Kolymbari (or Kolimbari, Kolymvari) is a seaside village located on the corner formed between the northern coastline of western Crete and the Rodopos peninsula stretching towards north.
This little Cretan village, surrounded by olive groves and the sea, until recently still relatively unaffected by tourism, has entered the orbit of tourism development since some hotels-resorts have been built here. However, Kolymbari still remains a quiet and picturesque traditional village and is appealing if you look for a quiet, tranquil, holiday destination.
It is a working coastal town and is a local centre for commerce and fishing. It does not have a sandy beach and is thus not as popular with tourists as the nearby resorts of Maleme and Platanias. Kolymbari's long pebbled beach is ideal if you're looking for a relaxed spot to sunbathe - it's not too touristy, so there's plenty of space to spread out. The clear water is shallow near the shore, but deepens quickly a little way out.
The village provides all the services needed, like shops, supermarket, good taverns, bakery, dentist, doctor, pharmacy, gas stations, post office, bank etc. A sea with crystal clear waters awaits you. The waterfront and the jetty of the new harbor, that encloses the old harbor with the fishing boats, is ideal for a stroll in the afternoon or a good meal in one of its taverns overlooking the blue of the sea, the hills and the mountains rising majestically in the background. Every Friday there is a "laiki", an open vegetable and fruit market where one can buy fresh locally grown products.
From Kolymbari it is very easy to visit the Gonia Monastery, which is located 1 km to the north and celebrates greatly on the 15th of August. It was built during the 17th century in a wonderful place, surrounded by verdant vegetation it offers a magnificent view. The Monastery has a fortress form, overlooking the bay in front of it; it was also a centre of resistance during the revolution of 1821. The Gonia Monastery hosts today an important collection of precious post-Byzantine icons, relics, and other rare religious treasures. The Orthodox Academy of Crete is located next to the Gonia Monastery.
While staying in Kolymbari you can visit (by boat) the north-eastern edge of Rodopou peninsula where one can see the ruins of the ancient town Dyktinna. A boat departs daily from the harbor to Menies beach. Menies is a majestic, secluded beach with deep crystal blue water. This small bay located in the north east side of the cape is a must visit if you are looking for a near virgin beach far from civilization. There are no facilities nearby so make sure you bring supplies and water.
Kolymbari is very near the Falasarna and Balos beaches which are regarded as two of the purest beaches of Crete and you should visit them both. The famous Elafonisi beach (very touristy!) is also quite near; in 1 hour driving distance.
Kolymbari has easy access to the highway (1 km) leading to Chania and the airport. It takes about ½ hour drive to reach the Venetian city of Chania (25km), 15 minutes (15km) to Kastelli/Kissamos and 50 minutes to Chania international airport.