In the small villages of Crete, you will find the friendly hospitality and proud tradition of receiving guests. The Cretans are known for their generosity and their friendly reception of travelers, guests and visitors.
In Kournas you can still experience the simple village life, here you will experience the real Crete. Here you can smell the fresh herbs, you can wander in the olive groves and taste the local products, from olives, olive oil
to fresh fruit, wine and raki.
It seems as if time has stood still in Kournas: the men of the village are discussing the news of the
day in the kafenion, the women ask each other what they will cook today and the children play safely in the street.
Who makes a walk through the village will see many old and renovated traditional houses. The narrow
streets are just wide enough to let pass a donkey. Cars drive on the new, wider roads.
Outside the village you can still see the ladies who pick the herbs and wild vegetables for the daily meal.
Kournas is located 5 kilometres from the beach of Kavros (Georgioupoli municipality) and 4 km from the lake Kournas. Situated at the foot of the mountain Dafnomadaras (1680 meters) the village is safe at a height of nearly 250 meters.
In 1583 Kournas was already mentioned as a village with plenty of activities and the town has played an important role during the Ottoman occupation. In 1866 Kournas was the centre of the Revolutionary Government and in
1897 the village was the seat of the Cretan Assembly.
Kournas is a small village that still has the traditional Cretan character: a small square with a beautiful view and
surrounded by a tavern, a small supermarket, a local shop and of course the statue of a local hero. Mulberry trees and large plane tree provide wonderful shade in the hot summer months.
At various places in the
village there are beautiful views. You can see the Almyros Bay, the villages Georgioupolis and Kavros and along the countryside, in the direction of Rethymnon you can see the villages Kastellos, Dramia and Episkopi.
the first mountains of the imposing Lefka Ori (White Mountains) are visible from Kournas. In winter and spring, the white snow on the mountain peaks and the bluest sky gives us a spectacular panorama.
Centre of the village
There are approximately 550 people living in Kournas and in the centre you will find a small supermarket, a kafenion, a bakery,
a ouzeri, a shop wit local products "Mandali" a ceramics shop and three taverns.
There is also a primary school, which is visited by more than 120 children from Kournas and surrounding villages.
Just before the centre of the village, you will see the community centre with a large square and a stage wherein
summer weddings, baptisms, plays, and parties are being held.Next to the community centre, there is the football pitch and a children's playground.
Across the playground is the olive oil factory, where every year from November,
olives are being pressed.
The Greek Orthodox faith is very important in the life of the Cretans and the church and the many small churches and chapels are being maintained very well by the locals.
In and around Kournas there are 11 churches and the most special, and also two of the oldest Byzantine churches on Crete, are the Agia Irini and the Agios Georgios, built in 1200 AD.
On April 23 is
the celebration of the name day of Agios Georgios Church and on May 5, the name day of Agia Irini is celebrated.