Psari Forada (also known as Sidonia or Syndonia, and Kato Psari) is located 89km southeast of Heraklion city, in a small valley 9km east of Ano Viannos and 1km south of the village Psari Forada (or Mesa Psari). It is believed to be situated on the site of the ancient town of Sidonia. Formerly a fishing and farming village, Kalami, situated 9km to the north, was the source of the inhabitants of Psari Forada and Sidonia. This area is characterized by a warm climate, perfect for cultivating olive trees, bananas, and early outdoor vegetables.
Recently, the area has seen a mild tourist development, making it an ideal place for a tranquil family holiday. The beach stretches from Cape Theophilus (east) to Sendona Hill (west) and is composed of dark gray coarse sand and clear, calm waters. Tamarisk trees offer natural shade, and umbrellas are available for rent. There are restaurants, taverns, a mini-market, apartments, and a pharmacy nearby. Water sports and beach volleyball courts are also available.
If you’re looking for a more secluded atmosphere, there is a unique beach called Thiofilo, located east of the Cape Theophilus. Opposite of Thiofilo, there is a large rock, known by locals as Psaroharako. During the summer, the Cultural Association of Kalami village organizes beach parties and musical events, and sport events called “Sidonia”, which consist of beach volleyball, beach football, swimming, canoeing, tug, backgammon, table tennis, racing, basketball, and shooting.
The name Psari Forada is rumored to mean “gray-haired mare”. According to one version, this is due to a Turkish Aga who wanted to show off by hanging his favorite horse until it died of thirst. The more popular version is said to have come from the Byzantine Era, when the Saracens occupied the island and General Theophilus was sent to chase them. His favorite horse, a gray mare, could no longer walk, so he asked the locals to take care of it until it died.