Chania is the coastal city of northwest Crete, one of the major ports and the capital of the prefecture of Chania. It’s located 40 km away from Orpheas Resort and occupies an area of about thirteen square kilometers. It is a beautiful city and definitely worth visiting. Don’t miss a walk to the old port and old city of Chania, where you can find lots of cafes, traditional taverns, bars and small shops to buy souvenirs.
Places near Chania you should visit: Elafonisi exotic beach with its clear light blue waters, Sfakia fish village, extraordinary Samaria Gorge and traditional Theriso village.
Georgioupolis village is a coastal, fishing village situated in Chania, 4 km away from Orpheas Resort. It’s a charming village with great view to White Mountains and the longest sandy beach on Crete! Almyros river flows in Georgioupolis. In the area you can find taverns, cafes and shops. Ideal location for those who seek quiet holidays.
Places near Georgioupolis you should visit: Apokoronas villages and Frangokastello.
Just a few steps away from Orpheas Resort you can find Kavros village. Kavros was once a fertile farming land, and the farmers planted mainly peanuts, melons and potatoes in the wide plain.
Kavros is recommended for groups of friends and couples as it meets the needs of the visitor who seeks peaceful holidays. You can find shops and taverns with great Cretan food!
Places near Kavros you should visit: Kournas lake and Rethymno city with its venetian old town and port.
Explore one of the best preserved medieval cities in Greece, and search for your fairy-tale romance in Rethymno. Venetian fortification works mingle harmonically with orthodox and catholic churches, mosques, majestic
mansions of Venetian architecture, arches and cobbled paths which create a magical atmosphere, reminiscence of the city’s turbulent –yet glorious– past.
There are two sides to Rethymno offering two styles of visit: the endless big beach hotel strip that stretches from the east end of Rethymno - and - the Rethymno that allows you the character of the old town with its mix of architecture and history, cultural influences and styles ranging from Venetian to Ottoman empire.
"Before leaving the beach, we should mention that there are other visitors - the turtles. Turtles are regular visitors along the beaches of Rethymno and return between June and August to lay their eggs each year.
The Venetian harbour...
Rethymno's harbour area is a fine place for a coffee at one of the cafes and perhaps you will chance to eat there, just for the atmosphere.
The Fortress dominates the city and makes Rethymno very photogenic, its pedestrian streets below, strewn with charming old buildings. Venetian influences abound and the minarets and domed mosques remind of the Turkish influence long gone.
Numerous shops for souvenirs, trendy fashion or imaginative jewellery...the old and the modern combine to make a colourful and buzzing town.
In the place that in the present days stands Argiroupolis was the ancient city of Lapa. As myths say, king Agamemnon, the hero of the Trojan war, created Lapa. Lapa was one of the most important cities of western Crete during Roman times. It controlled the area around it from the north to the south coast. It had two harbours, one on the north coast of Crete and another on the south. It is said that its harbour was Finix on the south coast of Crete in present-day Loutro. In the Greek wars they were allies of Knossos but when Knossos destroyed Lyttos the people of Lapa accepted the Lyttoans in their city. Lapa was also important during Byzantine times till it was destroyed by the Arabs in 828 A.D.
Today, in the northwest area of Argyroupolis , the vegetation is very rich and there are small, beautiful water springs. In older times, the water power was used to grind grain. The water mills still stand today.
The flora of the area is quite interesting. You can follow the beautiful path through the springs and visit the cave which houses Agios Ioannis or Agia Dynami church and from which Mouselas river springs.
The water flowing through the church is considered sacred and miraculous. Argyroupolis is also well-known for its lovely taverns , where you can taste exquisite dishes of the traditional Cretan cuisine.
Pente Parthenes church is another place worth to visit in Argyroupolis. Inside the church, there is a Roman vaulted tomb. The church is dedicated to Pente Parthenes (Five Saint Virgins),
who are said to have died in the area. Their names were Thekla, Marianna, Athena, Martha and Maria.
Lake Kournas is the only large natural lake in Crete and is located in an enchanting landscape, surrounded by high mountains and olive groves.
Lake Kournas and its surroundings constitute a very important ecosystem for Greece. Kournas is one of the very few areas of Crete where plenty of fresh water is stored throughout the year.
For this reason, it is protected under the Natura 2000 program. It is an ideal place for relaxation and a walk. In summer, a stroll around the turquoise lake lasts less than an hour (3.5 km).
FLORA AND FAUNA
Kournas Lake and its surroundings constitute a very important ecosystem for Greece. Kournas is one of the very few areas of Crete where plenty of fresh water is stored throughout the year. For this reason, it is protected under the Natura 2000 program.
Many species of birds find shelter here, like moorhens, ducks, herons and cormorants. Also, the lake has always been known for its eels. This wetland also hosts water snakes and terrapins. Especially for the terrapins, a rare type of terrapin lives here (Malaclemys terrapin) with spots on its shell.
SOME LEGENDS ABOUT KOURNAS
The lake has dark water and inspires awe to everyone who visits it. Thus, in the past, locals believed that the lake is bottomless. This myth has been broken, since the maximum depth of it has been estimated at 22.5m.
A second myth states that God got angry about the sinful behavior of locals and caused a flooding to punish them. The residents were all drowned, except the daughter of the priest, which is the fairy that has been seen by locals.