This is an expanding village at the entrance of Souda-Bay.
Probably founded by farmers of the surrounding mountain villages who saw the wide flat plain with its three rivers Ksydas, Mesopotamos and Kilaris providing running water even in summer as creating a perfect environment for successful agriculture.
Initially they are likely to have built small huts, called Kalyves, to spare them from daily commuting from their homes.
According to Greek historians the village is built upon the site of ancient Amfimatrion, the port and shipyard of ancient Aptera.
Due to its geographical position it played important parts in the 1821 National Revolution and in the Cretan revolution later in the century. In 1770 it was occupied by the Turks who used it as a base to advance into the mountains and in 1821 Kalyves became the Turkish regional headquarter for the Apokoronas region.
The first in the area to be provided with electricity
Power was generated by water for mills to grind grain and produce olive oil.
Untill after WW II although, because of its increasing prosperity the village was the first in the area to be provided with electricity which eventually replaced water power.
Fine apartments and hotels
Kalyves changed little for many years until recently when it was discovered by foreign holiday makers.
The developments are a great attraction to the visitors. Fine apartments and hotels, eating places offering delicious food and a variety of interesting shops are only a ‘stone`s throw' from a picturesque and relaxing environment for young and old. There is a great variety of attractive kafenions and tavernas, a post office, two banks with cash machines and three chemists.
There is a wide range of shops from a jewellers to a bike-shop and a coopers workshop (near the turning to Armeni) that is seldom busy but well worth a visit.
Jewels in the crown of Kalyves are the four beaches
All awarded with the E.U. Blue Star flag. The sand is clean and the water safe, the atmosphere is friendly and perfect for children.
Mistrali beach lies to the east behind the Kalyves Beach Hotel. It has a small harbour for fishing and sporting boats and a row of fine summer tavernas, with Cretian music and dancing every Thursday and Sunday.
Kera is a quiet and unspoiled beach just over the hill towards Almyrida.
Glaros is to the west near the IN.KA. super-market and bounded by the river Kiliaris, cool and refreshing even in summer, with a tavern nearby.
Kyani Akti lies on the other side of the river and is accessible by a footbridge or chilly paddle. It also has a tavern and a new Hotel. A road leads from the beach to Kalami.
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