Location and History
Vamos village is located in Chania perfecture, in West Crete on the foothills of ‘The White Mountains’, 25 km from the beautiful city of Chania. The city of Rethymno is only 35 km and the capital city of Crete Heraklion is 135 km. Vamos is a semi-mountain village, 300 meters high above sea level, surrounded by cultivated and wild nature. The two airports of the island are Chania (45 km) and Heraklion (135 km). The distance to the nearest beach is only 7 km.
The history of Vamos goes back many centuries. According to historical sources its first inhabitants were Arab pirates around the 8th century. To the general census organized by the Venetians in 1573, Vamos is mentioned as “Vamu” with 271 permanent inhabitants.
During the time Greece was under Turkish domination, Vamos was the headquarters of the Turkish army and in 1863 a Pasha named Savas chose Vamos as the Capital of the prefecture of Sfakia. People of Vamos proved to be very patriotic fighting to free themselves from the Turkish domination. The winning battles of 1896 set Vamos free from the Turks.
At the time that Vamos was the capital of Sfakia, it met a great development as a region. This development is characterized by the luxurious houses and public building with neo-classic elements. From this time and on, there was a distinction between luxurious and non luxurious houses, a fact that highlights the economical levels of the society, depicting the contrast between the rich that lived in the so called “conakia” and the poor that lived in the “kamarospita” (one room house). Built with local materials such as stone, wood and soil, these houses still impress with their authentically and traditional colour. It is important to mention that until the 19th century architecture was greatly influenced by the Venetian domination.
The architectural heritage is well-preserved and Vamos is one of the most attractive traditional destinations of the area: a preserved traditional stone road, the old neighbourhood, well painted Chapels of Virgin Mary (monument of 13th century), and Karidi Monastery13th-19th, with the most spectacular scenery of an old olive press with 12 arches.
You can read more about the history of Vamos in the guide book:
"Discover Vamos... on foot"