Elena Amirida Appartments

 

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Apokoronas

In the northeastward of the prefecture of Chania, visitor meets one of the five boroughs of the prefecture, the borough of Apokoronas. Apokoronas has an extend of 313 sq kilometers (98 flat, 103 semi mountainous, 112 mountainous) and it is constituted by 5 municipalities. The province of Apokoronas numbers 34 traditional villages and 12.623 residents (inventory 2001) 

Morphology

The geographic location of Apokoronas could be characterized as very important cause it constitutes as the “bridge ” of Chania with the rest of Crete’s prefectures.

image_apokoronas.jpg
It’s bigger department is found covered by wild as much as meek vegetation and is stretched out from the foothill of White mountains up until the gulf of Souda northwesterly and the gulf of Georgioupolis northeasterly.

Apokoronas has two capes, one of Souda and one of Drapanos, five rivers (Koiliaris, Xydias, Vrissanos or Mpoutakas, Almiros, Delfinas) and a single lake (the lake of Kournas) which is also the unique in Crete.


Visitor

The province of Apokoronas could be characterized as ideal for the visitor who wishes to combine on his vacation, tours so much on the mountains as much on seaside. A unique experience which Crete offers in a harmonious way.

In abrupt cliffs, visitor meets small picturesque villages, which impress with their authentic traditional color and elect Crete’s soul greatness while coastal touristic villages with organized beaches will offer the comforts of modern age.

Important Gorges, like the ones of Diktamos (begins from Katoxori Keramion and leads up at Stilos), the one of saint nikolas-kanali (between ramnis and maxairon) and the one of Asi gonias, they generously offer the natural beauty of Crete.

Caverns (213 have been recorded) with historical and environmental value, steep beaches, Byzantine churches, are found there in order to satisfy taste and requirements of all tourists, who are sure that they will leave this place with a sweet recollection and a promise that they will return as soon as possible.

History

In the antiquity, the word Apokoronas is not reported at all apart from the names of the cities within the province. As a borough is being referred at the era of Crete’s Venice domination, without though knowing the limits of the province at that time. Several toponymies have been referred such as: "Apikonna", Bicorna and Bicorno. The name "Hippokoronion" from Cornelius took place for the venetian fortress Bicorna that was found at the coastal hill, easterly from Kalives. It’s also credited that the name was emanated from the words “apo” and “korona”, because the province was a meticulous possession of the crown from Byzantine emperors.

There are elements, which prove that in Apokoronas, had human presence, since the Neolithic age, namely 8-6.000 years B.C. Archeological relic have been found at Apokoronas and in between and also in Samonas and Stilos that a settlement of the same period have been found. Beneath Aptera Minoan burials with many vessels also have been excavated, near Stilos, a magnificent vaulted burial, the ruins of a ceramic kiln and several different relic of the same period and other appreciable discoveries also take place.

Aptera

Hardly 7,5 kilometers from Almyrida on the way to Chania, the visitor meets Aptera which have a bird's eye view of the gulf of Souda, that it shouldn’t be missed .

Aptera were founded the 7 century BC, they were inhabited until the Byzantine years while they’re constituted as one of the more important cities of ancient Crete. They repeatedly played a decisive role in history of the island as well as in its internal and external policy.

The name was emanated from the king - founder Apterous as a motive of the fight that took place between the monsoons and Sirens, where the Sirens conquered and their feathers flew away, than they became apterai and leykai, fall in the sea and thus the islands Leykai were created on the gulf of Souda.

At Aptera the visitor can see the walls of the ancient city that are still extanded in a length of roughly four kilometers, a small temple from the beginnings of the 1st century BC (probably dedicated to Goddess Dimitra), a small Roman theatre with cornices carved on rock, and the huge impressive vaulted reservoirs from the period of Roman domination. There also exists the Monastery of Saint John the theologian. Southernly from the abbey flooring from a Christian temple of the 7th or the 8th century a.C has been revealed and underneath it, Christian graves.

Aptera was autonomous through the whole Greek period (6th-4th century B.C) και and a lot of coins have been monetized. Has also send help to the Spartans at the 2nd Messenian war (668 B.C) while it was an ally of Knossos during the civilian Cretan war. (220 B.C)

Near the antiquities two fortresses of exceptional historical interest that were manufactured during the period of Ottoman domination are being saved, the fortress of Palaiokastro which have been build from Ottomans for causation of the insurgence of 1866 which constitutes a representative sample of frourian architectural of the 19th century, as well as the Idzedin fortress at Kalami which was buid at 1872 from Reouf pasha. The Idzetin fortress constituted as the Mainer defensive work of the harbor, while at the later years was used mainly as a political detainee’s prison who with their resistance fought for their democratic ideas.

From Almyrida you can effortlessly visit several villages of Apokoronas… Few words for some of the villages

Kalives

Kalives is a tourist coastal village (4,5 kilometers from Almyrida) with beautiful sandy beaches.

The village is found in the eastern utmost of the gulf of Souda and right opposite of the Cape. The ruins of a Venice castle are found which is named Mpikorno/Apikorno or Ipokoroneio.

For the name of the village “Kalives” the different opinions diverge. Some consider that farmers or grazers used to build huts (Gr: Kalives) in order to take care of their land and others that Arabs gave this particular name.

The village is surrounded by extents of olive groves and vines, while three rivers cross within. (Ksidas, Koiliaris and Mesopotamos).

Plaka

Traditional village only 1,5 kilometers away from Almyrida, with an old well-subsisted settlement, graphic passages, rocky beaches and marine caves of infinity beauty. It worth’s to bear in mind that the caverns of the region counts up to 215.

Gavalochori

Gavalochori it’s a traditional village which is found at the centre of Apokoronas, 4 km away from Almyrida.

Took it’s name, from the lordly Byzantine family of Gavaladon from the lot which the village took place, when Crete halved out to the 12 young nobleman of the Byzantine at 1182. In a distance of 500m from the village, many of the Gavalian wells are being saved.

The village allocates historical and folklore museum. The building that accommodates the museum constitutes a characteristic sample of the local traditional architecture. On the historical part of the museum weapons, swords, paintings, historical lithography and coins (Roman, Byzantine, Venice and ottoman) are being saved. A feminine cooperative of weavers and embroideries also operates where the visitor can buy handmade work of art and textiles, known as kopanelia.

Vamos

Only 7 kilometers away from Almyrida, visitor meets a traditional village which impresses with its natural beauty and its hospitable residents.

Old traditional buildings with gardens, traditional cafes and narrow passages compose the village’s history of many centuries which takes us back to time when Arab pirates used to live there. Unconfirmed origins conjecture that I must’ve first inhabited by Saracen pirates, during the 8th century a.C. during the Turkish domination a administrative centre coexisted and in 1863 Pasha Sava designated it as the capital of Sfakia prefecture.

People with a patriotic morality, the residents of Vamos emerged for their national-deliverance battles, especially on the glorious battles of 1896 which Vamos redeemed from the Turks. It is worthy of note that the years that Vamos was a capital of Sfakia, faced a particular rice on the line of a special model of growth. Since that age, urban style luxury houses with neoclassic dual differentiate. However on the architecture that took place, up until the mid of the 19th century, the debilitation of the Venice domination took a determinative role. Since that age the discrimination of luxury or not houses began, an incident which also portrays the economic stratification of the place, intensely declaring the conflict between affluent who lived in posts and indigents who lived in a more secular home type known as "kamarospito".

Places that you shouldn’t miss are: the old school (build in 1863) as well as the churches of St. George & Nicolas.

On the outskirts of Vamos two Venice villages exists: Karidi kartsomado and Karidi of St. George, where you will espy the ruins Virgin Mary monastery filled with mosaics, as well as the monastery of St. George’s which still functions and it’s one of the most important architectural moment of Chania prefecture.

Twelve impressive stone arches harmoniously consolidated on the formerly buildings, they constituted an enormous olive press. It was depopulated in the beginning of 1900 and reestablished recently with a successful up until now attempt to reconstruct and be eminence again.

Kefalas

North east of Vamos in a distance of about 5 kilometers stands the village Kefalas with a richly traditional architecture. It owes its name to “kefalades” byzantine colonists who Alexandros Komninos had sent over to Crete in 1182.

Obrosgialos is a gorgeous coastline with a clerical little tavern northwest of Kefalas which definitely deserves your visit thus in order to swim in it’s clear blue waters.

Armenoi

Village established on a verdurous landscape filled with planes and amply fountains. Where a huge part of the borough gets watered. Armenoi stands 7 kilometers from Almyrida and worth’s your visit in order to dine in one of the taverns underneath the planes which number centuries of life. The village was firstly abided from the Armenians right after the 9th century who were ministering the army of Nikiforos.

Nio Horio

Two kilometers away from Armenoi you’ll meet Nio Horio which has a big extent plain of olive groves, orange trees, mandarin trees and several other types of trees.

Apokoronas

Apokoronas village with the fountains (2 kilometers away from Nio Horio) it will fascinate you with its verdurous landscape and its gargle fine quality water which is being bottled. As you enter the village, on your right head side you’ll meet the byzantine church of St. John’s (1271-80) which has many murals. The area is full of historical monuments, while its big square with the ageless plains will surely offer you hours of relaxation as well as tasteful delights. .

Kainos

Stands on the location of the ancient toponym Kaino, Kainos or Kanos, where it’s believed that Vritomartis Diktinna was born.

Emprosneros

Picturesque village being surrounded from an acorns wood. At the edge of the village stands the demodernized tower of Alidakis, a great janissary, who his tower was burned down by sfakians in 1774. Prettily surrounded villages are Kastelos, Patima and filaki where an impressive Minoan sepulcher with a long aisle and a square chamber, build with colossal stones and a pyramidal roof exists.

Vrises

Vrises stands on the way to Sfakia and was developed after 1925. It’s being crossed over by Vrisanos river. Eastwards of the village, a beautiful ancient bridge since the Greek-roman years exists. The name is Elliniki Kamara.

Koyrnas

Semi mountainous village on the foot of white mountains with a magnificent homonymic lake, Crete’s unique fresh water lake being surrounded by mountainous volumes. It’s water which changes color during the day according the sun, whatever appertains the lakes depth it still remains a mystery even though divers have tried to detect it. Either if you visit the lake for a meal or drink at the different taverns that exist, or because you love nature, you will definitely fined the beauty of this pastoral landscape. The ancient name of the lake was Korisia and it’s said that there also existed a homonymous city, the City Korion with the sanctum of Goddess Athena.

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