Today Kamilari still offers traditional Cretan village life and very spectacular views. Spread on three hills with the names.
Ovgora, meaning "good view" is the highest one with an altitude of 110m; Goulas is the one with the old school and the Hellenistic findings on top and Alevrota the one with Alevrota villas on top, reachable from the village exit in direction of Sivas.
Kamilari is situated on the coordinates: 24°48' East longitude and 35°03' North latitude, and offers a panoramic 360° view on the Ida mountain range with Psiloritis, being the highest summit on the island with 2456m, to the North, Timbaki area to the West, the Messara plain to the East and the Lybian Sea to the Southwest. You can also see many other small and bigger villages around and on a day with a clear view you can even catch a view on the White Mountains and the island of Gavdos on the sea horizon.
Kamilari may not be directly on the sea, but it's only a short distance from many beautiful local beaches. This minor disadvantage is more than made up for by the strongly traditional atmosphere of the village, with its pretty houses, picturesque alleyways and stunning views. In the narrow streets and alleyways of this old village you will find a real part of old Crete: two small main squares, three churches and three colorful kafeneios full of character, frequented by locals and visitors alike.
The old houses of Kamilari are built of stone, with lovely courtyards and bougainvilleas climbing the walls. Some of the houses you see have been restored by foreign owners, who use them as summer homes or rent them out to tourists. Kamilari preserves its traditional atmosphere, making it a lovely place to stay, stroll around and explore (see hikes in and around Kamilari).
The Kamilari people are known for their hospitality, calmness and kindness. Many "Kamilarians" are still farmers or at least live from the animals they raise and what they grow in the garden, and they all follow the ecological balance approach. People, who grow vegetable and fruits, never use chemicals.
Kamilari still keeps it's familiar atmosphere and is quite unspoilt from mass tourism although it offers many interesting sites in the local area like for example the popular archaeological sites of Agia Triada and Phaistos.
Directions to Kamilari
From Heraklion to Kamilari
If you're coming from Heraklion, head for the national road in the direction of Rethymnon first and from there on the highway in the direction of Mires. Follow this road for about 60 km through Mires town heading on in the direction of Timbaki. About 10 km after Mires (500 m before entering Timbaki) you'll find a Nissan shop to your right. At this Nissan shop you turn left and take the road to Kamilari for another 5 km through a landscape of orchards and olive groves.
From Chania and Rethymnon to Kamilari.
If you're coming from Chania, take the direction to Rethymnon on the highway. From Rethymnon follow the other highway in the direction of Spili, Agia Galini and Timbaki.
Pass by Timbaki and the military airfield there until you come to the Kamilari crossroads, just 500m behind the exit of Timbaki. Opposite the Nissan shop you'll turn right and take the road to Kamilari for another 5 km through a landscape of orchards and olive groves.