Authentic Kalyves During Easter
Easter is surely and by far the most important festival of the Greek year and is celebrated with many local customs, traditions and Easter delicacies. Kalyves and its neighboring villages offer one of the best spots to experience it all. Apart from the vast array of Easter processions to take part in during holy week, there are many more things to see and do that need to be added to any visitor’s checklist!
Below are our top activities and places to visit when here during the Easter break.
A drink at Kalyves Square
Right on your doorstep and in the heart of the village, visit the majestic Church of “Agia Paraskevi” in the middle of the town and situated at a focal point of the village. The square is surrounded by local taverns, shops and bakeries, so sit back and enjoy local life as you sip on a cold beer or enjoy a glass of local rose wine watching the passersby. This is the best spot to experience true village life and see the church which is a meeting point for young and old.
Nature walk to Saint John in Stylos
Get your walking shoes on and set off to the very hidden chapel of Saint John built in a dense forest in Stylos, also known as “Platanakia” to the locals. Set in a gem of a location under hundreds of shaded trees and next to the lush river of “Kyliaris” this spot offers one of the best scenic and nature routes between Kalyves and Stylos, the neighboring village. The walk also offers spectacular views to the white mountains “Lefka Ori” and its path is lined with wild spring flowers and orange groves.
Lunch at Koumandro
You won’t find a more traditional tavern than “Koumandros” in Kalyves, established in 1867 and serving locals for generations. This family fun establishment handed down from generation to generation is a favorite of many and is set in the heart of Kalyves Village overlooking the wonderfully picturesque river with ducks. Make sure to try their calamari dishes including the deep fried shrimp, home cut fries, fresh salads and traditional Cretan dishes.
A trip to Ancient Aptera
Take a step away from Kalyves and 10 minutes to Ancient Aptera by car for a spectacular overlook of it all. The views from the top offer some of the most wonderful on the island and the findings of the archaeological excavations at Ancient Aptera give details about the history of the Cretan Civilization.
The stone house of “Koumos”
Head back to Kalyves to visit “Koumos” or the stone house of Kalyves. It not only has walls, floors and roofs decorated in stone but is also full of remarkable sculptures. It is the lifetime’s work of one man Khavaledakis Giorgos who since 1990 when his wife Evaggelia suggested he might like to build a stone table in the garden, did not stop there. Visitors can wander around the extensive gardens where sculptures composed of stone and rock await them at almost every turn. Entrance is free but visitors are at least expected to buy something at the tavern while they are there and a small donation is always welcome.
A leisurely walk to the harbour of Kalyves
It doesn’t get more Greek than the quaint little dishing harbor of Kalyves. See the fisherman fold their nets and get ready for the next days catch as onlookers swim in the crystal clear and shallow waters of the golden beach of the harbor – a beach and area loved by families.
Sundown at “To Kafenio tis Kaitis”
One of the best ways to end a jam packed day of touring and sightseeing is to enjoy a sun downer drink at the very traditional Greek “kafenion” owned by Katie. Situated at a spot that many considered the “best view in the village” in Kalami. This perfect location overlooks the Cretan sea and Souda bay.
Greek Souvlaki at its finest
If your stomach is left rumbling after a hard days sightseeing, make sure to make your final stop at “Souvlakerie Gyrofolia”, a very fun and quirky sit-in or take away restaurant at the edge of Kalyves. Loved by perhaps 100% of all Greeks, try the infamous Greek and staple “Greek souvlaki” and see what the hype is all about. Fresh pork or chicken strips cut sizzling from the spit, wrapped in a warm pita bed with tomato, onion, fries and tzatziki. Enjoy a side Greek salad and a few sticks of grilled Halloumi cheese with your order and top it off with crisp glass of the local brew of “Xarma” beer. Perfection.