The Asteroussia Mountain range runs parallel to the south coastline of the Heraklion Prefecture – from Cape Lithino to Tsoutsouras, with the mountains to the north and the Libyan sea to the south. Its highest point is Mount Kofinas (1280 m).
The south side of the mountain range has a concentration of numerous beaches. Some are isolated and difficult to reach, whilst others are more popular and attract numbers of people.
Starting the journey of exploration and going from west to east, the first beach you meet is that of Vathy.
Located near Cape Lithino at the mouth of a small gorge, this is far from civilization! Enclosed by tall cliffs, it looks like a lagoon and is not affected by the strong local winds that blow.
Situated at the mouth of the Martsaliotiko Gorge, it is a secluded little beach, surrounded by cliffs – with sand, small pebbles and cold clear water. The sea bottom is imposing too.
This is a small gorge that runs about a kilometer south of Martsalo : it takes its name from the 300 hermits reported to have practiced here. The gorge leads to a beach surrounded by imposingly high cliffs: of an unusual loveliness, the isolated strand has small pebbles and deep, crystal-clear water.
Right next door to Kaloi Limenes within an enclosed and secluded bay, it gets its name (the Narrows or Straits) from the constricted passages either side of a rock in the sea in front of the beach.
Chrisostomos is a small touristy village with a beach; it occupied the site of ancient Lasaia, one of the largest ports serving Gortyn. Here you can find rent-rooms and tavernas. The beach fronts the village: it has small pebbles and clear water, but remains undisturbed by the strong winds that blow locally.
Platia Peramata settlement lies at the mouth of a valley that runs from the village Antiskari, and between Kaloi Limenes and Lenta.