Kalives is on the north coast of Crete, about 20 kilometres east of Chania, and is a popular Greek island holiday destination. Kalives has two beaches: the main village beach is an arc of golden sand backed by tamarisk trees and tavernas. The sand is soft and golden but it slopes quite sharply into the sea and gets deep quickly so children must be watched.
Taverna tables are set out on the road that backs Kalives beach , pitched between shady tamarisk trees. Sunbeds were once provided free for patrons of the tavernas, a practice that unfortunately appears to be dying out.
At the eastern end of Kalives beach is a dinky harbour, recently rebuilt, and topped by a huge and monstrous cement building surrounded in wire that both mars the headland and prevents walks around it — only in Greece.
At the western end a small river runs through the Kalives Beach Hotel. If you approach the beach from this end you must weave your way past hotel guests on sunloungers and cross a carpeted hotel bridge to get across the river and onto the sands.
The hotel has a couple of old wooden boats moored in the river, a few ducks and mock lighthouse to impress the guests.
The beach is soft, clean golden sand that tends to bank up steeply at the eastern end and the dip into the sea is also quite steep so the waves can sometimes swell and underwater currents are quite strong.
Further to the west, over the bridge, is another beach that sits below a narrow road that separates a string of apartments from the sea.
The west beach at Kalives is a long narrow affair, much quieter than the main beach and backed by a sea wal. There are a few choice tavernas built on the wall above overlooking the sands.
Kalives is a working village, not just a tourist resort but it boasts 17 tavernas although some are no more than a few tables in the street). Meals are consistently good and consistently cheap, which makes full board at local hotels a dubious choice.
The city of Rethymnon on the north coast of Crete is packed with colourful parades and impromptu street parties in a celebration that has been running more than 100 years.
An intricate mosaic of pebble and stone cover a complex of buildings at Koumos, including a taverna and even a chapel, in an architectural extravaganza that will take your breath away.
Also, among the weapons on display at the Arkadi Monastery are some of those used in the famous siege, including flintlock rifles and long-barrelled pistols as well muskets.
Crete may be a holiday hotspot today but the islands was once the scene of a ferocious firefight between Allied troops and German paratroopers now buried in war cemeteries.