Kokkino Chorio (or Red Village) is a small village situated in Apokoronas in Chania regional unit of Crete, Greece.
Kokkino Chorio sits on the Drapano Cape overlooking the magnificent Souda Bay.
It got the name Red Village after the Ottoman Army massacred 150 women and children here in 1821.
It is a very traditional Cretan village with three churches, the main church being St Haralambos that is always in use and the churches of St George and St Catherine which are used on the Saints Days.
If you think this beautiful village looks familiar that’s because it’s a film star! Kokkino Chorio was the setting for Zorba the Greek, the classic 1964 film (starring Anthony Quinn, Alan Bates, Irene Papas and many locals.) that laid the foundations for the tourist wave that swept onto Crete’s sun-soaked beaches.
Kokkino Chorio is located near Plaka, Almiryda, Gavlahori, Kalyves and Kambia.
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 center of the village is also an interesting site.
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. 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 crete-car-rental.com, 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
We highly recommend our Adeste Villas (a complex of 3 stylish, newly completed villas with private pools (heated pool at Villa Armi), an intimate atmosphere and sweeping sea views.) or Villa Afrati (a lovely stone villa with great views and a nice private pool) or Villa Kronos and Villa Rhea.
What to see & do
- On the edge of the village Kokkino Chorio there is a glass blowing factory. You can see the piles of bottles outside that are waiting to be recycled. The factory is pretty new and dates from 1986. If you like it is possible to see the glass blowers at work (opening times 0.800 - 12.00 & 13.00 - 15.00). The center of Kokkino Chorio remains pretty much the same with the usual jumble of houses that have been restored and houses that are falling apart (some with overgrown Venetian arches). On the main square oposite the church and in one of the village streets you will find a taverna where you can have something to eat. Below Kokkino Chorio there are some small coves with sandy beaches.
- Above the village near the Agios Georgios church there is an underground bunker complex. Three corridors lead to the underground quarters, which supposedly were covered with wood. According to the old inhabitants there was even a movie theater. From the point of Cape Drapano there was a cableway to the entrance of the bunker.
- Also, you can just wander through the narrow streets of the village and find yourself in another era as yet it keeps the old character. Kokkino Chorio has a superb location leaving a breathtaking romantic impression in every visitor with its beautiful panoramic views of Souda Bay and the imposing views of the White Mountains. In addition you can enjoy one of the most beautiful sunsets from the unique family tavern in the village.
- Almirida beach (3.5km): Two sandy beaches separated by a rocky peninsula. The larger has good facilities (sun beds, sea sport activities, fish restaurants, cafes) and shallow transparent waters. Ideal for families or crowd seekers.
- Kalives beach (7km): sun beds & sandy beach, restaurants, not exposed to wind, beach volley.
- Kiani Akti or Blue Beach (1km after Kalyves): Long quiet beach with sun beds and small canteens for drinks and snacks. In the middle of the beach is the exit of river Kiliaris, transferring water from the top of the White Mountains and warm water lovers, beware!
- Kera (6km): Sandy beach between Kalives and Almirida which is formed at the end of a green hill. As it is not organized, it is ideal for visitors that prefer less crowded sites. Close to the beach is the church of Panagia Kera, a picturesque 19th century chapel which was built in the site of an older monastery. Follow the concrete-paved road between Kalives and Almirida leading to the beach after 500m.
- Koutalas (1.5km): Isolated and unspoilt beach, close to the edge of Cape Drepano with interesting cave formations, like the Elephantsí Caveí. Make sure that you have all the necessities, such as shade, food and water. To get there you should follow the road leading north from the village Kokkino Chorio to the Drepano Cape and then follow the road to Faros. About 700m further north, you will see the sign to Koutalas. From there a very good dirt track leads directly on the beach.
- Ombrogialos (5km): Small rocky bay with green and blue deep waters between Paleloni and Kefalas. Actually it consists of a dock, used for diving and sunbathing. The sea around the Ombrogialos is ideal for snorkeling and windsurfing. Above the dock is a fish tavern, popular to sea divers. You can access the beach by car through the asphalt road that starts from Paleloni.
- Explore the unique Apokoronas region: its rolling olive- and cypress groves are backed by a rocky ridge which drops to Crete's north coast, and laced with wild flowers and views of snow-capped peaks in spring. One of the prettiest of its sleepy villages is Gavalohori with kafeneia shaded by plane trees, narrow lanes flanked by whitewashed cottages, and a small folklore museum worth visit.
- You could drive to the dramatic and tragic Orthodox monastery of Arkadi (1hr) or, at a pinch, the Minoan capital at Knossos (2hrs).
- Hike the diminutive gorge at Faraggi near Stilos, or one of its bigger brothers on the south coast: Imbros (1hour drive, 3-4 hours hike) is the most accessible, while Samaria is the toughest and longest day out, but also the most spectacular
- Don't miss Chania's gorgeous old town (30 mins' drive): set around a Venetian harbour, its pedestrian alleys are lined with boutiques and bars (try and hear some live Cretan music, it's very soulful); the covered market is a cornucopia of health-giving herbs and cheeses, and its Archaeological Museum is the area's best.
- If you've been there and done that, Rethymno (45 mins) is similar, except that Greek students outnumber tourists, and the Ottoman and Venetian influences are stronger still: timbered houses, spiky minarets and a huge fort on the hill.
- Village “Verekinthos” is an arts and crafts village that stands between Souda & Tsikaland at the eastern gate of Chania and its aim is to revive and sustain the arts which have been always an integral part of Cretan life and culture. At this same place there were many workshops producing pots (tsikalia), giving thus the name to the town and in the very same place nowadays is run silversmith’s and goldsmith’s as well workshops for ceramics, sculpture, glass making, hagiography, painting, masks, mosaic, leather, decorative objects and traditional Cretan knifes. Visitting hours 10.00-14.00 and 19.00-21.00 except Saturday afternoon and Sunday.
Where To Eat & Drink
In the village central square is the central church and facing it you will find a kafeneio serving local delicacies and grilled meat dishes. Around the corner, you can find a mini-market selling a range of household essentials along with British staples.
The reviews for the Kokkino Chorio