Tavronitis is a traditional farming centre which has a small tourist industry in the summer months, and is the junction for roads that lead south, west and east. The long bamboo and conifer lined shingle beach with kantinas, sun beds and umbrellas, never gets very busy and it is even easy to find a quiet spot during the summer. The mouth of the Tavronitis River is spanned by The Tavronitis Bailey Bridge that was built by the Italians and is well-known for the battle there on 20 May 1941, during the Second World War. Thousands of German paratroopers landed near the bridge and a fierce battle took place for control of the key airfield at nearby Maleme. The old bridge had fallen into disrepair and sections had collapsed, but lately this has been restored, and the bridge is now more pleasantly known as an ideal spot for bird watching, particularly at dawn and at dusk. The following birds have been seen at Tavronitis at various times of the year, but mostly during April and May for migrants: Sardinian Warbler, Little Egret, Cetti Warbler, Yellow Wagtail, Little Ringed Plover, Buzzard, Wheat Ear, Gold Finch, Stonechat, Marsh Harrier (Lammergeier), Barn Owl, Squacco Heron, Grey Heron, Glossy Ibis, Kingfisher, Night Heron, Little Bittern, Snipe, Common, Curlew and Wood Sandpipers, Hobby, Red Footed Falcon, Cory’s Shearwaters and Closer Shags. There are many cafes and mini markets, as well as a good selection of relaxed tavernas set by the sea. Tavronitis is 1 minute from the National Highway and 25 minutes from Chania Town.