Holidays to Kalyves scoop up an armful of traditional Greek features and plonk them right on a sand-smothered strip of coastline.

Textbook Greek

Everything about Kalyves gives off a time-honoured, traditional vibe. The waterfront’s a snoozy sort of character, with old-school tavernas and family-run hotels hanging on its coat-tails. Modern buildings play second fiddle to scenery, with the village’s apple-green hills doing the talking in the background, and Crete’s craggy spine rising up in the distance.

Blue Flag beauty

The beach here’s a real corker, and the bods at Blue Flag have rewarded it with a place on their highly rated list. A smooth brushstroke of sand’s sliced in two by the dinky Xidas River, and both sides are flecked with loungers and parasols. Lofty trees provide patchy pockets of shade, and the shallow waters are spot-on for a gentle paddle. To check out the nearest competition, take a five-minute drive through the countryside and you’ll reach the tucked-away shores of Kiana Akti.

Ruins and restaurants

There are a couple of must-do days out to check off. Clap eyes on the Venetian architecture in Chania – it’s around half an hour’s drive away, and clocks up a big count of restaurants, bars and boutiques. Then there are the Roman ruins of Aptera – only 10 minutes’ drive away. They’re some of the best-kept historical bits on the island, with an amphitheatre, a necropolis and a monastery to poke around.

At a Glance

  • Splay out on a Blue Flag beach
  • Nose around the streets of Chania
  • Polish off dinner at a seaside taverna