Gavalochori is a very traditional village and it has great historical importance in this area. There are buildings still remaining from Byzantine, Venetian and Turkish eras, and artefacts have also been found in the area from Neolithic and Minoan Times. Many of these artefacts are now housed in the Historical and Folklore Museum which is located on one of the village’s narrow streets. On the outskirts of the village there is a lovely picnic area beneath a thicket of shady trees next to some Venetian Wells. The village square is just a 9 minute walk from Villa Halepi and is still very much the focal point of village life. The main kafenion/taverna is a beautifully renovated stone building which is run by the very friendly Monica Papatheofilo. The food and desserts here are delicious and the prices are low. Sitting under the kafenion’s shady mulberry trees and watching the world go by, is a favourite past time for both locals and visitors alike. On the opposite side of the square there is the Women’s Craft Co-operative which is trying to keep traditional handicrafts alive by making and selling products such as pottery and lace. In the village you can also find 3 more tavernas, 1 well stocked mini market, a souvlaki taverna, and a bakery.
Villa Halepi is just 5 minutes by car to the lovely village of Almyrida which is built around a crescent shaped sandy beach. The beach is very shallow and safe, which is good news if you have children or are not a strong swimmer. Lining the beach are many excellent tavernas, cafes and shops. Also in Almyrida there is a water sports centre which rents out kayaks, windsurfers and catamarans, a scuba diving centre, and Villas Crete Holidays for tourist information, boat trips, horse riding, and guided walking tours or coach excursions..
For those of you looking for even more activity, the historic town of Chania is only 45 minutes away by car.