Holidays to Kolymbari serve up a slice of traditional Crete – you get laid-back village life, a quiet Blue Flag beach and some of the island's best seafood. And buzzy Chania is just down the road.
Kolymbari, on Crete’s northwest coast, takes a softly-softly approach to holidays. This laid-back fishing village leaves out the big, loud bars and clubs in favour of olive groves, traditional tavernas and real Greek charm. But there’s always buzzing Chania half an hour down the road if you get too relaxed.
Blue Flag beach
Kolymbari likes things quiet – and that includes its Blue Flag beach. This long sweep of pebble and sand never gets too busy, so you’re pretty much guaranteed a spot. You’ll need to keep an eye on the sea though – the water starts off nice and shallow, but a little way out and you’ve got a bit of a steep drop.
Hiking is practically a national sport round these parts, and there are some well-defined trails to get you started. Serious trekkers might want to take on the winding 600-foot walk to the lofty village of Afrata. It’s pretty challenging, but worth it for the coastal views and the inland path that takes you through Kolymbari’s pretty pinewoods.
Close to Chania
A bus will get you over to Chania – the island’s second biggest city – in about 30 minutes. The old town is a labyrinth of Venetian and Gothic alleyways that spill out into a pretty harbour overlooked by a fortress. There’s a real cosmopolitan vibe to the waterfront fish restaurants here, and at night the bars and clubs really get fired up.