Chania Gavalochori

General information

Located about 26 kilometers southeast of Chania Town, Gavalochori is one of the most picturesque settlements in the area of Apokoronas. The village seems untouched by tourism, having retained its traditional architecture and authentic character.

Gavalochori has been named after a Byzantine noble family that used to rule the area. However, a number of double-bitted axes, pieces of pottery, coins and other objects found in the area indicate that it has been inhabited since the Minoan times. The foundations of Mycenean residences and water tanks have also been excavated, as have some Roman tombs. During the Venetian era, Gavalochori became a notable socioeconomic center, and architectural samples of that period have survived to this day.

Built on a location of great natural beauty, the village has been declared a listed historical settlement on account of its folk architecture, which has remained largely unaffected by modern additions. Many of the houses are 300 or even 500 years old and have been constructed out of stone, mud, and wood. Strolling around the village, you will see beautifully paved streets, stone arches, flowered gardens and 12 lovely churches, the oldest of which was constructed in 1200 AD. Two of the most well-known ones are the church of the Virgin Mary and that of Agios Sergios.


More about Gavalochori

There is the Gavalochori Folklore Museum, housed in a Venetian stone-arched building. Its exhibits include folk costumes, old coins, weaponry, antique furniture and other items of daily use. In Gavalochori, visitors can also see a restored 17th-century oil mill or drop by the women’s association, where they can acquaint themselves with the local traditional lace-making technique. Known as kopaneli, this art is still carried on by some of the village women and will provide you with some of the best souvenirs you could possibly bring back home with you.

Various hiking paths start at Gavalochori, allowing you to explore the verdant countryside and its hidden gems. Around 1 kilometer from the village, you can find a series of 24 Venetian wells, which used to play an important role in the community’s daily life and were still in use a few decades ago. There, you will also see two impressive plane trees, whose branches intertwine in a unique embrace. The Roman cemetery is not far from the wells.

Today, most of the inhabitants are engaged in agriculture and produce olive oil, figs, almonds and honey. Music events are regularly held in the two traditional coffee houses, while a rock music concert is organized every year around the end of August or the beginning of September. Popular tourist resorts of Chania, such as Almyrida, Georgioupoli and Kalyves are located nearby.

Things to See & Do in Gavalochori

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