The area around Kamilari, i.e. the Messara Plain and the southern foothills of Mount Psiloritis, is also full of fascinating villages and market towns.
Around Kamilari, the villages of Sivas, Kouses, Vori, Faneromeni are worth a visit and very picturesque.
Sivas is a small, listed inland village with traditional stone houses decorated with carved coats of arms and arched doorways.
In Kouses there's an authentic popular organic shop selling a fine collection of Cretan Wild Herbs, handpicked from our rich mountains.
In Vori, the Cretan museum of ethnology gives a very interesting view on the cretan culture. It was founded in 1973 and became a permanent exhibition in 1988, that was priced by the European Community as museum of the year in 1992.
The period from 1000 (AD) untill today is displayed with findings and historical documentation. On two levels, you will find exhibits and findings of all parts of the island.
In the former farm house they exhibit different craft and farming workings. Each profession is displayed with various tools and the products they establish and presents an impressive view on the life on Crete in changing periods.
Behind Faneromeni there's a big water reservoir with a dam, storing the river waters in the rainy season in order to water the fields in the Messara area in the summer. It's a smooth 2 hours walk around the lake.
Kokkinos Pirgos is a small coastal community, 2km away from Timbaki, with a nice beach and a clear transparent sea. The village (Kokkinos Pirgos meaning red castle) may got its name by a castle that was supposed to be there during the Middle Ages built from red clay earth. At Kokkinos Pirgos, there are docking facilities for sailing and fishing boats, hotels, restaurants, bars, etc.
The market towns in the area are Timbaki and Mires. They preserve few traditional features, but if you visit them on a market day for the pazari ("bazaar", laiki market), you can enjoy typical images of daily farming life in Crete and shop for locally-grown fruit and vegetables, fresh fish, chicken and rabbits or any clothes, shoes or things for daily life.
The Timbaki market takes place every Friday (8:30-13:00) and the Mires market every Saturday (8:30-13:30). Enjoy a Greek coffee in one of the kafeneios, sit back and feel the vitality and typical atmosphere on these "pazaris".
The mountain villages