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. It has pebbles and clear water. Close to the beach is a small chapel to Aghios Pavlos and a cave, in which it is said St Paul the Apostle lived for 2 years.
To get there you go first to Kaloi Limenes: leaving your vehicle, you go on foot along a dirt-road for some 400 m to the beach.
Near Stena to its east are three more lovely beaches which lie to the side and in front of the settlement of Kaloi Limenes.
Beaches at Kaloi Limenes
Kaloi Limenes basically consists of three beaches with a total length of 2 km: Karavovrysi, Psili Ammos and Makria Ammos. .
On one St Paul the Apostle landed on his way to Rome. If in Kaloi Limenes, you can stop off at the church dedicated to him: this is built on a hill next to a cave to the west of the village. In the cave he lived for two years – some say, though he himself says in the Acts of the Apostles that he rather visited here.A most fetching representation of Kaloi Limenes was executed by the important Venetian cartographer, Francesco Basilicata.
Psili Ammos Beach
The first beach, from the west, is situated in front of the village and next to its harbour. As its name suggests, it has fine sands; it is well enough developed; indeed it is the most frequented of the beaches here, and has a sufficiency of rent rooms and tavernas.
Makria Ammos Beach
Eastwards is the largest of the beaches: its name Makria Ammos (Long Sands) reflects this. You may also hear it called Armyrikia (tamarisks) or Dendra (trees) after the very same that grow hereabouts; another name it has is Sissamolakos as under the Venetians sesame was cultivated here. A feature of the beach is two rocks in the sea – the White and the Black (the first is the one closer in to the shore). The beach itself has small pebbles and deep waters. It is a choice spot for camping. Once a year, in August, a beach party is held.
The east end of the beach, being quieter, is preferred by the nudists: who may be found on other small and isolated coves in the area.
The third and easternmost beach is an attractive one, with coarse sand and clear waters which are not disturbed by the strong local winds. It is but partly developed, and has no shade to speak of. You can get to it by the road that goes east from Kaloi Limenes towards Chrysostomos, about 2 km along.
The only incongruous note in the landscape is that of oil-storage tanks (of the SEKA company) right opposite the village on a small islet. Their position takes advantage of the generally calmer waters hereabouts: and their presence makes Kaloi Limenes a nodal refueling point for ships plying the east Mediterranean.
Kaloi Limenes can be reached either by sea by caique from Lenta, or by one of two land routes.
The first is a difficult one through the mountains, passing over the Asteroussia range and via the villages of Pompia and Pigaidakia. The asphalt road is somewhat dangerous with hair-pin bends and narrow ones at that – but it is truly worth it for what you see en route.
The other way goes from Moni Odigitria to Kaloi Limenes along a negotiable dirt-road.
Continuing east there follows the beach of Chrysostomos .. separated from Kaloi Limenes by cliffs that plunge headlong into the sea and so form the islet of Trafos.
- Tips, Suggestions, Iseful info
- History, Culture
- What to do (Activities)
- What to see (Culture, Nature)
- location Kaloi Limenes, Phaistos, Heraklio
- free camping Yes
- nudism Yes - in some areas
- beach type Sandy, Thin Pebble
- accommodation Yes - some choices
- dinning Yes - plenty of choices
- other facilities
Yes, at Psili Ammos and to the west of Makria Ammos there are some facilities, as well as umbrellas and sun beds.
relevant routes & paths:
Distance: 77 km from Heraklion.
By sea: By boat from Lenta.
By car/motorcycle: Select one of two routes:
1) Crossing over Asterousia mountains, through the villages of Pompia and Pigaidakia. This route is mountainous and rather difficult and dangerous, because of sharp turns and the narrowness of the road. However, it is a beautiful drive worth the effort.
2) This starts from the Odigitria Monastery and leads to Kaloi Limenes by a relatively passable dirt road of about 14 km.