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Kastelli Kissamos, Chania: The largest town in West Chania region and a very interesting destination in itself

Kastelli Kissamos is a traditional small town in the West Chania region. It is the largest settlement in the area west of Chania city.

Kastelli Kissamos is located about 40 kilometers west of Chania city. The town has a very rich history. In fact, its two-word name comes from two distinct historical periods of Crete. Kastelli comes from the Venetian name "Castelo", due to a Venetian castle that stood here. And Kissamos is the name of the ancient city that used to be at the exact same place, which thrived from the Minoan era, up to the Roman period.

Kastelli Kissamos - the most fertile area in Chania region

Kastelli Kissamos is one of the very few areas in Chania and Crete that have abundant water reserves and fertile land. So, it comes to no surprise that up to this day the area produces some of the finest agricultural products of Crete. In recent years, organic farming has been broadly adopted by the local farmers, raising the overall quality of the local produce even higher.

From the local agricultural products, the most known are the olive oil and the wine of Kastelli Kissamos, which are by far the best in the Chania region. Other high-quality local produce includes oranges and the known local spirit tsikoudia, also called raki.

Kastelli Kissamos - a place with a very rich history, like Chania city itself

Although it is not so widely known, Kastelli Kissamos has a long, rich history, which can be compared only to the history of Chania city.

During Minoan years, ancient Kissamos was a wealthy marine and commerce hub. It was one of the ports of ancient Polirinia, the leading city in the West Chania region back in those times.

The city flourished and got bigger and wealthier, and reached the peak of its prosperity and civilization during the Roman period. You can find some amazing Roman mosaics, that were unearthed during the excavations in the area, in the local Archaeological Museum of Kastelli Kissamos. The museum is housed in the old Venetian governor's palace, located on the main square, and there is just a low symbolic price in the entrance. In the museum there are findings from the 5th century BC, up to recent historical periods.

During the Venetian era of Crete, Kissamos was still one of the biggest and wealthiest cities in Chania region. To protect this important city, the Venetians built a castle, together with big stone walls around the city. In today's town, there are still remnants of the Venetian walls. It was during the Venetian period, that the city was also called Kastelli, from the Venetian castle, or "Castelo" as it was called in Venetian.

Fast forward to the present times, many local residents from Kastelli Kissamos have moved to Chania city, but many also continue to live at the exact place where their centuries-old ancestors used to live, making Kastelli Kissamos the biggest town in the West Chania area even at times of massive urbanization.

After all this centuries, many cities, towns and civilizations have flourished and declined in Crete, but Kastelli Kissamos town, together with Chania city, still stand strong, as eternal witnesses of a centuries-old history that is still in the making...