Just over 9kms inland from the shores of Kissamos Bay, the quiet village of Koukounara is perched on the hilltop reached by a road that passes through several small villages. A small cafeneon for the local gents is in the centre of the village whilst the large church with bell tower is at the edge of the village, as always the church has the best view in town.
The majority of the locals have stayed in the village and are still living off the land in the area to this day. There are plenty of things which keep them busy year round from picking olives or oranges in winter to tending to the vineyards to produce wine & raki in the fall. They usually have a few hens and of course, a goat for milk and probably a dog for hunting too!
The Koukounarians are a prime example of Cretan hospitality, where you will find genuine people proud of their village & heritage. They may wave as you pass through the village or they may hand you a few fresh eggs or a bag of grapes your way just because you crossed paths, as a gesture of their goodwill. Experiencing life in a typical Cretan village is what this place is all about.
Just 2kms further inland from Koukounara is the lovely village of Kalathenes, again built on a hillside and where lovely panoramic views of the region can be seen.
In the village center is Rotonda, a traditional taverna/café, which serves simple but delicious food. Most of the vegetables are from the owner’s garden just below the taverna. Even if you turned up on spec, they would be able to whip up a Cretan omelette & homemade fries as you sip your local wine or Retsina enjoying the views of the olive tree covered hilltops.
The owner of Rotonda taverna/café has more information about walks in the area along paths towards Polyrini, Sirikaki or the farther village of Milia.
A tiny minimarket is attached to the Rotonda taverna, with basic essential & local products like thyme honey. For stocking up there are a couple of large supermarkets in Kissamos, a short 15 min drive away, as well as any other kind of shops one needs, plus ATM machines.
A sunset stroll along the seaside promenade in Kissamos town is a great place to enjoy watching the world go by while sipping a long drink at one of the water front cafés before heading to one of the seaside tavernas for a meal.
The seaside taverna of Acroyiali is located right on the shore of Kissamos Bay just 9kms away, where you can find fresh fish & usually some octopus hanging on the line to dry before it gets grilled.
There is a small sandy beach just left of the town of Kissamos and another sandy patch of beach with some sunbeds & umbrellas on the beach of Drapanos near Nopigia with cafes & tavernas nearby.
If you choose to stay in this area it is a must to go to the lovely Falassarna beach or be adventurous and take the day trip boat to Gramvousa Island & Balos Bay, which departs from the Kissamos harbour daily. A trip to the popular pink sandy of beach of Elafonissi is also easily accessible by heading inland and joining the main road in Topolia village and heading south.
Small sandy beach wit a taverna at far side.
Quiet & pebbly beach with very good fish tavernas.
Big & small sandy beaches with tavernas & sunbeds. If strong west winds are present in’t enjoyable getting sandblasted.
Quiet pebbly beach, sand in patches near Mithymna Camping.
Gramvousa & Balos Island
Beautiful lagoon with shells and pink sand , accessibleby foot or boat only.
Rotonda Cafe / Taverna
http://www.rotontacafe.gr +30 2822 051227
Lovely food, friendly staff and stunning views.
Beach 9 kms
Tavernas 1.5 kms
Mini Market 9 kms
Distances from Airport/Port
Chania Airport 63 kms
Heraklion Airport 183 kms
Ferry Port Souda 50 kms
Ferry Port Kissamos 10 kms