Coastal Places, Crete Island
Now this is what we had been searching for!! What a beach!!
We actually missed the turn off to the beach from Kavousi so stopped on a clifftop to turn round and view the beach. What a stunner!! We couldn't wait to get down there!
The road runs alonf the baxck of the curved bay and ends in a tiny harbour. Before this there is a parking area under trees and a couple of tavernas.
The beach is a mixture of sand and pebble making it easy to enter the sea. This was our best swim of the holiday and by far the best beach we had come across during our week's stay.
Although it was getting on for 5pm. it was surprisingly quiet here but again, those that were here were mainly Greeks.
Not to be missed, take the turning from the centre of Kavousi village and follow the rural route down to the sea. There is accommodation advertised in Karvousi which is 4 kms. south of the beach.
South east of Aghios Nikolaos, continue northwards after Pachia Ammos, do not turn inland.
We decided to head for the south coast and drive along the coast from Keratokambos to Tsoutsouros, both places we hadn't been to before. This involved a long, hot drive before we even got to the south coast. We stopped off at the tiny village of Thomadiano, set in rural tranquility with a view to a mountain with a white church set high into it.
There appeared to be two places for a drink, both "real Greece" types so we chose the one on the right of the road. A lovely elderly Greek lady welcomed us and we had a cold beer and a coke. Shortly, a plate of tiny olives and tomato appeared with some dry, stale toast like bread. Our hostess could see we weren't impressed with the "toast" so then produced some ordinary stale bread, soaked in water. Urggghh, but I had to try and eat it! Next came the over-ripe, mushy apricots which again, we had to attempt to look enthusiastic!! The bill was €4 so we left her €5. ANother one of our better experiences this holiday!
We pressed on to Keratokambos which is a Greek's get away from it all beach. Long, narrow shigly beaches continued for some kilometres, ending in the far distance against a cliff with what looked like a sandy beach beneath.
The village was very laid back with a couple of mini markets and the odd taverna. Being Sunday, this place was busy with Greeks, mainly picnicing on the beach. There is some shade at the back of the beach where the road runs parallel and a shower here and there.Parking by the roadside in the shade of a tree,we stopped for a quick dip. Not an easy sea to enter, underfoot comprising of pebbles and larger stones although I seem to think it turned to sand a little further out. Unfortunately, the sea got shallower the further out we walked!!
Keratokambos takes some getting to but is worth the effort. If you like it quiet, don't go on a Sunday! I am pretty sure much of this stretch of coast would be fairly deserted on a weekday.
This is a nice little "resort" on the south coast ,well away from it all, 65 kms. from Iraklion.
A one time fishing/farming community, Tsoutsouros is now "discovered" as a get away from it all holiday destination for those in the know. The place is geared for the independant traveller with their own transport, offering accommodation in a couple of small hotels and studios/apartments. The village has a sandy/shingly beach as well as a newish harbour. There is a scattering of tavernas on the sea front and when we visited, on a Sunday, these were well tenanted, mainly by the Greeks.
There appeared to be small beaches and coves on the road that runs along the coast here, all seemed to involve a scrambe down from the road above.
This place was definitely to our liking and we wished we could have spent more time here.Please have a look at the website to get more of a feel for the place.
I was many years ago based in Plakias for a holiday. On our most recent trip to Crete we did a detour down to Plakias just for a look. The dirt road is now paved and a lot has changed although some places were recognisable. Still a lovely spot and worth a visit.
The much revered and beautiful islet is joined to Crete by a shallow reef about 500metres long. A stunningly beautiful place great for paddling in the pink coloured shallows, the sand is pink tinged and the beach is a protected area. A bird sanctuary for passing migrants. A plaque on the summit of the island tells of a terrible tradgedy on 24/4/1824. when troops of the pasha slaughtered 40 greek fighters and 600 women and children.
Driving from Agia Galini to the West in Plakias direction, after Melamber turn left, pass through the Ano Sakturia and Kato Sakturia villages and follow Agios Pavlos direction.
The promontory worth a visit itself, especially if you are interested in geology. there are some interesting rocky formation to see. It consist in many rocky layers of different color that come up from the ground and help to see how this land have been formed by the heart movement.
There are two beaches. The main one on the left of the promontory have a few beach facilities, the sea is calm and there are some flat stone to enter in the sea. Good for snorkeling.
In the right side od the promontory there are a big, wild beach, You have to walk down a high dark sand dune to reach it. Be very careful and wear closed shoes to walk the dune. The sand is hot and your feet would be burned. This beach is occasionally clothing optional.
Starting from this beach you can walk on the sand until you reach Triopetra beach.
I think locals call it Episkopi beach.
Not crowded and food from out of this world!!!
Beach is located between Georgeopouli and Rethymno (almost across from the road to Episkopi), you can see it from the highway, however it is separated with buildings and trees (parking in between trees) so you don't hear or see any cars on the highway.
There is the main restaurant in the main buildings where the bathrooms are. There are also tables through out whole property, so you can eat or drink wherever you desire, closer or far away from the beach.
There is also plenty to do for the kids. When they are tired of the sea, or there is a red flag, your kids can play on the property. They have small, clean quite deep (my 9 yo nice had water up to her eyes) pool as well as jungle gym on well manicured grass. My nice was quite busy catching Cicadas :-)
see next tip:
"New great beach close to Rethymno - II"
On the far Eastern edge of Crete you'll find tiny Kato Zakros. You get off the bus, and there's this Greek hippy guy who says 'welcome to the edge of the world' (well, he's said it twice!) & it does have that feel to it.
Visit a Minoan Palace, walk along a strange, spooky gorge, swim in the lovely pebble bay. Fishing boats, banana plants & tamarisks, goats, moon on water. Coach parties come during the day; peaceful at night.
The 'Akrogiali' taverna has keys to several Rooms right on the sea: see my accommodation tips.
Gorge makes for a lovely walk of 5 -6 kilos; it took us 2 hours: mostly easy; steeper parts. You can cool off in delightful secret pools at certain times of the year. The signposts direct you to "Dead's Gorge" (!) - the caves above you were once burial chambers. Try walking into it at night, with the palace below you, and the sound of goat bells around you & the cry of the scops owl above you ... fall over a meditating hippy, you'll nearly die of fright.
The Minoan palacewas originally built C1900 BC, and like other Cretan palaces, it was destroyed about 1450 BC. An exquisite Bull's Head artefact was found here in the 1960s, and is now displayed in Heraklion Museum. (I recommend visiting the museum before you go to any Minoan site - the displays really help you to visualise how things might have been.) The eruption of a volcano on Santorini (Thera) is said to have caused the widespread destruction of Minoan settlements.
From Sitia, the most attractive route is via Kato Episkopi, Katsidoni & Adravasti, with lovely mountain views & pretty villages. You can also carry on from Kato Zackros to Xerocampos, which is an even tinier settlement, with a long sandy beach & Rooms. (The road to Xerocampos was very bumpy and rocky when we last went down it in about 2002; we've heard it has been improved a lot now.) Above you here is the Ziros plateau which has interesting villages and churches - Ziros is a great place to stop for lucnh & recover from the winding mountain road.
Elafonisi is a small and magic islet on the Southwest of Crete. It is connected to the beach with a shallow reef that allows crossing when the sea is calm. Cristal water and white and pink sand mades of Elafonisi a paradise on the beautiful island of Crete.
Avoid the main beach where the umbrellas and beds are for renting and look for a quiet place to enjoy it...
The most amazing beach of the South of Crete!!!
Quite a journey from Kissamos or Chania, Paleohora has the feel of a place that might once have been very popular as a hippy destination. Not any more, but it is one of the less commercial feeling places to base a stay on Crete. A finger of land juts into the Libyan sea, sporting a pebble and rock beach to the east and extensive sandy beach on its west side. Wonderful cafes and the kafeneio where they heat Greek coffee in the traditional hot sand system. A friendly place to be. Served also by the south coast ferry service to Sougia, Agia Roumeli (Samaria gorge), Loutro and Chora Sfakia (all worth a visit). Also a point to set sail to the southernmost island of Gavdos from, go whale or dolphin watching.
Fortunately, we have found Lentas :-)
This small friendly place reached by descending a steep and spectacular winding road, with no large hotels. A few cafes and tavernas and a special cafe (El Greco) with attractive gardens leading down to the sea. A small pebbly beach, and a steep background give this small place atmosphere. Some spectacular sandy beaches are a moderate walk away, including Dytiko beach which has tavernas on its long sandy beach - popular nudist beach.
The coastal resort of Agia Pelagia is built along a wonderful sandy bay, where the sea is calm and the water crystal clear even in the windy days.
The bay of Agia Pelagia is ideal for combining sea sports with relaxation. The visitor will find well trained instructors that offer lessons for sea sports such as water-ski, wind surf, canoe.
Around Agia Pelagia are the wonderful beaches of Ligaria and Mononaftis, formed by small bays.
Mononaftis is a small sandy beach west of Agia Pelagia. It is isolated from the nearby places and gives the impression of a private beach. It can be reached either by sea or by a small staircase.
There are however smaller beaches, with room barely enough for more that 2-3 people close by, and accessible either by walking or swimming.
Georgioupolis lies at the northern coast of Crete, about 35km away from Chania and 20 km from Rethymno.
Georgioupolis is built on the delta of the river Almiros. In fact it was called Almiros or Almiroupolis (city of Almiros) up to the beginning of the century when Crete united with Greece and the city took the name of the then king of Greece King George.
About a mile from the village on the way to Chania is a small hill, on top of which the ruins of the ancient city Amfimalla was built.
This is a "small" place with some charm and atmosphere, even though there are many hotels and places to stay. Much wildlife in the area (river and semi-wetland as neigbours). Turtles nest here and it is viewed by many visitors who return often, as a relatively unspoiled place.