Kalives is a seaside resort located 19km west of Chania, on the southern coast of Souda Bay. This small village is built on a fertile green valley, where three rivers flow. The village's name (i.e. “Huts” in Greece) seems to come from the huts that were built by farmers in their fields, to spend the summer nights.
Near the village, on its east side, flow the rivers of Xidas and Mesopotamos. Moreover, the many springs that gush inside the sea, combined with the rivers, decrease the sea temperature.
East and west of the river Xidas, two sandy beaches with shallow waters are shaped, which are open to north winds. Xidas and Maistrali, as they are called respectively, are very well organized and all common tourist facilities and services are provided there. In the exit of Xidas river there is a beautiful small bridge which connects the two beaches. The picturesque harbour of Kalives is located next to Maistrali. Kalives is connected with regular bus services to Chania. In the area, you will find banks, post office, clinic, shops, etc.
At the exit of the river Kiliaris, 1km north of Kalives, is the tranquil beach of Kiani Akti or Glaros. Kiliaris transfers water from the top of the White Mountains. It is one of the few rivers in Crete that have water all year round. The sea water near the river is quite cold. Moreover, there are some rafting services provided in the river, which is stated to have been navigable in the Byzantine period and with ships docked in it.
Brief History of the Region
The geographic location of Kalives, combined with its fertile soils, is a reason for the habitation of the area from the very ancient times. Kalives is considered to be the site of the ancient city Amfimatrion. In 1206, the fortress Castel Apicorno was built, east of the village, to alienate prospective attackers, while in 1538 Kalives were destroyed by the pirate Barbarossa.
What to see
If you have car, Kalives is very near to the ancient city of Aptera (5km) and the ottoman forts of Intzedin and Palekastro. If you stay in Kalives you can see the remains of the Venetian castle of Apicorno on the Castelli hill. It is an interesting archaeological site with very nice views of the village. The wider area of Vamos (Apokoronas) is named after the castle
At the harbor, you can see the German cannon hidden in a cave dug up till the other side of the mountain. At the end of the tunnel there is a small window, where the view to the cliffs and the sea is fascinating.
Furthermore, you should walk in the beautiful narrow scenic streets of the village and end up in the central square of the village with the large plane tree, near the church of Agia Paraskevi. The church has painted frescoes and was built during the German Occupation.
In Mesopotamos is a Venetian mill, which was the most complicated mill of Crete. It is built of stone and kourasani (mortar and ground tile mix), which is famous for its resistance.