Rethymno South

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Some of the most spectacular beaches in Crete can be found in the south part of Rethymno county. Small bays or open long beaches, the most protected by mountains that end to the beach, many accessible by car, others only on foot, the south stays nature, unspoiled and proudly wild, still pure, magic, unique.

Plakias. 34 km south of Rethymnon, on the Libyan Sea. One of the most beautiful places in the south of Crete, with a long sandy beach. But the small bays around Plakias are to be praised. It started as a fishing settlement and in the recent years developed with tourism, because of its many beauties, the special atmosphere of the south and the traditional character of the nearby villages Mirthios and Selia. Recommended for quieter holidays or visits from Rethymno to the marvellous beaches that are surrounding the small resort. Taking the road from Rethymno to the south, there are two ways to Plakias. The shorter -35 minutes by car- and most common one, turns to Koxare village and passes through the impressive Kourtaliotiko gorge, where the visitor could stop for a short visit, towards Preveli, or Plakias. The second one -55 minutes by car- turns towards Ag. Vasilios and Agouseliana villages, in the beginning meeting the splendour of the country and later, through Kotsifou gorge, the wild and at the same time withdrawn atmosphere, that is special at the south of Crete.

Continuing from the west end of Plakias village, after 2 km is the charming beach of Souda. To the east of Plakias bay, there is Damnoni beach, Ammoudi beach with 3 small bays -one of them a wonderful nudist beach, and Skinaria beach. Further to the east, there is Preveli palm beach, one of Crete's landmarks and one of the five natural protected areas in Crete. A walk through the river, under impressive mountains and in between unnumerable palm trees, might be a great appreciation to nature's gracefullness. Buses to Plakias, from Rethymno. Boats from Plakias to Preveli beach: 10.00, 13.00. Return: 16.00. Buses to Preveli, from Rethymno -the bus ends to Preveli Monastery, 3 km after the hill above the palm beach, the visitor for the beach only, should ask for that stop and walk down the hill. Entrance fee to Preveli Monastery: 700 GRD.

Rodakino. Taking the road from Plakias to the west, through the villages of Selia, the south becomes proud, reclusive, solitary. Rodakino village, retired from tourist development, can offer wonderful quiet, hidden beaches and spectacular scenery. The other way to come to Rodakino from Rethymno, through Ag. Vasilios, Agios Ioannis villages and Kotsifou gorge presents one of the most lovely countrysides.

Hora Sfakion. Continuing from Rodakino, to the west, the atmosphere keeps the same. Hora Sfakion is the port for boats (ANENDYK LINES) to Loutro, Agia Roumeli, Sougia, Paleohora and Gavdos island. 1 km west of Hora Sfakion, there is the astounding Ilingas beach and up on the mountains, the awesome villages of Anopolis and Ag. Ioannis. After Anopolis village, the view from the bridge over Aradena gorge is breathtaking.

Loutro. Small bay, with some rooms to rent and restaurants, an idyllic summer resort, one the most picturesque places in Crete. On foot, or by boat, or canoe, everyone should visit the beaches of Finix, Lycos and Marmara - at the end of Aradena gorge, at the west, or the surprising beach of Glyka Nera, at the east. Loutro is accessed only by sea, or on foot, by Hora Sfakion.

Agia Galini. Big tourist resort, 54 km south-east of Rethymno, built on the cliffs, with a long beach, can be visited by bus from Rethymno. The visitor by car, can visit the nearby beach at Matala and the archaeological sites of Festos, Gortys and Agia Triada.

Triopetra. Very quiet and marvellous long beach, from Rethymno taking the road to Agia Gallini and turning to Akoumia. Another beach to the east, seperated by cliffs. Both beaches can be visited by car or motorbike.

Agios Pavlos. Picturesque bay with a very nice long sandy quiet beach over the hill, to the west. Can be visited by car or motorbike.

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Last updated: 22 March 2009