A Quick Guide to Kolymbari, Crete

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Thinking of booking a trip to Kolymbari on Crete? Here’s what to expect from this quiet beach resort near Chania.

Where is it?

Kolymbari is on the north coast of Crete not far from Chania, west of Tavronitis.

What’s the vibe like? 

Side street behind Kolymbari harbour.

Kolymbari is at the far end of Chania’s western beach resort area and it has an end-of-the-line vibe. It’s a working fishing village with a small marina and it happens to be home to a few big resort hotels too.

Much of the development here has been recent but it still feels sleepy and windswept. It’s a friendly and unpretentious sort of place.

Being a fishing village there are a few good seafood tavernas right by the sea – perfect for lazy evenings spent drinking ouzo, eating octopus, and watching the stars.

Kolymbari sits at the base of the rocky cliffs of the Rodapou peninsula which is largely uninhabited. There are walking trails on the peninsula and Gonia monastery is not far from the village.

Kolymbari harbour.

Table and chairs by Kolymbari breakwater.

What’s the beach like?

Kolymbari beach from the water.

The 4km beach here is quiet and mostly pebble but with some sand that has been artificially added nearer the harbour. Some of the pebbles can be sharp and stony so suitable shoes are recommended. 

Some of the cafes and tavernas by the water provide sun loungers for their guests but most of the beach is unorganised.

The beach runs all the way to Tavronitis, with the villages at either end. The middle section is quiet with some resort hotels right on the beachfront.

Two sun loungers on Kolymbari beach.

Close-up of the sand on Kolymbari beach.

Activities and amenities

Poster advertising mini golf in Kolymbari.

Kolymbari is a working village and you’ll find a large supermarket here as well as a handful of amenities for tourists such as car and ATV rentals, cafes, and souvenir shops. Most are concentrated at the main road intersection which is a 10-minute walk from the beach.

The tour agency Mystical Crete can help you with transfers, activities and excursions around the island. It’s an ideal location for exploring the west of Crete by car.

From the harbour, there are several small companies offering boat trips (including Balos Beach and fishing) and the Royal Octopus PADI Dive Centre.

ATVs for rent in Kolymbari.

Taverna table by the sea in Kolymbari.

Synka supermarket sign.

Building with a tourist office and taxi office.

Transport and accessibility

Pedestrian walkway behing Kolymbari beach.

From the airport:

Kolymbari is a 40-minute drive from Chania International Airport.

Prices for a private airport transfer to Kolymbari are around €60.

Public transport:

Kolymbari is the last stop on the Chania City Bus route which runs from the city to the beach resorts along the west coast – see the Chania Bus website for timetables.

However, the bus leaves from the main KTEL bus station in Chania – not the main city bus stop.

The buses are bendy buses and are frequent throughout the day, especially in July and August, but they do get very busy – especially at the end of the day and early evening.

 You can buy tickets on board but it’s cheaper to buy them before you get on at either the Chania bus station or any kiosk/mini-market near the bus stop.

The regional KTEL coach from Chania to Kissamos (the port for Balos) also passes through Tavronitis although less frequently.

To reach the airport by bus you’ll have to change at Chania.

Accessibility

The beach is a 10-minute walk from the main road in Kolymbari, where many of the businesses are located.

The side roads are quiet with plenty of space for parking. Some parts of the beach have sections of road running alongside and trees for shade. There’s a short promenade between the beach and the tavernas. Paving is of varying quality.

Main road with pavement in Kolymbari.

Where to stay

Kolymbari has several big resort hotels which are available through the main tour operators such as TUI:

Some of them are closer to the village than others, so do check the location if you’d like to be close to the harbour for its tavernas.

On a budget? There are traditional rooms at Golden Rose Suites.

 

Read more about Crete:

Where to Stay in Chania Near the Beach

10 Most Beautiful Beaches Near Chania

Where to Stay on Crete: Ultimate Beach Resort Guide

10 Most Beautiful Beaches on Crete

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