is brought to town and sold - the oranges make the best juice you will ever taste.
Breakfast is great whether you go down to the harbour side or climb upstairs at a roof top cafe bar and spend some time watching the world go past.
Chania is well
worth the effort. There are several museums, Churches and old buildings
to visit and explore.
The atmosphere will make you feel at ease.
Scenes from the Old Town in Chania
To find out more about The Akrotiri, Chania and West Crete
please see the links page