GAVALOCHORI (Village) VAMOS
Tel: +30 28250 22625
The small village Aspro (Koprana), built upon a hill, consists mainly of buildings dating from the 18th century and is inhabited predominantly by foreigners. Gavalohori is a large old village with particularly interesting and well-preserved folk architecture. In this officially protected, traditional village a lot of interesting buildings can be found, such as the 18th century two-roomed, arched olive oil press, the temples of Panagia and Agios Sergios, the old school and many residences.
Visitors can also find the unique folklore museum of the prefecture of Hania, organised by the Ministry of Culture, filled with a wealth of displays of folk life.
The landscape around the village still has its natural beauty. Plenty of opportunities for walks are provided around the group of Venetian wells, the Roman cemetery, the neighbourhood and the church of Agios Pavlos. A women association continuing the old art of lace making (kopaneli) and dealing generally with alternative tourism also exists in Gavalohori. Gavalohori could offer environmental management training as well as other activities at the Environmental Educational Centre, which is currently under construction.
KAINA (Village) VAMOS
Tel: +30 28250 22440
The southwest road from Vamos leads through the well-preserved community of Tsikoliana to the interesting village of Kaina, which has many buildings dating from the years of the Turkish occupation. Outside the small community of Genitsari Metohi or Platanos, one can find the church of Agios Antonios with its frescoes from the 14th century, the beautiful location Sopoto and on the national road the small church of Agios Fanourios where many people come to worship and where interesting religious events take place. From Kaina the national road provides a further route to the district of Vamos and access to the mountainous area of Fre.
KALAMITSI ALEXANDROU (Village) VAMOS
Tel: +30 28250 22551
The small community of Kalamitsi Alexandrou is situated 8 km away from Vamos. It is an old and well-preserved village with narrow streets, the large, modern, cross-shaped and domed church of Agia Triada and impressively constructed underground reservoir "Softas" dating from the Turkish occupation.
KEFALAS (Village) VAMOS
Tel: +30 28250 22725
The community of Kefalas is situated approximately 4 km to the east of Vamos. During the Venetian occupation higher and lower Kefalas were classed as two separate villages, however, today they have become one. It is a large village built in an outstanding position facing the sea with architecture dominated by the influence of the early and late years of the Turkish occupation. This influence is well preserved despite the existence of other architectural styles.
The church of Timios Stavros (16th century) is the oldest building of the village while the more recent churches of Panagia, Agios Antonios, and Michael the archangel, works of the reputed Kefalas craftsmen, are examples of folk architecture of the 19th century.
A further example of the work of the same craftsmen is the Public School of Kefalas, which in accordance with the decision of the county council of Hania will house the Environmental Educational Centre of the prefecture, a foundation that will play a definitive role in the development of the municipality of Vamos. Other interesting communities are Paleloni and Drapanos in the direction of Kokino Horio. The road from Paleloni leads to Embrosgialo, a relatively easily accessible place, along the steep coastline, which extends to Georgioupoli.
KOKINO CHORIO (Village) VAMOS
Kokino Horio, which is located at a higher altitude, has maintained its traditional architectural style even more so than the other villages with its narrow roads, beautiful gates and tiled roofs.
A group of cisterns, built in a sloping field, gather the rainwater, an interesting example of local architecture, dealing with the permanent problem of lack of water. Above Kokino Horio one can see the strangely shaped hill Drapanokefala or Calapodha (so named during the venetian occupation). The coastline northwest of the village is an extremely interesting place for a stroll due to the ground formation and the caves, such as the cave of Petsi (or Karavotopos). Another cave called Katalimata, located at the centre of the village, is also an interesting site.
At cape Drapano, approximately 10 metres under water, is the impressive Elephant cave, an area 60mx60m full of stalactites and stalagmites of various shapes and colours.
SELLIA (Village) VAMOS
The community of Pano and Kato Selia is built on the slope of a hill and surrounded by greenery. It boasts interesting examples of folk architecture, like the older village of Souri, with its neoclassical church of Agios Ioannis Theologos.
The coast with the steep cliffs and the wide variety of self-growing plants near Likotinara is an area of interest and is included with the surrounding area in the European Community Directive, Natura 2000. Kefalas and the nearby communities of Selia and Xerosterni surround a big formation (Dolinis), Roupakia or Orpakia, an area rich in woody plants, old agricultural facilities (roads, stone farm houses, wells and other facilities), flora and fauna.
Through the environmental educational programmes this area of natural beauty will develop and prosper.
VAMOS (Village) CHANIA
Tel: +30 28250 83710, 83723
Fax: +30 28250 83726
Vamos (aerial photograph), the capital of Apokoronos district and previously of the Sfakia prefecture-today capital of the new municipality- is an exceptionally interesting village that the Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works has classed as traditional.
It is more like a small town, very well preserved, with folk and neoclassical architectural elements (cultural centre).
The initiative of a group of inhabitants to create an association for the preservation of the village as well as alternative tourism strategies is already paying off while constituting a model for further local progress. Their organisation successfully manages to make all visitors friends of Vamos. They enchant visitors with the beauty of their village (lane), lying green (Vamos grove) and peaceful at the foot of Madares, with their warm hospitality, traditional cafes - kafeneion - , beautiful old buildings behind each of which lies a story, and their wonderful steep lanes.
The famous art and cultural festivals are good opportunities for everyone to experience the hospitality and entertainment Vamos can offer. Interesting buildings in the village are the Agios Nikolaos and Agios Georgios churches, the restored old school (built in 1863) with the old girl's school in its yard, which is now used as a guesthouse.
Vamos was the site of many battles in 1866 and 1896. The 1896 events attracted foreign interest and were the cause of the General Cretan Revolutionary Meeting (with Roussos Koundouros presiding) in Vamos with the aim of the independence of Crete (memorial).
It is worthwhile visiting Vamos. It is worth becoming one of the "initiated" friends of Vamos.
In the district of Vamos, in the venetian village of Karidi Kartsomado one can see the ruins of the small single-roomed monastery of Panagia at Katomeri, complete with frescoes dating from the 13th century.
Opposite the aforementioned village lies another venetian village, Karidi of Agios Georgios, with its venetian villa and other buildings including the large monastery of Agios Georgios, which is still active and constitutes the most interesting architectural element in the prefecture of Hania. Buildings such as the large olive oil press can be restored and become a living agricultural museum or cater for a wide variety of public events.
XIROSTERNI (Village) VAMOS
Tel: +30 28250 23220
The road east of Vamos leads through a group of small villages, surrounded by wonderful scenery and very well preserved local folk architecture. Xerosterni, which is built around the interesting church of Christ and in whose honour a festival takes place every year on the 5th and 6th of August, is the best preserved village of all, maintaining its traditional style with many old houses. The road continues towards Litsarda passing through the archaeologically interesting cave of Dafne or Tripa.
Even though the village has lost some of its traditional character it remains interesting and it is worth visiting the church of Panagia with its fine wood-carved reredos and icons made by the Rethymnian A. Vivilakis.
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