Vamos is effectively the ‘capital’ of the Apokoronas area. Here there is the ‘town hall’ for the Vamos Municipality, Post Office, Bank, cash machine, a large medical centre, the court and the high school for the region. There are about 800 permanent residents.
Vamos may well be the place for you to stay or live if you prefer to be a little away from the beach and more touristy resorts but still close to excellent facilities with great views.
In addition, you will be at the centre of many villages (Kefalas and Litsarda are very close) with their attractions and amenities whilst still only minutes away from the beaches at Almyrida, Kalyves and Giorgioupolis.
If you find the time to stroll around, you’ll find it’s a very interesting village that the Ministry for the Environment and Planning has officially classed as ‘traditional’.
It is also a charming working village where life goes on all year round. It doesn’t have the prettiest Platia in the area but that doesn’t prevent the relatively modern square being full most of the year. The seats are usually occupied by Cretans sipping Tsikoudia watching the world go by along with visitors and newer residents engaged in the same activity.
From the square if you cross the road and head up the hill past the Post Office, you’ll find the old village. This side of the village has great mountain views and a lot of the surrounding property has wonderful views to sea. Wander through the narrow paved streets and admire the old houses.
In Vamos a group of local people have set up an organisation to preserve local buildings and encourage sustainable tourism. This seems to be bearing good results and there are some great renovations in the heart of Vamos that are now available for tourist accommodation.
In Vamos there are a number of good tavernas. They all do traditional food but some of them offer a more modern ‘twist’. There are also various souvlaki places, cafes and bars. There are 2 well stocked minimarkets, 2 bakeries a pharmacy, dentist, doctor, 2 petrol stations …and much more.
Vamos has the usual quota of churches but goes one better than the others with a Monastery. If you head from Vamos to Vrisses, you’ll pass the monastery of Agios Georgios. Dating from 1600AD, it was abandoned in 1905 but it was re-opened in 1996. It’s a great place to visit. There are resident monks there and I went to a wonderful Christening at the monastery last year.
There is a new ‘amphitheatre’ in Vamos which was completed a couple of years ago. This is now used regularly for the many art and cultural festivals for which Vamos is famed.
Tucked away in the ‘old village’, if you look hard enough you will stumble across the Art Café. If you don’t ‘stumble’, just follow the signs or ask somebody. It’s a great place for a drink or a snack and if you step outside onto the rear balcony, you’ll enjoy some spectacular views across the valley to both mountains and sea. In the evenings there is often live music. On some evenings the KAG (see Kalamitsi) or the Café owners themselves will have arranged films, an ‘open mike’ night or other events.