Area attractions

Area attractions

Lake Kournas
The only natural lake in Crete and in the entire insular Mediterranean, as well as the southernmost lake in Europe, with a length of 1080 m, a width of 880 meters and a depth of 22.5 m.

In Arabic the word Kournas means tub and lake. Presumably the Arabs renamed the lake thus, changing its older name Coressia.

The dark waters of the lake impressed all visitors and residents, since for years everyone had been thinking of the lake as bottomless. Indeed travellers since the Middle Ages have spoken for the estimated depth of the lake with awe. The lake is an amazing wetland habitat. Its coast is lined with restaurants and cafes.

Swim in the clear waters. Canoes and pedaloes are available for those wishing to tour the lake.

Like many lakes, this one also has its own legend:

“The area of the lake used to be occupied by a small village. One day, one of the villagers took his daughter out to go to the fields. Somewhere along the way they sat down to rest; the daughter then started combing her blond hair. The father initially took proud at her sight; however, suddenly, an erotic desire took him over and he came on to her. The daughter, in despair, she just exclaimed “Sink and be a sunken lake! And I the spirit of the lake! “. Immediately the place sank turning into a lake. Indeed, in older times, residents used to recount that some nights they could see a lass sitting on a rock in the middle of the lake, combing her long golden hair.

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Argyroupolis / ancient Lappa
Argyroupolis is a village belonging to the municipality of Rethymno. The village stands where on the site of the ancient city of Lappa, which was completely levelled to the ground by attacking Roman troops. However it was rebuilt by Octavian Augustus, because residents helped him in his feud against Mark Anthony.

The sights include a mosaic from the Roman period. Just a small distance from the village you can visit an ancient necropolis. Today the area is famous for its idyllic springs immersed in lush vegetation, its old watermills and restaurants.



Georgioupolis is a small seaside tourist town. It is built in a lush area next to a sandy beach. The local stream Almyros runs into the beach; just before its mouth, a small pond is formed, affording a unique wetland that is home to many birds and animals. A street, lined with eucalyptus and cypress trees, will lead you into the main square. Upon entering there, you will see many more eucalyptus trees. The most popular attraction inside the harbour is the chapel of St. Nicholas, surrounded by sea-water. It is worth walking up there and taking dramatic photographs. Whether the sea is calm or the wind raises foaming waves, the scenery is delightful.

Take a nice walk along the coastal road of the town. If you want to take a break for coffee or for grabbing a bite, there is a great choice among taverns and cafes waiting for you there.

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The ultimate traditional village! The historic seat of the capital of the historic province of Apokoronas. The village retains an authentic Cretan tradition, untouched by modern culture. It is characterized by its traditional architecture and its annual cultural events showcasing traditional arts.


Rethymnon is the third largest city in Crete with a population of 33,000. It is full of many sights; it has a sandy beach and claims a strong tourist infrastructure. Enjoy your ride in the old town. Marvel at the well preserved Venetian and Ottoman buildings scattered along the narrow cobbled streets. The city is full of squares, shops and restaurants. Try traditional Cretan drink raki or tzikoudia at the famous taverns. Visit the picturesque Venetian port and the Venetian fortress of Fortezza.
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The cosmopolitan Chania, Venitian Canea, is the most poetic city of Crete. You will enjoy an unforgettable pleasant taste of beauty as you roam through. Built on the ruins of ancient Cydonia, it has seen and survived many invaders; it has known successive civilizations, with their mark conspicuous on façades, castles, forts, walls, antiquities, monasteries, churches and mosques.

Chania prefecture is the most favourite tourist destination of the Greeks, and figures among the top tourist European destinations, as it is considered one of the most beautiful Mediterranean cities. The city has two entrance points: the airport of Acrotiri and the Bay of Souda, the largest natural harbour in all Mediterranean. The centre is dominated by the municipal market, resplendent neoclassical building in cruciform shape, which was completed in 1913, modeled after the public market of Marseille.

The picturesque Venitian harbour is landmarked by the Venitian Lighthouse. Any time and season of the year is attractive to visitors and locals alike: both for its beauty and for the choices of entertainment for all tastes and demands of visitors. The old city “intramural” districts preserve their Venitian air of nobility. Narrow paved alleys are surrounded with tasteful preserved houses, from various eras, ideal for a pleasant stroll. Furthermore, numerous neoclassical buildings survive at neighbourhoods adjacent to the city proper of Chania, like Halepa. In various parts of the city, the traveler may encounter relics of all cultures that have passed it. Its central region is taken by the hill of Castelli, inhabited since the Neolithic era, its imposing fortification dominating the old harbour. There you will see remnants of the Minoan period. The lighthouse, the old port and the “yalı camiyi’ mosque, with its peculiar spherical domes and arched buttresses, are among the most photographed sights in the world. Near the old Venitian harbor lies Splantzia, the old centre of the Muslim quarter, with its mystifying atmosphere. The picturesque streets boast several taverns. Here lies St. Nicholas, a Venitian church, turned into the city’s central mosque during the Ottoman era. Walking toward the sea and looking across to the beautiful Venitian pier with the Lighthouse, the inner port is lined by the imposing Venitian shipyards dating back to 1497, the “Carnayia”, which once were building war galleys, still today used for repairing cruising and fishing boats. There one will see the great Arsenal, headquarters of the Venitian flagship, currently housing the Centre for Mediterranean Architecture. Do not miss the outstanding Archaeological Museum, the “Tri-martyr” square with the Greek Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Cathedral, the Jewish Synagogue and the forest bastion fortress of Firka, where the flag of the union of Crete with Greece was first flown(1-12 -1913). That is where the Maritime Museum of Crete currently operates.

On your way from our Mansion to Chania you will leave the classical city of Aptera on your left. Shortly afterwards you will see, towering atop a hill on your right, the historic Ottoman fortress of Iceddin. Lower right, lying in the ever calm waters of the Souda bay, you will be taken by a dramatic view highlighted by the bay’s fortified islands.

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Samaria gorge
The Samaria Gorge is 18 km long and is the longest gorge in Europe. Home to many species of birds and animals, it is visited by more than 300,000 visitors a year. Its most famous local animal is the Cretan goat, also known as ibex or cri-cri. You can live a unique experience, going down the foot trail by walking 16 kilometers leading to the Libyan Sea coast, or follow the “lazy way” from Agia Roumeli, reachable from Sfakia by boat. Walk 3 km up to “Gates”, the narrowest and most famous spot of the whole canyon.

At “Gates”, lying a small distance from the landmark village settlement of Samaria, the gorge turns into an extremely narrow slit: if you stretch your arms, you can all but touch both sides of the cliffs towering vertically 350 meters above your head.