Kalyves is the ‘seat' of the municipality of Armeni. The municipality is divided in to 7 parts and Kalyves is combined with Tsivaras. There are approximately 1400 permanent residents in Kalyves. It is a significant village, the largest in the municipality of Armeni.

Kalyves has a large school which caters very well for the children of the foreign nationals living in the area and there are also a number of state offices in the village. It is also a popular tourist resort that has maintained its Cretan character. It is very convenient for the highway and is approximately 20km from Chania. The town runs alongside the sea for a couple of kilometers with the beach at the front and some low hills behind.

There is a tiny picturesque harbor at the East end of the town with a kantina on the beach nearby. Running alongside the golden sandy beach which starts at the side of the harbor are some really good tavernas and cafes.

There are some beautiful old stone houses at the side of the main street through Kalyves, many of them whitewashed and renovated. In the narrow alleyways running off this, there are also old stone houses - both renovated and requiring renovation.

There are also many shops and tavernas on this road. It is a busy little town with a 3 large supermarkets, 2 banks, cash machines, bookshops, clothes / shoe shops, really good fruit and vegetable shops, 3 butchers, 2 pharmacies and a laundry. There is also a ‘wine merchant' with some great wines. This is owned by ‘Stavros the vine' who does occasional wine tasting and really knows his chosen subject. He's also a traditional barrel maker - should you want a barrel making.

On the way out of the village - going west to Kalami - there is a sign and arrow to ‘Koumos'. This place is worth a visit. It's one man's folly. It is a collection of buildings - including a taverna and a chapel with a domed roof - all built from local small misshapen stones. Why describe it as a folly? Because this eclectic mix of buildings made from small rocks was all built by one man over a period of 10 years.

There are mosaics on the paths; whilst walls display images of fish, snakes and various animals. There are also stone tables and chairs. If you just want to wander around, take photographs or just be amazed, just have a drink after (there are some chairs other than the stone ones) as there is no admission charge.

If you carry on going west out of Kalyves, just before you reach Kalami village, there is another beach - Kyani Akti - not signposted. This is a great sandy beach hidden behind some fields of bamboo and is very quiet throughout the year.

The road that runs through the town is badly congested in the summer as it is very narrow. Combined with the Cretan desire to park directly outside the shops they are visiting and the occasional coaches bringing tourists, the road through Kalyves can easily get blocked for a short while.

It's best to sit and watch this spectacle and be entertained whilst sitting under the massive tree shading the tables at the cafe in the middle of the village. It is located in the square at the side of the beautiful church dominating the centre of the village.

Kalyves patron saint is Agios Paraskevi and the Saints' day (26th July), the annual carnival in April and other festivals are celebrated to excess in Kalyves with crowds lining the main street as processions trail through.

A small river flows through Kalyves and spills in to sea after passing under a bridge at the side of the Agricultural bank in the heart of the town. In a car you'll see nothing. Get out and look.