Sidonia (or Syndonia or Kato Psari) is located 89km southeast of Heraklion city, in a small valley, 9km east of Ano Viannos and 1km south of the village Psari Forada (or Mesa Psari); therefore it is also called Psari Forada beach. It is believed to be located on the site of the ancient town of Sidonia. It was originally the seaside village of fishermen and farmers coming from the village Kalami, situated 9km to the north. Psari Forada and Sidonia are hidden in the hug of a deep ravine formed by a small stream.
The area has warm climate, which favors the cultivation of olive trees, subtropical fruits such as bananas, or early outdoor vegetables. The area of Psari Forada has experienced a mild tourist development in recent years and now is a traditional tranquil place, perfect for quiet family holidays at a very leisurely pace. The beach stretches from Cape Theophilos (east) to the west, till Sendona hill. It's a lovely shore with dark gray coarse sand and with clear calm waters. There are many tamarisk trees around, providing natural shade. Of course, you could find shade under the umbrellas offered on the beach. There are several restaurants, taverns, a mini market, apartments and one pharmacy around. There are also water sports and some courts for beach volley.
The beach is quiet, but if you want to feel more secluded you could walk eastwards, right behind the Cape Theophilos with the small lighthouse, where a unique secluded beach, called Thiofilo, is formed. Opposite of Thiofilo, there is a large rock, which locals call Psaroharako. The water in the area is very deep and a small natural harbor is formed. You may also go to the western part of the main beach, which is quieter than the central. If you're lucky, you might participate in one of the popular beach parties and musical events, organized by the Cultural Association of Kalami village during August. Moreover, the active Association organizes sport events called “Sidonia”, which usually includes games such as beach volley, beach football, swimming, canoeing, tug, backgammon, table tennis, racing, basketball, shooting, etc. The experience is fantastic and you can join freely.
The name Psari Forada
According to one version, the name of Psari Forada (i.e. gray-haired mare) comes from a story of a Turkish Aga, who wanted to show off, by hanging his the gray mare, until she died off thirst. However, the version that you'll hear mostly is the following: During the Byzantine Era, the Saracens occupied the island. The Byzantines sent a fleet led by General Theophilus to chase them. The fleet arrived at the current location "Thiofilo”. Theophilus favorite horse, a gray mare, could not walk anymore and the General did not want to kill her. Thus, he asked the soldiers to tie the mare under a big olive tree and ask the residents to take care of the horse, until it died.