Written by: Irini Lefkoritissa
March ’17

Georgioupolis, lovely village between Hania and Rethymnon.

Georgioupolis (meaning George Town) is a small village in the area Apokoronas which is known as one of the lushest and most humid areas of Crete. It was built between the mouth of the river Almyros and a small brackish lake shaped by the same river.

aerial view of georgioupolis between chania and rethymnon at the northern coast line of crete

Georgioupolis in ancient times.

The history of the town dates back to Minoan times. Excavations a few kilometers to the south revealed many findings of Minoan and Roman origin. The site of the ancient Roman city Amphimalla, which was the harbor town of ancient Lappa (nowadays’ Argyroupoli) was also discovered here. Most of the artifacts found here are at display in the Archaeological Museum of Chania.

In the Venetian Period (1204-1645) the area and the town developed and even a fortress was built to protect it. In these years the art of both viniculture and beekeeping were already well mastered and they were an important source of income as they are until today. During this period the village carried the name Chrissopoli, meaning gold town. The fortress got destroyed during the Ottoman Occupation (1645-1898) only to be rebuilt later. Now it’s reduced to a very small and hardly traceable ruin.

Name change from Almyroupolis into George town.

In the 19th century a lot of newcomers were attracted as new farmland was claimed from the marshlands. The drainage was helped immensely by the planting of fast growing and water consuming eucalyptus trees. You can still see rows of huge eucalyptus trees today. In these years the village was called Almyroupolis, named after the river Almyros, which means salty or briny. The current name was taken in 1899, to pay homage to Prince George who had come down from Athens to establish and lead the government during the Independence of Crete (1898-1913). This short era was preceded by the Ottoman Occupation and succeeded by the annexation of Crete to the Greek nation. In this time Crete had not only its own government but its own flag and currency as well.

Crete had its own stamp with prince George on it
in routaki route 35 you will pas the kournas where you can see this flag in taverna babis
Crete had its own currency between 1898 and 1913

Leisure in several ways in Georgioupolis.

Modern Georgioupolis is a developed tourist resort with many hotels, organized beaches, shops and restaurants. Near the seaside there is even an outside sports park where you can enjoy your fitness workout for free. You can enjoy a coffee or a meal at the village square or at one of the many establishments at the beach front. You can enjoy strolls along the beach or towards the small harbour that flanks both sides of the river mouth. Be sure you don’t miss the Agios Nikolaos chapel, which is built at the end of a short pier in the se. According to the ‘mood of the sea and wind’ you can either walk over and stay dry or get really wet! During strong northern winds and high waves you can’t even see the pier. Visitors love this special place and it looks great in the holiday pictures.

the chapel of Agios Nikolaos in the cretan waters

If you decide to go for a swim, please do take notice of the warnings of the coloured flags on the beaches or of the instructions given by the safety guards. In this area the undercurrents are notorious and should never be underestimated!

fishers village by origin - georgioupolis

What may also interest you:

the monastery of Myriokefala photographed driving Routaki route 32.0.0

Photograph an old monastery in route 32.0, south in the Rethymnon region.

visit CretAquarium while driving road trip 58.0.0

Visit CretAquarium while driving Routaki (wine) route 58.0.

visit the Kazantzakis museum in Routaki route 59.0.0

Explore the Nikos Kazantzakis museum in Myrtia during Routaki route 59.0.