Kalives is located on the southern side of Souda bay entrance at Chania - Crete,
about 20 km away from Chania city centre, on the east of Chania city, and about 40 km west from Rethimno city.
Kalives belongs to Apokoronas municipality. Apokoronas extends in a wide green and fertile plain with rolling hills from the sea of Crete on the north to the Lefka Ori ("lefka" means white) mountains on the south.
Kalives is privileged to combine the advantages of a seaside village with the magnificent mountain views.
There are two possible explanations regarding why these mountains of Crete are called "white": they used to be snow capped most of the year. Even nowadays, usually there is snow on the crests until late April. When there is no snow, these mountains look white, due to the geological formations they are composed of.
Kalives is built among olive groves and vineyards. Two small rivers that run with fresh water from the mountains of Crete all year round - Xidas, which crosses Kalives, and Kiliaris at the west entrance of Kalives - contribute to the mild fresh breeze that cools off the otherwise hot summer nights of Crete.
Different stories are told regarding Kalives origin. It is believed that Kalives owns its name to Arabs who invaded the region in 828ad and built "kalives", which means huts in Greek, to live in. It is also said that farmers of the surrounding mountain villages, in the beginning used the seaside place as a base for their commercial activities. With the course of time, they realized that the flat and fertile plain was suitable for cultivation. In order not to have to travel back to their villages every day, they built small huts (kalives) to live in... The farmers' settlement gradually became a lively and rich village.
The old village of Kalives, as it is known today, consists of houses build on each side of a long main road, which used to be the national highway of Crete, parallel to the seashore and a few narrow side streets and pedestrian paths. Kalives nowadays have expanded, but still most of the distances are small, so you can go around on foot and a car is not necessary. The focal points of Kalives are the main square, with the old plane tree, and the lovely beaches with the clear blue sea. There are several taverns and restaurants in Kalives where you can taste local specialties and the famous drink of Crete "tsikoudia or raki". There are also a few traditional "cafenia" and some music-cafe-bars, yet don't expect to find big clubs or music bars in Kalives. Visiting Kalives allows you to experience the hospitality and generosity of the locals.