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The Village of Platanias

by / Juhani

Updated 01.12.2012

   Platanias is located ten kilometres west of Chania. The village
was named after the plane tree, which is common in Crete and
it grows large especially by the river that flows on the east side
of the village. From the beginning the village was built in the
form of an amphitheatre up on the slope where there was a
beautiful view of the sea. When climbing to the upper village
from the beach area, the view is still beautiful, and the beach
area with all tourist services changes to the more original Cretan village with churches. Nowadays the village has spread out all over the beach and integrated with the neighbouring villages on its fringes. For the Finnish holidaymakers Platanias is one of the most popular holiday destinations on Crete.

(See the bigger panoramaphoto).

Today Platanias is one of the most important tourist centres in west Crete

   Only on the slope in the old Platanias village and behind it, further out from the beach road, can the traditional Cretan houses and life be seen. There is the same typical street scene in every tourist village on the cape of Chania. From the upper village there is a beautiful view to the lower village (see the photo below) and that’s why there are so many holidaymakers climbing up the narrow streets in the evenings to have the highlight of the day, a long dinner with good Cretan food.

Opposite Platanias and Agia Marina there is the island of Theodorou

   The Venetians used to call it San Theodoro or San Torado. The island was fortified during Venetian times in 1574 because they wanted to prevent the Turks gaining access to Platanias. The polygonal fortress was built on the highest place on the island and it was called Turluru. They built another polygonal fortress lower and called it San Theodoro or San Francesco. There had been also a “threeboat” chapel, now there are only some ruins left of that chapel. The island is also a protected area for the Cretan wild goat kri-kri. Boats sail to the island from many different parts of the beaches.

   Theodorou island’s the Holy Theodori church is the centre of the religious festival on the name day of the Saint, on June 8th, and there is a service, dancing and eating. Boats take the party people to the island all day starting from the morning.

   In Platanias there are, on both sides of the beach road, many activities connected to tourism; hotels, car rental firms, restaurants, souvenir shops and shops.  Because in the village there is so much to offer, many people from the neighbourhood villages go in there and go round the shops.

A small journey to the countryside of Platanias

   The cape of Chania is full of narrow asphalt roads and to those roads there is easy access from Platanias. One short, beautiful, green and versatile route starts from the centre of Platanias and turns back to its west side. This countryside route can be driven with rental car, scooter, bicycle or mini train which leaves from the centre of the village. It takes about one hour by car.
If you go on your own it is better to have the newest map because the roads in Crete develop and change all the time.

The area round Chania has the biggest production of citrus fruits on the island. This route is driven on a winding and narrow road that is lined by unbelievably dense vegetation and well kept farms.

In burning hot weather the mini trains carry good-humoured holidaymakers in a beautiful landscape.

 On the route there are many older and newer churches.

On the route there are also places for a break and at these it is possible to eat or have refreshments. In the picture there is the Drakiana taverna. Panorama from the yard.

The rattling steel bridge is a familiar experience for many people and the noisy drive over the moving wooden beams stays in one’s memory a long time.

After the day’s activities there is the best part of the day for many travellers; evening, dinner with good food and watching the lights come on in the villages below.

Additional information:

Book a HOTEL in Platanias. map of the area