Gavalochori is a traditional Cretan village situated in the Apokoron region about 3km inland from the coastal village of Almirida.
Gavalohori is an old historical village with particularly interesting and well-preserved folk architecture.
Its location is 25 km east of Chania which takes about 20 minutes to drive along the National Road.
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. Many of the well-known Gavaliana wells still stand within a fantastic landscape.
In addition, there is an excellent folklore museum at Gavalochori Village; here you can see the history and the culture of the village. It is hosted in a renovated Venetian building with stone arches. The museum was founded in 1967 but was inaugurated in September 1993. It is housed in a building typical of the local traditional house architecture and occupies two levels. The first room represents the most typical traditional house of Crete, which is known as kamarospito. This type of rural house was initially single-spaced and had an arched opening which more or less divided it. In the second half, one can see exhibits made of silk, such as women’s clothing and weavings for household use. The pottery section (jugs, oil lamps, etc) and the historical collection of arms, paintings, etc, are in the third hall. Passing on to the fourth room one can see bobbin lace and parts of a wood carved ecclesiastical iconostasis. In the last room, there are elaborate stone artifacts.
Finally, there is an agriculture and tourist women''s co-operation on the main square, which has a cottage industry producing knitting embroideries and laces of delicate art.
It is named after the Gavalas family who lived here during the reign of the Venetians.
Gavalochori is four kilometers from the coast at Almirida.
The population is around 500 but this number swells in the summer months as tourists, relatives, and visitors arrive.
Several family-run tavernas offer the visitor tasty dishes of Cretan cuisine in addition the village has many shops, two cafes, a pastry shop with a cafe bar, the village pre-school, a graphic design studio, bakery, three grocery stores, and a handicrafts shop.
Many interesting walks exist around the village in the unique region of Apokoronas.
How to get there
- By Air: From May through mid-October there are direct charter flights to Chania and, more frequently, to the capital Heraklion. Tickets can be bought in advance for almost all flights via our partner website.
- By Sea: The journey is the thing". A superb way of enjoying the journey to Crete is to fly to Athens and take the ferry from Piraeus (Pireas) - the port serving Athens to Chania. A still-romantic way to travel by the overnight ferry from Piraeus to Chania-Souda port or Heraklion Port. Tickets can be bought in advance for all ferries via our website.
- By Car: If you want to explore the region while you're here, we recommend that you rent a car, other means of transport are limited and/or infrequent. We suggest our sister website, which offers competitive prices and you can collect your car at either airport.
- By Taxi: Book your taxi transfer online easily and safely from the airport or port to any location via our website.
Where to stay
What To See & Do
- Scroll around the Gavalochori Village and just smile and breath. I will be glad to hear from you after you have done this. In addition, look for some excellent local products available in Monica’s shop at the village square in Gavalochori. Especially the locally made Kopaneli creations are very well known.
- Visit the nearby Douliana is a small old village with particularly interesting and well-preserved folk architecture. In this officially protected, traditional village a lot of interesting buildings can be found.
- Visit the old town of Chania and explore the whole city with narrow streets and admire the old buildings with different architectural styles. Visit the maritime-naval museum on the west side of the port and walk along with the port till Arsenali where is situated at the Arsenals Centre of Mediterranean Architecture that organizes exhibitions and has a primary goal to promote the Meditteranean arts.
- Rethymno Town is just 38 km away and is another Venetian town worth a visit for its cobbled streets, Ottoman minarets, colorful harbor, and an imposing 16th-century Venetian fortress.
- Swim. Almirida's twin beaches (5km) are sandy and well sheltered, but they can get a bit crowded during Summer; bars and restaurants line the waterfront between them, and there is a diving center. Kalyves (10km) is a larger village with a small bay at its heart and a long beach stretching west.
- If you are looking for more quiet beaches, head west to Falassarna Beach, on the west edge of the island (49km) one of the best beaches in Crete. Or maybe you have heard about the lagoon of Ballos with the turquoise water. You can visit it either by ferry from Kasteli or by car. If you decide to come here by car, just have in mind that you can drive till a specific point, and then you must walk till the lagoon.
- Explore the Akrotiri peninsula: Monastery of Agia Triada - Gouverneto Monastery - Eleftherios Venizelos Tombs (historical site) Drive towards the airport. Visit the Monastery of Agia Triada and then the Gouverneto Monastery. On your way back towards Chania stop at the Eleftherios Venizelos Tombs - a historical site with wonderful views of the old Venetian harbor of Chania. There you also will find a choice of 3 coffee shops for you to enjoy. The Akrotiri peninsula also has good beaches (Stavros, Kalathas, Marathi, and Loutraki).
- Trek through the world-famous Samaria Gorge along (quite crowded) open May-Oct depending on weather conditions) or the Agia Irini gorge (fewer crowds and open all year), a full day’s hike catching a boat and a bus back. Imbros Gorge, next to Samaria gorge, is just 8 km long and you need just 2 hours to pass it. Aradena Gorge is also in that area, and maybe you would like to try the jump of your life ... buggy jumping.
- Visit the Aptera archaeological Site. The small archaeological site of Aptera (the ancient town of the Minoan era) is well worth a visit. From here there are wonderful sea views to the port of Chania (Souda) and the Akrotiri peninsula. Continue to visit Itzedin Castle - a Turkish castle, built in the 19th Century (also known as the Kalami fort). Visit the nearby Stilos Village to hike through the classic Cretan countryside: oleander-lined paths lead into a narrow rocky defile.
- The horse riding lovers have the opportunity for exciting galloping along the Cretan sea in Georgioupoli and the countryside as well. A horse riding Centre organizes, early morning and evening ride at 3 different levels. You just need to make a reservation.
Where To Eat & Drink
- Alternatively, several family-run tavernas at Gavalochori Village offer tasty dishes of Cretan cuisine. Near the small village square and within walking distance from the villa there is a coffee shop, a bakery, a mini-market, two tavernas. Arismari and Gavalianos Kafenes are great options.
- More eating places there are at the villages of Douliana, Almirida, Kera, or Kalyves just next to the beach.
The reviews for the Gavalochori Village
Reviews ( 2 )
The locals are so friendly and go out of there way to accommodate, for eg I wanted a lilo and the store keeper said he was popping to Almerida so would get one for me !! When we arrived their son also guided us to our villa Methapothia which is stunning and up a very narrow road, I had a free buggy ride up the hill ;) . The restaurants locally do delicious dishes and portions are huge, this village is exactly as it says small yet has a lot to offer if you do not wish to get in the car everyday.
Lovely traditional cretan village. The Kafenion in the square (english name Hope) is run by a very freindly owners and is always welcoming. The 2 tavernas offer good traditional menus at very affordable prices