Stylos is a bit of a forgotten place. Its in the midst of the Apokoronas, but overshadowed by Kalyves, about 5 km away. Discover a Cretan village here in Stylos. Amidst the shade of plane trees, the running water of the Koliaris river, you can get a feel for rural life in Crete.
The village has an authentic Cretan character. This is because there’s a mix of old stone houses, more modern concrete structures, bougainvillea and jasmine.
The old Byzantine church of St John towers over the village centre. Its from a similar era to the Agios Nicolaos church outside Kyriakoselia. Its flanked on the other side by the plant which bottles the Samaria water. The same source as the water at the villa!
The Koliaris waters feed fountains too, just outside the taverna Moustakies – the “Whiskers” of Google maps fame! – named apparently after the splendid moustache of the owner.
In the grounds of the church is a huge fossil sea cow from the Pleistocene era, 3 million years ago. Very well preserved skeleton, its an ancestor of the manatees, and was discovered whilst widening the road.
Tavernas in the Village
There are many tavernas and cafes in the village, an interesting one being Treis kai O Cook. Its run by three friends and their chef is from Thessaloniki. The food has these influences which makes for some subtle changes from the local Cretan cuisine.
Almost opposite this is Pissas, where the family of the butcher have for the last 6 years run a taverna. Because much of the outside space is on the edge of the newly developed park of the village, this has lovely shade and cool breezes.
Due to this as you could imagine, the meat here is the principal attraction – biggest pork chops you ever saw!, and tasty lamb. They do charcoal barbecue with meat on the spit, its well frequented by the locals.
Stylos in WW2
It seems hard to imagine as you sit drinking your beer in this pleasant quiet and sleepy environment that Stylos was the scene of fierce fighting in the second World War. Australian and New Zealand forces held up the advance of the invading German army, in order to enable allied troops to escape to Sfakia and the south. Some of these troops were hidden at great risk by the villagers.
In Minoan Times
Yes, there is more to discover in a Cretan village! Closeby the village, up the hill towards Megala Chorafia, is the site of a Minoan settlement. There?s a well preserved tholos tomb, nearly 5 metres in height, with perfectly cut huge stone blocks making a perfect circular structure.
Maybe this was a burial site of an important Minoan ruler in the late Minoan period (1400 BC). Get in by walking the 20 metre long dromos, which drops down from ground level, flanked by stone walls. The site is marked from the road, in an olive grove.
Its not obvious where is the tholos – enter the site (tho padlocked, the key is conveniently hung on a chain next to the padlock!) after that keep left up the hill.
Take the second track off to the right, and the tomb entrance is 30 metres or so on the left hand side.
Nearby via another marked entrance is the rest of the settlement, where the foundation of a pottery kiln is visible, surrounded by a fence and roofed over. This area may have been the main site of Aptera which was an important town in the Minoan era.
Discover a Cretan village
Stylos, at about 12min drive is the nearest village to the villa, with shops and tavernas, when you come “off the hill” of Chiliomoudou.
More about living in Crete
There is much more in our blogs. These show things to do in Crete, whether it be walking a gorge, hiking in the foothills of the White Mountains, or taking a drive to see the sites. Chania is a great town to visit, particularly to go to the street markets, and of course you’ll want to get the benefits of the Cretan diet – be it the yoghurt and cheese, or the olive oil.
This Dream Villa
And if you would like to live in a place where you can see these, here is just the place. This is a dream villa which we designed and built 10 years ago and now reluctantly are ready to sell and move on. Its in the Apokoronas, in the west of the island, 35min drive from Chania, 50min from the international airport.