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Kastelli - GIC The Villa Collection

Kastelli, also known as Kissamos, is a charming small town that is a gateway to Crete's wild west. Despite being connected by a fast highway that's 40km west of Chania, Kastelli still retains its traditional Greek market town vibe, where agriculture and fishing take precedence over tourism. Hotels are available but low-key tourism appeals to those seeking a tranquil escape with plenty of unspoiled countryside and uncrowded (mainly pebble) beaches close by. If you're looking for a base for painting and walking holidays, the seaside hamlet of Nopigia, which is only 6km east of Kastelli, is perfect, and the two are connected by a good bus service. Kastelli enjoys a central location in a vast bay, enclosed by two rocky peninsulas known as Gramvousa and Rodopou. Visitors can take a boat trip to the former, while Kastelli itself boasts good facilities and a small archaeological museum. For those seeking the best beaches on Crete, Falasarna, which lies just a half hour drive from Kastelli is a must-visit. The west coast location means that the sunsets can be particularly breathtaking. Elafonisi, further south, is equally stunning, with coral sands and an islet that can be accessed by wading through a sandbank. A car is recommended for a scenic day trip, where you can take the coastal road out and return through the mountains via villages and a gorge. However, the narrow, winding roads may not be suitable for nervous drivers or those with a fear of heights.

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