Pterarchou Emmanouil Kelaidi 32
Aptera (Megala Chorafia) Apokoronas, Chania, 73003
Crete - Greece
GPS: N 35°27.781' E 024°08.026'
Mobile: +30 6977 127 640
Landline: +30 28250 31648
Yoga Teacher & Dietitian-Nutritionist
Photography and Creative Art support for
the website and space was performed by
Martin Kubove www.kubove.com
the ZenZem house is located in a beautiful and
powerful place, Aptera, at the nort part of the island
of Crete (Greece).
See where we are on the map
Aptera (Megala Chorafia) is a quiet Cretan village in the prefecture of Chania. It is located on a hilltop of Apokoronas (an area between the towns of Chania and Rethymno), with view both to the sea and the White Mountains (Lefka Ori). The village probably took its name from the ancient city which was founded here, dedicated to the ancient Greek goddess Artemis (Diana) 'the Aptera' (meaning the one without wings, the grounded and Earthly one).
Aptera has very good access to Chania town centre (about 13 km away). Hourly buses pass by from the national road or a taxi / car hire can be arranged.
Chania main harbour (Souda bay) is about 7 km away, where daily ferry-boats connect to Athens.
Chania Airport (Daskalogiannis) is 22 km away. If you arrive at the airport, you could hire a taxi to get you here directly (about 35 euros). Alternatively, you may get the bus to Chania central bus station and then a second bus from there (departs hourly). Issue a ticket for Megala Chorafia (this option costs about 4,50 euros in total).
In terms of facilities, Aptera has a minimarket, a local café and 2-3 excellent greek tavernas to try the freshly cooked local cuisine. A wider range of tavernas, restaurants, bars, marine sport and diving activities can be found in the more popular places nearer to the sea (Kalami, Kalyves and Almyrida).
The area around the village is of great archaeological interest, an amalgam of the Minoan era, Venecian and Turkish occupations. By visiting the ancient ruins you can absorb the energy of ancient Aptera (links: 1, 2, 3) dating back to the 18th c. B.C., with its greatest peak around the 4th. c. B.C. There is also an ancient Theatre, Roman baths and 'Koules' Castle (from Turkish occupation).
Attractions and destinations around Aptera
Whether you are staying at ZenZem for a retreat or in one of the local accommodation facilities during your holidays, you can visit Chania old town and the picturesque Venetian harbour with plenty of tourist amenities, souvenir shops and boat trips .
Alternatively, if you'd like to stay away from the city, you may take a deeper dive into nature and walk the natural treasure of Diktamos Gorge which begins at Stylos village (6km from Aptera) or around Kournas Lake (30 km from Aptera- suitable also for swimming) .
If you are planning on staying for longer you may visit Rethymno (50 km), Knossos and the Minoan Palace (130 km). Not to miss are the natural reserve of Samaria Gorge and the south Lybean sea (villages include Sougia and Ancient Lissos, Ag. Roumeli, Sfakia, Palaiochora, pink sand Elafonisi) or the northwest cape and turquoise lagoon of Balos (Gramvousa/ Kissamos).
Please note: this information is only a brief summary of the surrounding area and is not intended for marketing or trip planning purposes. To find more detailed information and plan your trip please advice a guide book or a local tourist information office. Thank you!
Beaches near Aptera
Aptera lies on a low hill (200 m above sea level) overlooking the beautiful coast which is about 4 km away by car. There are local beaches for swimming, practicing yoga or recreation. The closest beaches are the pebble beach of Kalami (4 km), the sandy beaches of Kyani Akti (6 km), Kalyves (8 km) and Almyrida a little further away (13 km).
A few idyllic quiet bays and ‘hidden’ beaches lie just at the foot of Aptera hill (at the exit of the village to the motorway- 2 km from ZenZem house) and can be reached by foot paths with a small exploration (and our help if you are here on retreat). If you are taking a yoga retreat at ZenZem we will transfer you to the beach on specific days when practice or recreation are included in the retreat price and schedule. A taxi or car hire can be arranged if you'd like to visit the beach more often.