Kissamos, Kasteli, best of Crete

Kissamos, often still referred to by its earlier name of Kastelli, lies halfway along Kissamos Bay, 43 kilometers from Chania.

Kastelli or Kissamos?

kissamos Kissamos is a town with two names, Kissamos and Kastelli. When it is called Kastelli Kissamou that means and indicates which of the Kastelli places of Crete is meant to be. Generally, there are many other Kastelli places, like the one of Pediados Kastelli.

The town was called Kastelli because it lies on the site of an old Venetian castle, no longer visible today. The name Kissamos, on the other hand, is much more ancient; it is thought to be pre-Hellenic, but its derivation is uncertain.

All about Kissamos

kissamos port In the west part of Kissamos is the main road, Heroon Polytechniou Street, full of shops and supermarkets. But in the summer (and all year round when the weather’s good), the heart of town beats on the coast road, near Tzanakaki Square or Kastelli Square, which is mostly pedestrian, letting visitors and residents alike enjoy a stroll by the sea.

The Kissamos area is particularly fertile, rich in grapes, wine and tsikoudia. The town played an important part from early historical times onwards, as the provincial capital and economic center of Kissamos Province in Chania Prefecture.

On first sight, Kissamos does not look like a town full of fascinating things to do, but the truth is quite otherwise. Don’t forget that the west coast of Crete includes some of the island’s most famous sights, such as Elafonissi, Falassarna and Balos on Cape Gramvoussa.

Where is Kissamos

Kastelli Kissamou is a small town in West Crete, at the northwest end of the island.

How could someone go to Kissamos

By car

From Chania to Kissamos. If you’re in Chania, you can take the National Road west to Kissamos, 43 kilometers distance to reach the place. The road is very good and you’ll be there in about 30 minutes.

From Chania Airport to Kissamos. Take the road to Souda and then the Chania -Kissamos National Road, heading west. This also applies if you want to get to Kissamos from Souda Port.

By bus

From Chania to Kissamos by bus. You can also get to Kissamos by intercity bus from Chania. There are buses every hour in the summer and fairly frequently at other times of year.

From Heraklion to Kissamos. Take the National Road to Rethymnon and Chania. Do not enter Chania but continue straight on to Kissamos. It is about 170 kilometers and at least 2.5 hours’ drive away.

By taxi

Hiring a taxi is always easier than having to search the maps to reach the destination.

By bike

Driving a bike is a gift, you can always find the way and of course, enjoy the sightseeing with more stops, getting to know the places better! A bike could be a bicycle that is even better than a motorbike!

How to sail with a ferry to Kissamos?

The main port of Kastelli is by the town north side. This is a port that most visitors select to visit Balos lagoon and Gramvousa peninsula! There are ferries sailing to Kythira and Peoloponese!

Interesting things to do in Kissamos

The monastery of Odigitrias is a small but beautiful Orthodox monastery near Kolymbari. Very well maintained and clean, has a small museum of icons and a small bookcase with volumes of 500 and 600. You pay a ticket to enter. Beautiful view of the sea from the terrace

Monastery Gonia Odigitrias: If you’re nearby it’s worth a visit, as a must see. A place steeped in prayer and history with beautiful views of the coastline. Open every day at certain times as the Monastery is used every day for private worship by the resident Monks The old building is beautiful with an interesting architecture. The interior is fantastic. There are still monks at the monastery. It’s definitely worth to visit. Thanks to the fact that there was no one there. You could walk around and see the monks performing their duties.

Gorges in the same region

The west of Crete is a very rich place with many gorges, especially south of Chania region but very interesting one is the closest to Kissamos called Topolia gorge that is very close to the place of Kastelli Kissamou too. Gorges located south of Kissamos are Imbros, Samaria and Agia Irini.

Beaches near Kissamos

The best of the best places to stay and swim near Kissamos is Falassarna village and beach!

The second suggested place to visit by ferry is Balos beach and Gramvousa peninsula.

Where to stay in Kissamos

Molos Bay hotel

Castell Hotel

Sapphire Suites

There are excellent accommodation resorts in Kissamos, the most of them by the seaside.

Where to eat in Kissamos

The Cellar Restaurant – Εστιατόριο Το Κελάρι


Best time to visit Kissamos

We recommend you visit Kissamos all year, it is a large area with town shops that stay all year round open!