Day trips In Kissamos

Kissamos, a place near paradise. Visit the most famous beaches and places, explore Kissamos area.

Falasarna Beach

A stunning beach and one of the most important ports of ancient Crete.

Falassarna beach (or Falasarna) is located in Kissamos, in the western part of the prefecture of Chania, Crete, 13 km from the town of Kissamos. Crystal clear waters, aquamarine sea and fine golden sand, are those which characterize Falasarna, which is considered to be one of the best beaches in the prefecture of Chania and all over Crete.

Falasarna, Crete, is not just known for its beach, but also for its archaeological site, as ancient Falasarna was a powerful city-state in its time and the remnants of the ancient city are impressive. In addition, Falasarna, due to its very good climate, is a centre for agricultural production in West Crete, with many olive trees in the plain near the beach and numerous greenhouses, most of which are cultivating tomatoes.

You can learn more about the area here:

You can learn more about Kissamos here:

14 Km, about 19 minutes driving, Bus accessible

Elafonisi beach is one of the prettiest beaches in the west coast of Crete and equally famous with Vai palm-forest beach. Pink sand, very shallow water and really crowded till 16:00 when the tourist buses depart. This is the time to enjoy the beach of Elafonissi. Elafonisi -or Elafonissos or Elafonissi- is something like an island and a peninsula, because to reach the island you have to walk through the sea. It is located in the southwest end, about 25km from the Kissamos. Elafonissi is a place of an exceptional natural beauty, and it has been included in the Natura 2000 Protection Program. Someone could say that nature made its wonder in Elafonissi.
That’s why Elafonissi beach is such a popular destination in the prefecture of Chania, and a top of the top things to do / excursion from all over Crete.

You can learn more about Kissamos here:

40 Km, about 58 minutes driving, Bus accessible

Balos Lagoon:
Balos beach – lagoon is located on the northwestern corner of Crete, 15 Km from the town of Kissamos. Balos is an exotic beach-lagoon formed between the peninsula of Gramvousa and cape Tigani, while further to the north lie two islands, Imeri Gramvousa and Agria Gramvousa. Balos beach & lagoon as well as the island of Imeri Gramvousa can be reached by cruise ship that departs from the port of Kissamos. Also you have the ability to come here by yourself, driving up to a point and then continuing on foot.

To get to Balos you need to drive along the northern coastal road past the town of Kissamos. then past the port of Kissamos (located 2.5km to the West of the town). About 1.5km after you pass the port take a right turn on a small road with a sign to Kaliviani. Pass through the village then keep following the road heading towards the North. The road will soon turn into a dirt road but contrary to what many say it is perfectly drivable for normal cars if you go slowly and pay attention to stones and pot holes.
Keep going on this very scenic dirt road for just under 8 km and you’ll get to the end where you can park your car. This “car park” could be very full in summer and you might have to park some way away. From there follow the path to Balos, about 20 to 30 minutes easy walking down (it’s less easy and much hotter coming back up).

Since 2013 (during the tourist season from April to October) there is a charge of 1 Euro per person levied by the municipality of Kissamos for the use of that road. This goes towards the maintenance and protection of the area.

You can learn more about Kissamos here:

15 Km, about 40 minutes driving (dirt road), Bus or boat accessible

Telonio beach:
The old Telonio beach  is located about 200 meters from Christina beach Hotel, along a pedestrian precinct by the sea. Here you will find traditional restaurants, taverns, fast food, cafe and bars next to the sea  with view to  the Kissamos bay.

200 meters, about 3 minutes walking.

Polirinia: An ancient city-state of great power, in a location offering excellent view to two seas of Crete

Polirinia was an ancient city-state, famous all over Crete in its time, which dominated in the region of the west coast of Crete.

Today, near the remnants of the ancient city of Polirinia lays the homonymous Polirinia village, as a reminder of its great past.

Polirinia – a city built to last

Ancient Polirinia was built on top of a high hill – more than 400 metres high. The location of the city offers excellent view to all the surrounding area.

The city was heavily fortified – many historians believe it was the most fortified city in Crete. Part of the strong fortification of Polirinia is still visible today.

The name “Polirinia” comes from the ancient Greek words “poly”, which means many and “renea”, which means sheep. The name implies that the main occupation of the residents of Polirinia was stock farming. It might be in the beginning, but, historically, the city and its people were very warlike. The warriors of Polirinia were very skilled – we could say that Polirinia was the Sparta of Crete.

Apart from their warrior abilities, the residents of ancient Polirinia were good merchants, too. There is historical evidence that one of the main occupations of the locals was the construction and the trade of weapons, which, among others, brought wealth to the city. Ancient Polirinia was so wealthy that it issued its own coin, which on one of its sides featured the head of a bull, which was the symbol of the city.

Regarding religion, in Polirinia two goddesses were worshipped: Artemis and Athena. During the excavations, a temple dedicated to Artemis was found in the acropolis of Polirinia. Also, ancient coins of Polirinia were found, which featured goddess Athena as a warrior, with a helmet and a spear in hand.

The turbulent history of ancient Polirinia

Polirinia was an ancient city-state with great power. But the same was true for its neighbouring city-state to the east, Kydonia, which was based near Chania city. In fact, Kydonia was more powerful than Polirinia.

During ancient times, many times ancient Kydonia and ancient Polirinia encountered each other in battle. Generally, in ancient Crete, battles between city-states were common and frequent, its main reasons being territorial claims and competition for natural resources.

Polirinia was founded in the archaic period from Achaeans. The city flourished during the ancient Greek period, although fights were frequent, especially with Kydonia city. According to some sources, during that period, Agamemnon, when returning from Troy, stopped with his fleet in Polirinia in order to make a sacrifice.

When the Romans came to Crete, Polirinia moved fast and strategically and made an alliance with them. This gave them an advantage over their neighbouring Kydonia city. During the Roman period, the two ports of the city, Falasarna and Kissamos also flourished. Gradually, the center of activity moved from Polirinia to Kissamos.

Polirinia was also a prominent city in the Byzantine years, but it was during that historical period that the city of Polirinia was gradually abandoned. However, the fortifications of Polirinia were still in use for many centuries. The walls of Polirinia were used and improved by the Venetians. Another noteworthy fact is that many of the remnants of ancients Polirinia were used as construction material for the building of the present village of Polirinia.

Polirinia was a famous city-state of the ancient Greek world, which managed to flourish for more than a thousand years, mainly because of the warrior abilities of its people. Although the remnants of the ancient city are not as impressive as other ancient cities in Crete, a visit to Polirinia is recommended, for the rich history of the city, but also for the breathtaking view to the northwest part of the island.

8 Km, about 15 minutes driving, Bus accessible

Elos traditional Village:
The traditional village of Elos is located 22km south west of Kissamos, on the way to the well-known Monastery of Chrissoskalitissa and the unique, great, sandy beach of Elafonissi.
Elos is a small village with few stone houses where its inhabitants are mostly engaged in agriculture cattle breeding.
The village is surrounded by lush greenery, olive groves and plane trees.
In late October, there is the Chestnut Festival. In the village you can find several traditional taverns with home made foods.

Tip: Combine it with an excursion to Elafonissi.

22 Km, about 35 minutes driving.

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