Car rental is available on Crete, and for 5 days during the second week of our holiday we rented one. We rent a car most holidays during the second week, and we’ll usually spend some days not going too far from the apartment, whilst on other days we’ll drive for miles.
Last Thursday, August 5, was one of the days where we chose to stay locally. After reading her guide book, Mum had learnt that one of Europe’s oldest olive trees would only be a short drive away from Kamisiana. The Olive Tree of Vouves, located in the village of Ano Vouves (Άνω Βουβές), is said to be 3000+ years old and is still producing olives today.
In the Athens 2004 Olympics, a branch from the tree was taken and used to make the wreath for the fist Marathon winner; this was repeated for Beijing 2008 and looks set to become tradition and be repeated at London 2012.
You don’t need to pay to see it at all – its in the middle of the village in the square; there is a small taverna next to it and also a little museum which has information about the use of the olives and the olive tree in Ancient Greece and beyond, as well as a whole wall full of photos of the branch being cut during the ceremony before both the Athens and Beijing Olympics.
After a look around the museum and some photos next to the olive tree, we got back in the and drove back towards the coast, and got on the motorway, heading West towards Kissamos. We didn’t go as far as Kissamos though, we got off a few miles before, just past the boarder between the Municipality of Kolymvari (Δήμος Κολυμβαρίου) and the Municipality of Mithymnas (Δήμος Μυθήμνης). The junction is actually a crossroads.
If you drive down to the beach, you will end up in the village of Nopigia (Νωπήγια), where there are some apartments and a quiet beach. Its not sandy, until you get in but it is quite a nice beach. We stayed there for a few hours, and then went a little bit further up the road to where there is a campsite with a swimming pool and taverna/pool bar/mini market. You don’t have to be a guest to use their facilities, so we had lunch there, and a swim in their pool which is much bigger than the one at Katsikoulakis.
The mini market sells things such as ice creams, postcards and basic food items (remember – its for a campsite so it tends to be the sort of things which campers can use), and the taverna does good quality Greek or Cretan. If you’d like to find out more about the campsite and its facilities, visit campingnopigia.com.
And as I have said every day so far this week, take a look at my Google Map to see where on Crete you will find both the ancient olive tree and Nopigia beach & campsite.
That’s it for today – come back tomorrow to read about Falassarna.