Kalyves in 2019
Kalyves (also known as Kalives) is a pretty seaside town on Souda Bay, a 25-minute drive from the enchanting city of Chania in northern Crete. This former fishing village has developed into a bustling resort that has lost none of its charm. It has sandy beaches, a cute little harbour and lots of inviting cafés and tavernas serving local produce. There is a host of things to do in the area, from exploring the picturesque villages that scatter the gorgeous green hills, or hikes in the White Mountains. You could also visit the magnificent Minoan ruins at Aptera, or spend the day in the historic city of Chania.
At a glance
- Time Zone: GMT +
- Average flight time: 4h 0m
When to go
(°C) Avg. High Temp
Kalyves (also known as Kalives) is a charming seaside town, overlooking the fabulous beaches of Souda Bay on the northern coast of Crete. Now a lively little resort, it still retained all the allure of a traditional Greek fishing village and colourful boats still bob in the harbour. There is a wonderful sandy beach, with plenty of amenities, and you’ll find a great choice of inviting tavernas and cafés serving delicious local cuisine. If you want to explore further, take your pick from enchanting hill villages, amazing hikes in the White Mountains, ancient Minoan settlements and the gorgeous and historic city of Chania, just 12 miles away.
Kalyves has a great choice of places to eat and drink, including lots of charming options along the beachfront. You can tuck into some of the fabulous Cretan cuisine, which is based on the island’s magnificent range of fresh produce. You can enjoy some beautifully fresh seafood or go for a simple salad, made with plump olives, cucumber, tomatoes and mizithra cheese. Or perhaps try some lamb braised with wild greens and lemon. You can head to a bakery to pick up some delicious pies, often made with one of the island’s many cheeses, which are perfect for picnics. Don’t miss out on the chance to try the Cretan wine, produced on the island for centuries.
Kalyves is a fantastic destination for a sun, sea and sand holiday with all the family in beautiful Crete. It’s got a beautiful, sandy beach with shallow waters, which are ideal for younger kids, while older kids will enjoy taking out a kayak or a paddle board around the bay. There are plenty of shops in Kalyves, along with family-friendly cafés and restaurants, or you can head into enchanting Chania, to find an even bigger selection. There’s a water park just south of Chania for a fun family day out, and the green hills behind Kalyves are full of pretty villages to explore, with charming picnic spots and easy hikes.
Action & Adventure
There are plenty of enjoyable activities in the Kalyves area, including a range of water sports. If you’re an experienced kayaker, you could take one of the fantastic sea kayak excursions around Souda Bay, or you might want to rent out a boat to explore the numerous little coves. Crete is a celebrated hiking destination, and you’ll find scores of excellent hiking routes in the area. If you want to do some more demanding walking, head to the White Mountains, or make the hike through the spectacular Samaria Gorge, one of the longest and most impressive in Europe, which is now a national park.
The main beach in Kalyves is a gorgeous curve of sand, divided by a small breakwater. It’s very popular with families, thanks to the crystal clear, shallow waters and fine sand. There are lots of facilities, from sun beds and parasols for rent, to beachfront bars and cafés. You’ll also find amenities for water sports, and you can rent out kayaks and paddle boards. If you want to escape the crowds, head to Kiani Akti (also called Glaros) beach, which is about 1 kilometre from the village. A quiet little beach, it has no facilities except for a tavern, so bring shade and a picnic.
Kalyves is an authentic little Greek town that appeals particularly to families, and the nightlife is low-key and tranquil. You can join the locals sitting out on the charming main square and enjoy a drink or two as the sun goes down. Or linger after dinner at one of the waterfront taverns and listen to the sound of the waves. There are a few spots that offer livelier entertainment in the summer months, but you’ll need to head into Chania, about 25 minutes away, to find some serious nightlife. Chania is a gorgeous little city set around a Venetian harbour, and has plenty of fantastic bars, cafés and clubs.
Kalyves is a charming and authentic Greek seaside town, backed by green hills and overlooking a lovely sandy beach. It’s ideal for a romantic holiday in the sun, whether you simply hope to laze by the sea, or want to enjoy some fabulous hikes in the hills. You could rent a couple of kayaks and explore the coast to find your own secluded cove, or paddle board around the bay. There are lots of wonderful excursions in the area, such as visiting the Minoan ruins at Aptera, which have a spectacular setting overlooking Souda Bay. Chania, the historic capital of Crete, is a very charming city, and its picture-postcard Venetian bay is perfect for a romantic stroll.
There are scores of wonderful cultural sights to explore in the Kalyves area. The atmospheric Minoan ruins at Aptera enjoy a commanding setting overlooking Souda Bay. Just below them is a Turkish fortress, built in the late 19th century, and nearby you’ll also find German pillboxes, a vestige of the Battle of Crete during the Second World War. Chania, the historic capital of Crete until 1971, is an enchanting city, arranged around a beautiful Venetian harbour. You can visit the remains of the ancient Minoan settlement in Kasteli, the oldest part of the city, which is still enclosed by 12th-century walls. Chania also has a number of excellent museums, including a naval museum in the Venetian fortress, and a fabulous Byzantine museum, with displays of gilded icons.