A stroll down Halidon Street

Today I’d like to take you for a wander down Halidon Street, one of the busiest streets in Chania especially in the evening, and introduce you to some of the wonderful little shops Imageand some of the people that own them.  Halidon Street is the main street that runs from the 1866 Plateia down to the beautiful Venetian Harbour, through the years that I have lived here in Chania I have not only wandered along here like a tourist enjoying all the ‘fares’ on offer but I have also had the pleasure of working here.

At the very top of Halidon on the left side as you walk down is the best (my independent and personal opinion) Kreperie shop in Chania, the tiny Roxanis Kreperie is on the corner – you’ll miss it if you blink.  Image

They serve savoury and sweet krepes, our favourite  – the crushed biscuit and merenta chocolate… definitely worth tasting, but I wont for now because further along is another delight that I dont want to ruin my appetite for…. the Tasty Souvlaki shop just opposite the entrance to Leather lane – or the ‘Stivanadika’.

The Stivanadika is famously known for its traditional leather boot makers, Stivania is the name of the boots that Cretan men wear as part of their cultural ‘outfit’ and along this street you can see them being made my hand.Image

But back to Tasty …and a two kiss greeting to Niko one of the owners before a quick bite to eat, a mouthwatering gyro plate with all the trimmings to give me some energy for the rest of our stroll

Image

Crossing over the road we’ll stop to say hello to Mr Manoli or Emmanuel in his Gold boudoir.  This is where I had the pleasure of working some 15yrs ago, many a late night opening saw us enjoying a raki or two with customers before we closed up and headed home – Emmanuel has a lovely range of jewellery for all tastes and of course I would recommend him and his wonderful way of bargaining but then again in all honesty I am prejudiced here. 🙂Image

and off we stride, with our Cretan boots, a fully tummy and gold a jangling to continue our walk towards the harbour, maybe we should stop off and feed the fishes in one of the many fish pedicure/massage parlours?  No, I think thats for another day.  As we come half way down Halidon the street opens out into a ‘Plateia’ or square on our right, with the grand Church of ‘Trimartiri’ – Three martyrs, and funnily enough on our left side is the Catholic church, although you would have to know where it is to find it!  On the square in front of the church there is a wonderful ‘frozen yoghurt’ shop, with seating outside if you need to take a break and cool off.   Also on the square is the Meze/bar Typografeio well worth a visit of an evening and behind the church is the Metropoliton Cafe/bar, where quite regularly you can find the exhibits of local artists like Kostas Spanakis on show.

Image

Kostas Spanakis is a local born and bred artist with an adoration of his city that is second to … mine… http://www.spanakiskostas.gr/  – I think we’ll dedicate a separate blog to Mr Spanakis, out of pure respect for his works.

Image

Well here ends our stroll down Halidon for today, got stuck at Metropolitan enjoying cold beers and Cretan mezedakia….more food!!!!!

So let’s begin at the beginning,

“‘Where shall I begin, please your Majesty?’ he asked.  ‘Begin at the beginning,’ the King said, gravely, ‘and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”’

Lewis Carroll

Image

… and so we shall, well almost, actually we are continuing on from our old blog on posterous that we hadn’t reached a stop with.  So welcome to the beginning of our new and newly positioned blog, that will go on until it comes to an end.

Minoan Homes – 2010 Review!

The current year is coming to an end.   

2010 has been a particularly interesting year for Minoan Homes.  It has been full of achievements, success stories and promising opportunities for the year to come. 

A positive start was made in the beginning of 2010 by winning the award of the Best Developer for Central and Eastern Europe.  The AIPP award sealed our efforts for top quality properties and continuous improvement in everything we do for the people around the world that trust us to house their new lives in Crete!  Please click here to learn more about our award. 

 

1_aipp_awards_2010_kiriakos__elena_resize2_aipp_awards_2010_kiriakos_resize5_aipp_awards_2010_resize10_aipp_awards_winner_logo_resize

As we always do for many years, during 2010 we managed to make a lot of people happy by delivering the keys to their new homes and thus to a new life in the warmth of Crete!  Please click here, here and here to see some of the Minoan Homes 2010 “fairytales”!   

Last but not least, we set more solid foundations for the upcoming year!  Not far from today, we will start the construction of the properties that were bought off plan in the end of 2010. We will work according to the new owners’ wishes and we will make sure that their dreams will come true in less than a year!  So be prepared for more success stories in the end of 2011!   

 

We wish you merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous 2011!   

 

Best & warm (literally) regards from Kolimbari and all of us at Minoan Homes!   

 

The Minoan Homes team

73006 Kolimbari

Chania, Crete, Greece

www.minoanhomes.com

Email:  info@minoanhomes.com

Facebook:  Minoan Homes

Tel:  +30 28240 83000

Fax:  +30 28240 83400

Skype:  minoan.homes.info

Kolimbari, an area of great Myths and incredible natural beauty!

Kolimbari is a beautiful waterfront town 23km west of Chania set in the beginning of Cape Spatha 

Kolimbari_resize

 

The greater Kolimbari area is a wonderful mixture of green hillsides with olive trees and vineyards, a long pebble beach, small hidden coves, traditional villages and sights of historical interest.  It offers the chance of seclusion, relaxation, community feeling and at the same time being next to the necessary amenities.  Green and blue colours dominate this land along with the breath taking view of the White Mountains.

 

Kolimbari_in_late_november_-_19Marathokefala_resizeRodopou_-_agios_georgios_resizeSpatha_peninsular_1_resizeMichail_archangelos_-_spilia_resizeSpatha_peninsular_3_resizeSpatha_peninsular_4_resizeSpatha_peninsular_resizeSpilia_village_3_resizeSpilia_village_6_resizeSt_petros__pavlos_skoutelonas_resizeThe_greater_area_of_kolimbari_6_resizeThe_greater_area_of_kolimbari_1_resizeVasilopoulo_village_4_resizeVasilopoulo_village_7_resizeDarmarochori__the_white_mountains_resizeKamisiana_-_10Kolimbari_2_resizeKolimbari_area_29-11-2010_2_resizeKolimbari_area_29-11-2010_3_resizeKolimbari_area_29-11-2010_5_resizeKolimbari_area_29-11-2010_12_resizeKolimbari_area_29-11-2010_6_resizeKolimbari_area_29-11-2010_8_resizeKolimbari_beach_5_resizeKolimbari_fields_1_resizeKolimbari_fields_2_resizeKolimbari_from_spatha_1_resizeKolimbari_in_late_november_-_19Kolimbari_from_spatha_resize

Kolimbari town it self offers the opportunity for the visitor to taste fresh fish, seafood and local delicacies in a small number of seaside taverns, stroll along the beach, and daydream while drinking coffee watching the sea.


Kolimbari_port_resizeKolimbari_in_late_november_-_19Kolimbari_port_2_resizeKolimbari_marina_resizeKolimbari_port_3_resizeKolimbari_marina_2_resize

 

The area claims a fare share of history itself.  One of the most important sights in Kolimbari is the Monastery of Panagia Odigitria dedicated to Virgin Mary known as “Moni Gonias” built at the very western end of the bay.  It was initially founded in the 9th century but in the 17th century it was built in the place it stands today.  The Monastery has a fortress form overlooking the bay at its front.  Through out the years it was raided and plundered numerous times from pirates and Turks in later years.  It was actually used as a centre of resistance in the 1821 revolution against the Turkish Occupancy.  Because of the care of its Monks, nowadays the monastery hosts an important collection of precious post Byzantine icons, relics, and other religious treasures.  A big celebration is held at the Monastery on the15th August on Mother Mary’s day.  The Cretan Orthodox Academy, an important educational foundation lies right next to it.

 

Gonias_monastery_resizeGonias_monastery_1_resize


The routes of the area go back to the Minoan Era. Traces of Minoan settlements have been found in several places near Kolimbari but no systematic excavation has been done yet.  Between Minothiana (named after King Minos) and Saint Irene a very important Minoan City bloomed which is buried today.  Its name is assumed to be “Pergamos”.

 

Kolimbari can be used as a starting point for visiting important sights and places. 

 Diktynna temple, The Diktynneion — In North West Crete at the NE tip of the elongated and mountainous peninsula of Rodopou lies the remains of the long-known sanctuary.

 

Diktynna or Britomartis was a daughter of God Zeus.  Born, according to mythology, right here on Crete, she was a mountain goddess and was known for her hunting and love of nature.  King Minos, who ruled Crete and lived in the Minoan Palace of Knossos, fell in love with Diktynna and pursued her for a full nine months chasing her along the length of Crete.  But Diktynna wanted to remain a virgin and would not give in to Minos’ attentions.  He chased her to the edge of a cliff and being trapped, she threw herself off.  Fishermen saved her in their nets (Diktya) and a sailor, Andromedes, sailed with her from Crete to Aegina.  After landing there he made advances towards her and she fled from his vessel into a grove, and disappeared in the sanctuary of Artemis where she became known as Aphaea.  Because of her dedication and desire to protect her chastity, Artemis awarded her with immortality.

 

Remains from Roman times – a marble statue of Diktynna and a statue of the Roman emperor Hadrian discovered in 1913 – now stand in the archaeological museum in Chania.  The remains of temple built by Hadrian around AD123 survive at the site of an earlier temple built around the 7th Century BC.  Standing on a rocky plateau above the small cove and sandy beach a little way below.

 

Deliana Gorge is close to Deliana village 15 kilometres south of Kolimbari.  It’s a beautiful and easy walk through the gorge almost an hour back and forth.  The road passes along through the river and the sycamore trees on the right.  The rocks stand tall around you and the passage gets narrower in the heart of the gorge.  In many cases you will have to go through the streams that unite with the river and in others you will feel that it has darkened earlier since the sun cannot get through the tall rocks.  The way is short and at the end it climbs up the slope where there is a deserted monastery of the “Old Lady” Mother Mary and the village itself.  In Deliana you will find the homestead of a Great Man of the Greek Theatre, Alexis Minotis.  It is being discussed to be formed into a small museum on his honour.

 

The Cave of Saint John the hermit up at the village of Marathokefala is an amazing sight.  A representation of the birth of Christ takes place in Christmas Eve where lots of people arrive to feel the magic of that night.  A great Celebration is held on his honour on the 6th and 7th of October.

 

The oldest olive tree in whole Greece and probably in the whole planet, almost 3000 years old, can be found in the village of Vouves.  Recently a small museum was founded showing the importance of the olive trees and olive oil for the area.

Vouves_olive_tree_resizeOlive_museum-vouves_1_resize

 

A good number of Villages around Kolimbari are worth seeing for their beautiful landscape, the Byzantine churches some of them dating back to the 6th century like the church of Archangelos Mihail in Episkopi Village.  Also near Episkopi you can follow the paths that lead to the open theatre of Alexis Minotis  and the church of Saint Antonio.  Nohia village is well known for its pottery.  Spilia village is a beautiful picturesque traditional village with a beautiful square covered by sycamore trees and the old church dedicated to Mother Mary which goes back to the14th century.  Within Kolimbari you will find the unique Museum in Crete for fishing and fishery tradition.

Spilia_village_8_resizeSt_petros__pavlos_skoutelonas_resizeKamisiana_-_10Spilia_village_9_resizeMichail_archangelos_2_-_spilia_resizeRodopou_resizeSpilia_village_4_resizeRodopou_2_resize

 

From Kolimbari you can start off for the magnificent beaches of Falasarna and Balos.  More over it’s also much closer to visit the south west end like Chrysoskalitisa Monastery, the famous beach of Elafonisi and Paleochora.  Don’t forget to stop at Topolia and Elos on the way.

 

The local marina in Kolimbari can host up to medium sized vessels and be a starting point or rest station for those who love to make their own trips by speed boats and yachts.  Don’t hesitate to ask us for information about renting space prices for the marina.

 

Kolimbari_marina_resizeKolimbari_marina_2_resize

Festivities go on forever through out the Summer Season in Kolimbari.  Festivals, feasts and celebrations give you a real good taste of the areas tradition and way of life.  Not only religious celebrations but festivals of all kinds, just name one!  Tsikoudia festival, olive oil, wine, fish, traditional products, honey, rooster festival and it never ends!  People do not miss the chance of having fun with Cretan Music, tsikoudia and dance!  

In recent years West Crete and especially the area of Kolimbari has attracted the people’s interest because it still retains an unspoilt and green character without being cut off from necessary amenities and offers the chance to the visitor to choose from livelihood and seclusion.  Just take your pick!  

 

Should you need further information regarding the area of Kolimbari, please visit our website on www.minoanhomes.com, email us on info@minoanhomes.com or call us on 0030 28240 83000. 

We will be more than happy to share with you some of our local knowledge of the area.  If you wish to keep the area yours for ever, all of us at Minoan Homes will assist you in every step of the way and we will make sure that your dream will come true!    

35591_165013090206911_100000946646547_303089_6547907_n