Villa Amaltheia Location in Crete
The villa is only a 40-minute drive from Chania airport (2 hours from Heraklion airport).
The villa is found on the outskirts of Xirosterni, a small old village essentially untouched by tourism. The village contains a small supermarket and a lovely kafenion serving authentic Greek food. At the centre of the village there is of course a church. This is the ‘Church of Christ’ and every year on the 5th/6th of August there is a great festival in Xirosterni in honour of the patron saint.
Xirosterni is a lovely place to stay - very quiet and peaceful, whilst only being 5 minutes’ drive from the restaurants and kafenions at Kefalas and Vamos. In addition, the beaches at Kalyves and Almyrida are 10 minutes’ drive, with the popular resort of Giorgioupolis being 20 minutes away.
Vamos is a lovely village with restaurants, super markets, bakery, grocery shops, internet cafe, post-office, bank (with cash machine), police station, health centre, and two petrol stations. There is a cookery school offering lessons in Greek cooking. You can relax with a coffee or a beer in one of several tavernas watching the world go by. The famous ‘Jon the Butchers’ is located in Vamos providing high quality meat for your BBQ. The pastry shop has lots of lovely treats and desserts. There are several restauarants each offering something different. Our favourites are Parasia Rakadiko in Vamos (modern Cretan, a 1 minute drive from the centre), and Restaurant Vamos in Vamos (Cretan dishes and amazing pizzas!). Each family run restaurant offers a lovely atmosphere with plenty of outdoor seating. Check them out on Trip Advisor!
Kalyves is a popular tourist resort that has maintained its Cretan character. It is very easily reached, being only 10 minutes’ drive from the villa. The town runs alongside the sea for a couple of kilometres with the beach at the front and some low hills behind.
There is a tiny picturesque harbour at the eastern end of the town with a kantina on the beach nearby. Running alongside the golden sandy beach, which starts at the side of the harbour, are some really good tavernas and cafes.
There are some beautiful old stone houses at the side of the main street through Kalyves, many of them whitewashed and renovated. In the narrow alleyways running off this, there are also old stone houses – both renovated and requiring renovation.
There are also many shops and tavernas on this road. It is a busy little town with a 3 large supermarkets, 2 banks, cash machines, bookshops, clothes / shoe shops, really good fruit and vegetable shops, 3 butchers, 2 pharmacies and a laundry. There is also a ‘wine merchant’ with some great wines. The biggest supermarket in the area (INKA) is situated at the far end of Kalyves. You can sample the lovely Greek speciality of Gyros Pitas at the roadside cafes.
A small, but lovely tourist resort by the sea only 5 minutes drive from the villa. The two small golden sand-beaches are ideal for sunbathing and swimming. There are plenty of family run-taverns serving snacks, lunch, fresh fish and seafood by the bay. You can see the ruins of 11th century basilica, with mosaics.
A traditional village with lovely stone built houses and nice secret corners. Gavalohori has a lovely Folklore museum and a Women's Co-op which has developed the fine art of handicrafts such as knitting, embroidery, and lace-making. There are two excellent restaurants: Monica’s restaurant, on the main square, and Arismari, just off the square.
Situated to the northeast of Vamos, Kefalas is a wonderful traditional village with a rich preservation of local architecture and impressive old village churches. Well worth a visit for a spot of sightseeing or to sample the traditional food in the fine Cretan restaurants.
A popular resort, built at the mouth of a beautiful river. It has many hotels, restaurants, taverns and coffee shops. The towering eucalyptus trees along the river banks, and the golden sand beach extending from the river mouth to 10 km eastwards – make it ideal place for sun and sea. A popular beach resort with many beach cafes and watersports available. The biggest and best beach in the area.
Found only 25 minutes’ drive from the villa, Kournas Lake is the only freshwater lake on the island, and one of our favourite places to visit whenever we are in Crete. The lake is set in a beautiful landscape, lying in a valley among the hills, about 4 km from Georgioupolis.
The landscape is lovely and relaxing, whether you want to go for a walk in the countryside, swim, or take a pedalo out onto the lake to see the native turtles. Enjoy a traditional Cretan meal in one of the many tavernas and cafeterias where you can eat beside the lake and enjoy the lovely view. The chocolate milkshakes are amazing!