Gavalohori, Crete: A place of history, tradition, and nature in Apokoronas, Chania.
Gavalohori, Crete, is a picturesque village in the centre of Apokoronas Peninsula, close to the villages of Vamos and Douliana. It is located about 25 kilometres southeast of Chania city.
Although it is a rural village, Gavalohori has good amenities for visitors, including taverns, a café, a bakery, a mini market, and various stores. The village is very close – about 4 kilometres – to the excellent beach of Almyrida.
The village’s characteristic name – Gavalohori – comes from the Gavalas family, who was a well-known family during the Byzantine period.
Gavalohori, Crete – a village that respects tradition
Gavalohori has many centuries-old buildings with very interesting architecture. Many of these older buildings have been carefully restored, like the 18th century olive oil press, with its characteristic arches, the old school, and numerous houses.
The people of Gavalohori have been historically very religious. Characteristic of their faith are the 14 churches in and around the village, the most interesting of which are the old churches of Panagia, Agios Sergios and Agios Pavlos, which have been restored in a masterly manner.
In the main square of Gavalohori you can find the agricultural and handicraft co-operation of the women of Gavalohori. There, you can see – and buy – some characteristic pieces of the authentic folk art of rural Crete, like the “kopaneli”, a very delicate handmade lace, and various knit wears. Obviously, these articles make very good keepsakes or presents.
In Gavalohori there is also the local Historical and Folklore Museum, where you can learn many things about the history and culture of the village and the region in general. In the museum you can find exhibits like pottery, coins, weapons and costumes. Very interesting is the architectural style of the centuries-old museum, which combines the Venetian and the Ottoman architectural styles, as it was built and converted during these two historical periods.
Regarding its history, one of the impressive things about Gavalohori is that it is inhabited from the Neolithic age up to now. During the last three thousand years, the Minoans, the Ancient Greeks, the Romans, and later the Byzantines, the Venetians, the Ottomans, and modern Greeks, have all left their mark in the area.
The fascinating area around Gavalohori, Crete
The surrounding area of Gavalohori is equally interesting to the village itself.
First of all, the nature around the village is magnificent. You can make unforgettable walks in the footpaths around Gavalohori, in scenic landscapes of olive trees, carobs and bushes of herbs.
A place of special historical interest is the location of the Venetian Wells of Gavalohori. The Venetian Wells of Gavalohori are about 1 kilometre out of the village – to get there, just follow the signs. The Venetian Wells played a central part in the society of Gavalohori during that historical period.
Near the village, you can also find the Roman cemetery of Gavalohori.
Gavalohori is a place of unique beauty, where history meets tradition. Although the village is not so known as its neighbouring Vamos village, Gavalohori, Crete, is a place where you should certainly spend some time, when exploring Apokoronas Peninsula in Chania.