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Crete: Hania Prefecture Overview Page Thirty-three

Westernmost Crete

FalasarnaFalasarna lies below the Gramvousa Peninsula which juts up from northwesternmost Crete to enclose the Kisamos Gulf on the west. The ancient city and port lie to the north of the beach. It was the westernmost city-state of Crete, at its peak during the 4th to 3rd centuries BC, though evidence has been found of occupation dating to the 6th century BC. For a time it was the port for Polyrrhenia on the west coast but the two towns were also enemies. An enclosed harbor mentioned by ancient geographers could not be found during the 19th century during a Royal Navy survey. Later excavations revealed that there had been late 5th century AD tectonic displacement altering the sea level, raising the coast 6-9meters above its present level. The acropolis was on Cape Koutri. A fort was built by the Venetians on the tip of the peninsula in 1579, that held out till 1692 against the Ottoman Turks, 23 years past the surrender of Iraklion. Later Gramvousa became a pirate stronghold. You can walk out to the cape in about two or three hours and visit the white sand beach at Tigani Bay (Frying Pan Bay).

Falasarna beach lies below the western base of the peninsula about 6km on a recently built road. As you descend there's a panoramic view of Livadi Bay and a thick olive grove (but also plastic greenhouses behind the beach, which is long, wide, crescent-shaped, with other beaches closeby and easy to walk to if the main one fills up. There are rooms, tavernas, and places to camp out.

If you go back to the main road to the village of Platanos, the fairly new coast road heads southwest high up above the sea.

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