To the south end of the Gulf of Messara, this was in times past the port of Festos: by the beach you will today happen on the ruins of the old city.
Essentially this is a single huge beach divided for convenience into two: the north part, called Potamos (River) is one of the largest venues for nudism. It is secluded and without organization; no hotels and catering facilities exist in the area as it has been classified as a protected archaeological zone. On every side are not only tamarisks and carobs that extend their shade to campers, but also sand-dunes. In contrast the southern part, by Kommos proper, is well-organized – with umbrellas, sunbeds, showers and a lifeguard.
Both sections have sand, clear water and large smooth rocks in the sea. As with other beaches, this one too is exposed to the west winds, which can create large waves.
Here again the loggerhead turtles (Kareta kareta) choose to lay their eggs in the summer, at which time the beach is patrolled by the Archelon society, responsible for protecting these creatures.
If here, then you can enjoy one of the most magnificent sunsets in Crete, looking out at the Paximadia islands. Here too you can examine Volaka, a gigantic rock that sits a few metres out into the sea. This, according to myth, is the very one that blinded Polyphemus the Cyclops threw at Odysseus to stop him escaping the island where he was held captive along with his companions.
Just 2 km from Kommos is Matala, one of the most popular destinations for visitors to Crete.
- Tips, Suggestions, Iseful info
- History, Culture
- What to do (Activities)
- What to see (Culture, Nature)
- location Kommos (Pitsidia), Phaistos, Heraklio
- free camping Yes
- nudism Yes - in some areas
- beach type Sandy
- accommodation No
- dinning Yes - limited choices
- other facilities
There are sun beds, umbrellas, showers and a lifeguard in the southern part of the beach. The northern part of the beach has no organization.
relevant routes & paths:
Distance: 66 km from the city of Heraklion.
From the Northwest: Take the main road leading from Rethymnon to Tymbaki. Bypass Tymbaki and the military airport, go on to the junction for Kamilari. After passing through Kamilari, follow the road leading to Pitsidia and Matala. After Pitsidia follow the signs leading to the archaeological site of Kommos. Park your vehicle near the archaeological site, in front of the beach. To get to the northern part of the beach, the less organized, turn off right before getting to the archaeological site.
From the Northeast: Take the main road leading from Heraklion to Tymbaki, passing through Moires. After passing through Moires, follow the road that leads to Pitsidia and Matala. After Pitsidia follow the signs leading to the archaeological site of Kommos. Park your vehicle near the archaeological site, in front of the beach. To get to the northern part of the beach, the less organized, turn off right before getting to the archaeological site.